Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 18, Plus Other Stuff

(NOTE: If you are seeing this on Facebook, please go to my blog - - to see my whole post. I don't make my points in the first paragraph, which is all that shows up on my Facebook page :).)

I spent half the night reading about the procedure I had. Previously I had studied it from the perspective of one who was going to have the surgery; now I am reading more about post-fundoplication experiences, diets, issues, and life.

The thing that I can't get over is how much the articles and first-hand accounts vary. Doctors instructions go from "stick with clear liquids for a week, full liquids for a week, soft foods for 3 weeks, then start slowly with foods that require chewing - chew very well, eat tiny bites..." and so forth, to "take a few days to get back to your normal diet." (!!!!!) And some doctors recommend starting out with soft cooked cereals and vegetables, only later adding dairy and any form of meats; others recommend no vegetables for several weeks, or dairy first thing, or any other variations on the theme.

My own doctor, while giving me very very few guidelines, did tell me that carbonated beverages would never be part of my future (some docs online say wait a month), and that it would be a very long time, maybe even up to a year, before I should even try bread or raw vegetables (VERY well-chewed); some people online are eating sandwiches within 2 weeks.

As pertains to activity, many people are back to work in 2-3 weeks. My doctor's partner to me to go easy on myself for the first 100 days which he deems "critical"! Some people go home the same day as the surgery; I barely felt strong enough after 5 days! It is incredible the extreme discrepancies...

So, once again, I am taking my own surgeon's words - few as they are - to heart, the one who actually did the work, knows my history, knows my issues, and knows the work that he did. After that, as I've mentioned, I'm being conservative. If I hurt, I don't push myself. If I do something that doesn't hurt or only causes a minor discomfort, I use that activity to continue to build strength. If I have issues with a certain food, I back off and try again later. And so forth.

All of that to say, either there ARE no hard-and-fast rules for post-fundoplication recovery, or else each one of us is another pioneer unto our own path.

I am finding this to be a very lonely road.

Day 18 isn't much different from day 17.

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