Friday, June 1, 2012

A Year And A Half!

It is exactly 18 months today since I had my Nissen Fundoplication. For those who have worries that their lives will never again be normal, as I did, I want to reassure you: Yes, it can be normal. I have mentioned a "new normal" before, and that's what it's about, to varying degrees. Different folks have different outcomes. Some have many more dietary restrictions than I do, and can't tolerate various foods. But this blog is about my NF experience and that's all I'm really qualified to write about :). Just the last couple of months have brought some changes. The last few times I ate pork, for example, it didn't get stuck. Although rare (since I eat a low carb diet), on those occasions where I've indulged in bread or rice, it hasn't gotten stuck. The quantity of food I eat at a meal has very very gradually increased as well - pretty much without me even noticing it. This part I'm not so happy about, I actually liked when I could only eat a half-cup of food at a time! But I suppose it is all part of my body's adjustment... I still take a ranitidine at bedtime, most nights, as my stomach contains so much acid the pain of it wakes me up. However, I don't feel a need to take it every night anymore, and I plan to try the 75 mg. tablets the next time I buy it, rather than the 150s I've been using for years. I'm having good results with a very small snack at bedtime (say, one scrambled egg as an example), that seems to help. No burping either, which means there are always issues with gas. But not as much as my surgeon had warned me about certainly. I am able to eat my beloved raw veggies (give me some raw cauliflower and a bottle of ranch dressing and I'm a happy camper!) but not pig out on them or the bloating is just too much. But cabbage - one of my top 3 favorite veggies - when cooked doesn't seem to bother me. Good thing too, since my husband and I discovered roasted cabbage we eat a LOT of it - 2 dishes (cereal bowl size) of it for me yesterday, mixed with roasted onions and bacon! And I did fine with it. One change is that I always have to carry Zofran with me, and take one at the very first sign of nausea. This hasn't happened in a couple of months now, but when I need it, I need it NOW! There is no way I can ever again let it get out of hand, that is pure torture! Another change has to do with hiccups. I've always gotten them on occasion, as most people do...but now I get them anytime my wrap isn't happy - if I eat just one bite too much of food, if something has gotten stuck, whatever, and I get them often, at least once a day, just for good measure. And hiccups are painful now. Not excruciating, but they hurt. So that is another part of my "new normal." Lastly, I am still very careful about lifting/straining, such as when rearranging furniture. Not only was I instructed that, to preserve the integrity of my wrap, heavy lifting will not be something I should ever do. I know that I get pain in my wrap area when I'm pushing my limits, and I'm very careful of that. (With arthritis in my spine, heavy lifting isn't something I can really do anyway.) From my perspective now, a year and a half later, this is one of the best things to ever happen to me. The changes to my life that I had feared are really no big deal. What IS a big deal, however, is that I have a life again, I sleep laying flat with just one pillow, can eat almost whatever I want (carbonated beverages are still out of the question), I don't spew acid and stomach contents when I bend over - or even when I'm just sitting, etc. And I am forever thankful to those who made this possible, you know who you are! Life is good!

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