Sunday, December 1, 2013

Today Is My 3 Year Wrapiversary!

Yup, 3 years ago was the surgery that changed my life! Not a whole lot happens anymore that is worthy of blogging about, life is settled into a routine and, though not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for my wrap, I don't really think about it a whole lot. I may or may not repeat myself here :)...forgive me if you've heard any of this before, please? Life after 3 years means I'm eating nearly everything I want; exceptions are still caffeinated coffee and carbonation. However there isn't a vegetable that I can't eat, I can eat bread without issue, and even chocolate in small amounts. Limits are more about quantity (about 60% of what I could eat before the op) than type of food. And, of course, always chewing WELL and swallowing small amounts at a time. I am always more comfortable if I eat several small meals in a day, rather than 2 large meals and 2 snacks. That doesn't mean my schedule allows for that always - only that it is the ideal. I can burp. When I'm on my left side in bed. And, I have discovered, when I lean over the left arm of my chair to retrieve the TV remote. This will be more helpful in restaurants than spreading myself out somewhere on my left side I'm sure. (I just have to remember to bring my remote!) I have had heartburn. While my surgeon had said that my wrap would keep anything, including air or acid, from coming up, I have learned in the Facebook support group that other surgeons claim our wraps should return us to normal functioning - and normal functioning includes burping and occasional heartburn. My heartburn is VERY occasional, and almost always only when I have drunk way too much coffee (even though it's decaf), or when I've eaten too close to bedtime. I also had some heartburn from one of my newer prescription meds nearly every night. It was only after some weeks that I read all the warnings on the bottle, one of which was to not lay down within 10 minutes of taking. Since I took it about 30 seconds before laying down, that was easily resolved. There are ways that I know that my wrap hasn't been compromised, which is something that comes to mind every time I burp or whenever I experience heartburn (slight though it is now). One thing is that I still can't vomit. I still have an antiemetic to use whenever I start to experience nausea, to avoid retching (which can cause a wrap to fail). Another way is that I still get food "stuck" every so often. It isn't something that happens often - but dry foods are still problematic if I'm not careful (which I almost always am). And of course, no pain - no choking on acid - no burning in my throat waking signs of GERD! Is NF for everyone? Absolutely not. In fact I have grave concerns that some doctors are recommending these for heartburn relief, similar to Tums. I'm seeing more and more people online who still get relief in other ways - such as sticking to a certain diet for example - whose doctors are all too ready to cut into them with promises of going back to work in a week, describing the op and the recovery period as something akin to wart removal. Yes, I am seeing a lot of this, and a lot of people in pain and confused and sure something is very wrong because when they were discharged within a few hours of this MAJOR surgery they weren't feeling perfect within days! Even surgeons who refuse to prescribe antiemetics or pain meds after the first couple of is truly heartbreaking what this surgery has become: an easy sell to uncomfortable patients and an easy buck from their insurance companies. There are other issues with NF. If you've followed this blog from the beginning you already know that it is no walk in the park. I plan to address some of my concerns with a series of videos. I have begun vlogging (video blogging) and find it to be a good avenue for getting information out to people, so in addition to this blog, I plan to discuss various aspects of getting, and then living with, a full wrap. I will share here when I post any of these occasional videos. Thanks for sticking with me for 3 years :). It surprises me that some people have been following this blog from the beginning, such a long time...I'm thankful that I can come back and check on details, since I have forgotten so many as time has passed, which was the original purpose, a diary of sorts. But people tell me every week that they are reading and learning from it, I am very humbled! And now begins year 4 - GERD-free!


  1. I would like to thank you for your blog regarding your NF. I saw a surgeon today that said yes you need a NF. I cannot begin to express how wonderful it was to find the right doctor that can say yes, these are your symptoms and you are experiencing these life altering side effects because of reflux and I can help. I am looking forward to being able to function once again in life and your words were very encouraging to me. Bless you sister, thank you ! Kathleen

    1. I'm so sorry, I didn't see your post here Kathleen!! I always try to reply within a couple of days.

      I hope that you will do well with the surgery - or are doing well if you've already had it :). And thank you for your kind words!

      God bless!


  2. I have suffered with GERD for years and have a terrible chronic cough from the irritation of reflux , I'm trying to decide if the NF procedure is for me.

    1. If you are on Facebook and are interested, I have a group of well over 1000 members who are wonderfully friendly and helpful. If nothing else, you can read through the discussions and the FAQs I have created to address most common questions...but of course you are always welcome to participate in discussions.

      The full wrap isn't for everyone and you are wise to be doing your research before making a decision!

  3. What's the fb group name. This post op day 1and I hurt sooo bad. My neck jaw bones chest n shoulders are horrible. I cry all night.

  4. How is your pain now? That is from the gas from surgery. It is horrible pain! I had my surgery may 29th and I am still having slight pain on my left side of chest and shoulder.

  5. I am expecting NF operation in 2weeks from now. Getting nervous. Can anyone reassure me?

  6. Thank you 4 your post, i enjoyed reading it. I just had my 21 year wrapiversary. Just wanted to let everyone know it works and it does last. It may depend on surgeon. I had mine done at county hospital in 1995. God is good. It was all in God's will for mine to last for so long.

  7. Congratulations Sandy Patrick on your 21 year anniversary. I had a laparascopic nissen fundoplication one week ago. My surgery took over 2 hours. I was taken to the operating room at 9.0 am the next thing i was aware of was waking up in the recovery room. It was 3pm. I was then transferred to a surgical ward to recover. By 7pm I was drowsy but conscious. By 9pm i was walking independently to the toilet.
    Day 1 consisted of getting up and showering independently. I was also encouraged go for short walks.
    My main complication was that i kept desaturating every time my oxygen was removed. I had to keep wearing my oxygen for 3 days. Pain wasn't too bad. I was given intravenous paracetamol/oramorph 6hourly which was very effective.
    Day 2 Went for shower and started coughing up large dark black blood clots. The nurse put it down to the E.T tube damaging my trachea slightly. Continued to improve. Managed to eat sloppy diet. Uneventful day.
    Day free woke up very breathless. Coughing up loads of blood clots. Felt dreadful. No appetite.
    Sent for scan to rule out pulmonary embolism. Scan showed both lungs collapsed. Commenced on antibiotics, oxygen and not allowed to go home.
    Day 4 Improving. Keen to get home therefore discharge granted.
    7 days post op Feeling so much better. Pain minimal. Wounds very bruised but healing well. Sticking to dietary advice and continuing with small portions of sloppy diet. I am still coughing due to reflux but milk seems to be my culprit so reducing intake.
    My surgeon says it will be a year before they can assess the success of this procedure.
    I suffered from frequent bouts of pneumonia and chest infections for 4 years along with all the other symptoms association with severe reflux disease.
    I hope that anyone who reads this will not be put off surgery. I have found my post op recovery to be straight forward despite my initial complications. Thanks for allowing me to post this. I hope it also helps reassure people who might be consering this procedure.