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 me...no 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 days...it 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!