I had no idea that so many people have had similar experiences and in some cases much worse. My heart goes out to all of you. Hopefully my experience is of help to somebody.
I started having bad heartburn a couple of years ago and took OTC meds for it. I would often wake up with bile in my throat and figured I'd eventually have to see a doctor. About a year ago I developed pneumonia and ended up in the hospital because I was having a hard time breathing. I was released and put on meds for pneumonia. I really struggled to breathe for a few days and ended up going to the emergency room a few days later when it got too bad. This time I was admitted and diagnosed with GERD and Adult Onset Asthma. I was released after a couple of days and put on asthma meds. The asthma meds did help me breathe better but the reflux continued. Doctors have since determined I probably aspirated some of the bile into my lungs, causing the pneumonia like systems.
Back to the doctor for the reflux and eventually to several other doctors. Lots of tests, some really no fun at all. I had an esophageal motility test, 24 hour PH test, stomach emptying test, an endoscopy and a colonoscopy
(don't ask) .My last doctor determined I had a hiatus hernia and needed a Nissen Fundoplication (stomach wrap). It took over a year to get to this diagnosis. I had the surgery and during recovery thought I was having a heart attack. The tightness and pain in my chest was severe.
After being released from the hospital I had to take meds for the pain in my chest and was put on a strict diet. The first week was just fluids and each successive week more foods were added. I became sensitive to the difficulty I had swallowing and then developed severe gastritis. The pressure and bloating just made it all the more miserable. The tightness in my chest continued and breathing became difficult. I started having episodes where I burped constantly. I developed a bad case of constipation. I knew I was having anxiety attacks and went back to the doctor. He gave me anxiety medicine and these helped immensely. The gastritis gradually eased as did the tightness and pain in my chest.
It's been about 6 weeks since the operation and I'm now starting to believe it was all worth it. The GERD is gone and the asthma like symptoms are much less noticeable. I sometimes still have burping sprees but they seem to be less severe. My stomach is still "irritable" but getting better. I've stopped taking the anxiety meds for the most part. I always have water when I eat because the sphincter is still pretty tight. I have to take smaller bites and chew the food more completely than I used to or it gets "caught". I then take sips of water to get the food to pass. It can be a bit painful.
I'm hopeful the asthma symptoms will be gone altogether after some time. My doctor tells me this is often the case with this type of condition. I'll be honest and say at one point I was very sorry for having gone through with the surgery. Just lately I've changed my mind and am hopeful that I'll be 100% before too long.
Best of luck to you too. My wrap was fairly tight but fortunately not so tight that I can't burp. I'm really thankful for that as on occasions I get bloating and nausea. Last night was a good example. The pressure was so intense I sometimes felt it was difficult to breathe.
I take Mylanta anti-gas but it doesn't really help much. I'm going to shop for some natural alternatives today and hope they do a better job. Angelica's, chamomile tea, and fennel seeds are mentioned online quite a bit so will look for them. I may try activated charcoal too. Beano sounds like it might help too.
I am planning on having this surgery in a couple of weeks....I am wondering if you can tell me what you do to prep for the surgery (if anything), and what the early days of recovery are like? I realize it is different for everyone....but I am nervous and would just like to hear other's experience with this. Thanks!
You're probably right that "it's different for everyone". As far as prep work it's really just going through all of the tests I mentioned (esophageal motility, 24 hour PH, stomach emptying, endoscopy). The doctors need to determine if you're a good candidate for this surgery. It's been 5 months since I had surgery (partial wrap) and I'm still not 100%. The symptoms I had prior to the surgery ( GERD and asthma) are gone. I no longer have to take small bites and chew my food carefully. For the most part I can eat anything I want. My stomach/intestinal area is still "active" but tolerable most days. The nausea has lessened as well. Unfortunately, the abdominal pain/discomfort at nights caused me to develop insomnia which made work difficult. I'm still struggling to get my feet under me but am still hopeful I'll be 100% before too long.
I had a Nissan Fundoplasty about five years ago, and everything was great. Two summers ago, I had West Nile virus, and that was the first time I had ever had to vomit. Then last summer I had a bleeding ulcer and starting vomiting coffee ground-looking stuff. Now I am back to vomiting in my sleep and aspirating it into my lungs. It has happened about four times in the past couple months -- but last night was the worst - right back to where I was before the surgery. I coughed for an hour to get all the vomit out of my lungs. Now I'm afraid I'll have to have the surgery all over again, and the Dr. that did the first one (who no longer works at the hospital where I had it done) told me a second surgery would be more dangerous. The first surgery I suffered a collapsed lung. I'm afraid to eat anything now, and in fact haven't had anything to eat at all today. I'm freaking out. Can anybody tell me anything about a Nissan Fundoplasty the second time around? Email me at ***@**** - Thanks!
I had the fundoplication done 17 years ago as a teen. It was the best thing I did! I was having to sleep sitting up or else I would wake up choking on stomach acid. I've had no reflux since. However... I recently got a bad stomach bug and dry-heaved for 12 hours. Toward the end I was able to actually vomit. I'm worried something may have torn, but my only problem is bad heart burn pretty much daily. Anyone have similar experiences?
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