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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board


Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index


Hi, sorry I haven't reported in a while. My recovery has been up and down, so I haven't felt like I hit a big milestone to share. I probably should be recovering faster, but I've made things more difficult for myself. I'd say the biggest things issues have been recurrent soreness in my chest/stomach as well as sharp pains in my abdomen/stomach. I think the soreness is largely due to overdoing things, particularly eating too much and too fast. I think it causes too much strain to the internally healing parts. My guess for the sharp pains in the abdomen is that it was trapped gas from swallowing air and carbonated beverages. It didn't really make much sense to have pains in my lower abdomen since obviously nothing was done there, so gas is my best guess. I also have bloating from overeating, but that is something I had prior to surgery as well. I'd say though after the surgery, bloating is more punishing. I stayed on my full dosage of meds because of the initial heartburn scare I had mentioned in my previous post (with the Pad Thai). Also, since I was still having all of the issues I mentioned above, I didn't want to add PPI bounceback acid to possibly make things even worse. Finally, I decided at some point that I wanted things to settle down and for the surgical soreness to be almost completely gone before I stopped my meds. That way, I will be able to more obviously feel if there is any acid working its way back up. I also started taking Gas-X as needed whenever I would drink something carbonated, have abdominal pain, and/or feel like I ate too fast. I feel like it helped a little bit with those issues, but it was hard to tell for sure.

As far as my doctor(s) go, my GI was from Hopkins, but not my surgeon. I don't know if we are allowed to post doctor names in public, but if you go to the Virginia Heartburn and Hernia Institute, you will see who my surgeon was. I think overall my experience was probably quite a bit above average in the grand scheme of things, but it wasn't perfect. The surgeon performs hundreds of these every year and based on the name of the clinic, I think you can guess that this is pretty much his specialty. He and his PA seem sharp and I had a very good impression of them on my first visit (I wonder though if this is because I heard what I wanted to hear). I'd say though that the doctor has a touch of arrogance. He seemed friendlier and more willing to listen and talk to me BEFORE the surgery, but in my followup appt. and during subsequent phone call he seemed a bit annoyed with me when I asked him more than a couple of questions. Overall, I would recommend them. Look at my previous postings to see my general feelings about the hospital itself. The hospital is Virginia Hospital Center, which is in a different place than the "Heartburn Institute" where I had my consult/followups. Let me know if you want me to go into more detail about the surgeon and/or hospital or if you have any more specific questions about them.

To summarize, I'd say that my biggest mistakes have been eating too fast, eating too much, and drinking carbonated beverages. Also, drinking alcohol too early on in the healing process was a mistake as well because it really burns when it's just sitting there in your esophagus trying to fight its way through the junction. I found that when I was doing these things, things would get much worse. I really wish the doctor would have scared me into following a stricter regimen rather than giving me the green light on everything after only 1 week. To be fair to him though, he probably didn't realize how little self-control I can have when it comes to food.

In the most recent stage of my recovery, I finally got fed up with myself after I lost my self control once again at a July 4th party. I decided at that point that I needed some changes. I've cut out carbonated beverages. I've cut down calories and I'm eating smaller meals. I've mostly cut out any sugary foods and beverages. I've maxed out my Colace and Senna, and I've added a little Miralax here and there. I'm drinking a lot of coffee to suppress my appetite and keep the bowels empty. I am still taking Gas-X as-needed. This is probably a dumb and unhealthy plan (so I'm not endorsing it in any way), but I'd gotten fed up with feeling bloated. I also want to lose weight and increase my motivation at work, hence the coffee. I've had a few small slip-ups, but I feel like this week has been much better. Since I need to get off omeprazole before my next visit, and since I haven't had legitimate heartburn for a while, I have cut down to only one dose per day. After another week or so, I will try cutting it out completely.

I think the surgery was a good idea. I do get some sensations that stuff wants to come up from my stomach. It's hard to explain and hard to tell exactly what I am feeling, but I THINK the new valve is pretty much doing it's job. What I do know is that I usually do not feel liquid coming up to my mouth/throat, unless I drink or eat too fast. I think this is just because all of that food is still fighting its way into my stomach and has nowhere to go but up. I have been trying to be more conscious of swallowing air. I found that it's a bit better to let beverages flow through your mouth and into your throat rather than sucking them up. It seems to reduce belching, which reduces the chances of any stuff coming all the way up. At this point, I am still optimistic that things will continue to improve.

Sam
[QUOTE=SammyCeee;5372276]Hi, sorry I haven't reported in a while. My recovery has been up and down, so I haven't felt like I hit a big milestone to share. I probably should be recovering faster, but I've made things more difficult for myself. I'd say the biggest things issues have been recurrent soreness in my chest/stomach as well as sharp pains in my abdomen/stomach. I think the soreness is largely due to overdoing things, particularly eating too much and too fast. I think it causes too much strain to the internally healing parts. My guess for the sharp pains in the abdomen is that it was trapped gas from swallowing air and carbonated beverages. It didn't really make much sense to have pains in my lower abdomen since obviously nothing was done there, so gas is my best guess. I also have bloating from overeating, but that is something I had prior to surgery as well. I'd say though after the surgery, bloating is more punishing. I stayed on my full dosage of meds because of the initial heartburn scare I had mentioned in my previous post (with the Pad Thai). Also, since I was still having all of the issues I mentioned above, I didn't want to add PPI bounceback acid to possibly make things even worse. Finally, I decided at some point that I wanted things to settle down and for the surgical soreness to be almost completely gone before I stopped my meds. That way, I will be able to more obviously feel if there is any acid working its way back up. I also started taking Gas-X as needed whenever I would drink something carbonated, have abdominal pain, and/or feel like I ate too fast. I feel like it helped a little bit with those issues, but it was hard to tell for sure.

As far as my doctor(s) go, my GI was from Hopkins, but not my surgeon. I don't know if we are allowed to post doctor names in public, but if you go to the Virginia Heartburn and Hernia Institute, you will see who my surgeon was. I think overall my experience was probably quite a bit above average in the grand scheme of things, but it wasn't perfect. The surgeon performs hundreds of these every year and based on the name of the clinic, I think you can guess that this is pretty much his specialty. He and his PA seem sharp and I had a very good impression of them on my first visit (I wonder though if this is because I heard what I wanted to hear). I'd say though that the doctor has a touch of arrogance. He seemed friendlier and more willing to listen and talk to me BEFORE the surgery, but in my followup appt. and during subsequent phone call he seemed a bit annoyed with me when I asked him more than a couple of questions. Overall, I would recommend them. Look at my previous postings to see my general feelings about the hospital itself. The hospital is Virginia Hospital Center, which is in a different place than the "Heartburn Institute" where I had my consult/followups. Let me know if you want me to go into more detail about the surgeon and/or hospital or if you have any more specific questions about them.

To summarize, I'd say that my biggest mistakes have been eating too fast, eating too much, and drinking carbonated beverages. Also, drinking alcohol too early on in the healing process was a mistake as well because it really burns when it's just sitting there in your esophagus trying to fight its way through the junction. I found that when I was doing these things, things would get much worse. I really wish the doctor would have scared me into following a stricter regimen rather than giving me the green light on everything after only 1 week. To be fair to him though, he probably didn't realize how little self-control I can have when it comes to food.

In the most recent stage of my recovery, I finally got fed up with myself after I lost my self control once again at a July 4th party. I decided at that point that I needed some changes. I've cut out carbonated beverages. I've cut down calories and I'm eating smaller meals. I've mostly cut out any sugary foods and beverages. I've maxed out my Colace and Senna, and I've added a little Miralax here and there. I'm drinking a lot of coffee to suppress my appetite and keep the bowels empty. I am still taking Gas-X as-needed. This is probably a dumb and unhealthy plan (so I'm not endorsing it in any way), but I'd gotten fed up with feeling bloated. I also want to lose weight and increase my motivation at work, hence the coffee. I've had a few small slip-ups, but I feel like this week has been much better. Since I need to get off omeprazole before my next visit, and since I haven't had legitimate heartburn for a while, I have cut down to only one dose per day. After another week or so, I will try cutting it out completely.

I think the surgery was a good idea. I do get some sensations that stuff wants to come up from my stomach. It's hard to explain and hard to tell exactly what I am feeling, but I THINK the new valve is pretty much doing it's job. What I do know is that I usually do not feel liquid coming up to my mouth/throat, unless I drink or eat too fast. I think this is just because all of that food is still fighting its way into my stomach and has nowhere to go but up. I have been trying to be more conscious of swallowing air. I found that it's a bit better to let beverages flow through your mouth and into your throat rather than sucking them up. It seems to reduce belching, which reduces the chances of any stuff coming all the way up. At this point, I am still optimistic that things will continue to improve.

Sam[/QUOTE]

Good luck Sam!
You've given me some hope that in the future I may be able to get the surgery. Kepp us posted and Godspeed!





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