Forced N2 stomach surgery...let me tell you about my journey
Apr 28, 2010
2 Years ago I began to have massive breathing problems. I attributed it to age and weight but come to find out I had a 90% blockage of my trachea. I had to go to a ENT specialist at UAB in Birmingham, AL. He scoped my trachea and told me I had lots of damage and it had all been caused by aspirating acid into my trachea and lungs for 25 yrs. I knew I had some reflux and heartburn, but what I didn't know up to this point is I actually had Severe Reflux Disease or GERD. I went thru two surgeries in 2009 to cut away lesions, polyps, acid burn patches and to have holes that were appearing in the trachea near the bronchial tube connections sewn up. Cadaver skin was used to cover the largest patches. Ok, with all that said, you would think, "She'll get on meds for the GERD and her life will be wonderful." No such luck. I AM on meds, 8 different pills a day (Nexium, Pepcid and Reglan as well as an anti-depressant that has been shown to slow the intestinal spasms caused by the amount of acid being pushed thru my system), but my GERD is so severe that my ENT doc said I need to have a Neisens Fundiplication to stop the refluxing.
Ok, so I go online to do research, get books for more research and talk to other Neisens patients and come to the conclusion that no way in H E double hockey sticks am I having that surgery!! Very unnatural and as far as I'm concerned unsafe. You can never burp or vomit again, 10%-15% of all the Neisens surgeries fail in the first year, 80%-90% fail within 10yrs and you have to have the surgery redone. Can you say, "NOPE! AIN'T GONNA DO IT!!"?
I began to look at other surgeries and came to the conclusion that the sleeve gastrectomy might be a good alternative. I do NOT want the gastric bypass. The malabsorption problems alone are too scary. I went to a seminar that explained all the different types of weight loss surgeries and bands, which further cemented in my mind that the Sleeve is a good way to go.
I finally have a doctor who is discussing the Sleeve surgery with me so I can move forward and hopefully protect my airway. I never would have considered any kind of weight loss surgery in the past as I am very comfortable in my curvy skin, but if there is a surgery that can cure my GERD problems and has the added benefit of weight loss, I’m all for it.
I have been reading on this site that some of you still experience reflux after the surgery and some of you are taking two pills a day. Take it from a true GERD patient, 2 pills isn’t so bad, not compared to 7 a day. Also, if I can get my BP down, my cholesterol down and lose weight it should help with the GERD. And did I mention I have begun to have sleeping problems which my bariatric surgeon says should clear up as I lose weight.
So…all in all….I am really looking forward to this surgery even though it was not a choice for me. I think things on the other side are going to rosy indeed.