- Mint tea helps with gas and shoulder pain
- Start stool softeners early! GA slows down the whole system.
- For the first 3 days, take your pain meds on the recommended schedule, even if you aren't feeling the pain at the time.
- Chew, swallow, pause. Chew, swallow, pause.
- Drink some warm water to prime the LINX before starting a meal, and always have a liquid handy in case of a 'stuck' situation.
- Try to eat normally to exercise the scar tissue as much as you can.
- Many people find dry meats, rice, and breads to be difficult. High density, high water content foods seem to be easier.
- Remember that your body has undergone significant trauma and will take time to heal. Give it rest and fluids and good food; also, have realistic expectations and 'give it a break' if healing seems slow or you are experiencing unexpected symptoms.
- Everybody will respond in different ways. Don't try to measure up your recovery too directly to others'.
- Rather than setting immediate or short-term goals that you might not achieve (i.e. back to work in 3 days), think big picture with lots of wiggle room. For example, tell yourself to expect dysphagia to be bothersome until week 8; don't expect to feel back to 'normal' until month 3; remember that people who are 1 year out tend to talk most positively about the LINX. You could think of this strategy as keeping expectations low, but I prefer to think of it as setting the bar at a level you are almost sure to achieve, and probably over-achieve. That way you can celebrate when you exceed your own expectations!
- Think of the LINX as a tool in overcoming reflux, rather than the single solution on which everything rests. Many people have found that the LINX in combination with other therapies (deep breathing, diet, weight loss, complementary medicine, etc.) helps them normalize their reflux. This kind of mentality means that the LINX is something which is working for you, it's a tool in your arsenal of anti-reflux 'weapons', and that gives you a sense of empowerment rather than feeling that you are at the mercy of how well the LINX works at any given moment.
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