Oesophageal Patients Association
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Any bellringers out there?

Prior to my op, I rang bells regularly at my local church. Post op, I've waited more than 6 months to try again and yesterday I tried for the first time on a reasonably light bell (I used to ring a 22cwt bell). It didn't go that well as it was uncomfortable on my right hand side during ringing. I'm wondering if there's anybody out there who's had a similar experience and if/when they went back to ringing or similar such as some gym machines that involve raising hands above the head ?

5 Replies


I had my surgery 12 years ago after my operation I experienced weakness and pain on my left hand side, particularly when stretching up above my head to push or pull, this does get better with time, but it does take time, it took me nearly 2 years I think you'll be back to your bell ringing

All the best



I think you have done well to do this at the stage you are at. There will be quite a bit of pressure on your insides, and muscles that have not been used for a few months, but other people do undertake equivalent physical activities after this surgery, so there is no reason why you should not be able to do the same. I think it is mainly an issue of progressive and gentle muscle training, with perhaps occasional nerve issues thrown in. And long-suffering patience.

I suspect the key to it is to build up slowly, and anticipate that the effects that you feel afterwards may be delayed by a day or so. I could not raise my arm above my head first of all, but gradually, with physiotherapy, it loosened up again.

A physiotherapist might be an option to think about if you are not sure.



My fiancé rang a peal (that's about 3 hours non-stop bell ringing for non bell ringers) 2 months after his oesophagogastrectomy with no ill effects apart from some tiredness and a lit bit of aching. He has rung about 50 peals in the last 6 months. His recommendations are to only ring light easy going bells (not 22cwt!) and don't ring bells up. He has found it a very good way of exercising.

Good luck with the ringing!

Best wishes


How amazing ! Good for you.

I wonder if my feeble attempts at starting my motor-mower and chain-saw count ?


I think starting chainsaws and mowers is very hard even without having had a major operation! Bell ringing is more gentle and any like any activity you participated in pre surgery can build up your strength and stamina if taken slowly and stopping if it hurts. My fiancé is very motivated to get back to his previous levels of (good) fitness and lead a normal a life as one can after such major surgery and chemotherapy.


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