Damn ... Another Stretch needed

Well.... I suppose it has lasted two solid weeks this time so it is increasing by couple days each time !

Every time though I keep hoping this is the last for him. This will be the 7th time , has anyone else had to have constant ‘stretches’ and if so how long before it resolved the problem? If he can keep eating then now post -op Chemo has almost done then I can help him to build himself up. Apart from working round ‘dumping’ !

Deb x

7 Replies

  • Ask the consultant about botox injections into the pyloric muscle. It's what I had and Not had a stretch for over 15 months now.

  • Oh Cheers thank you for that....!!

    Leon1978 x

  • Deb

    I had to have 10 stretches post op. This was my throat and my "stomach" exit, where I would fill up too quickly or, not empty out quickly enough. I got very blase about the entire process, having got to be on first name terms with the medical staff. I always insisted and received "maximum" sedation and never once regretted that. The effect on me was always immediate and I would usually enjoy a couple of weeks of being able to eat before the inevitable tightening would start again. With the stomach stretches! They would usually promote some dumping for up to a week as the food was suddenly able to pass though very quickly. No big deal and once you had got used to it, it became the norm.

    My last stretch was in November, nearly three years after surgery. I have (as yet) had no return of the tightening (top or bottom). When I asked my surgeon (who also did all of my stretches) "was I normal" he said it really does vary greatly from, person to person.

    One thing I did notice. Alcohol would relax my throat (and other bits) but then it would tighten more than where it was before I had a drink, the same was true with my stomach. I gave up the booze completely as it also caused mahoosive haangovers that reminded me of my chemo. I miss having a drink, but am happy with the control (of my internals) not having a drink gives me now.

    Oh I am referring to even small amounts of alcohol. A glass of White WIne would give me a hangover. It also goes straight to my head, so I am a cheap date.

    Good luck


  • Thanks Bruce! Yep Tony has also got very 'matter of fact' about having them done... So much so that he doesn't even bother with the sedation anymore just spray so he can get in there get it done and back home as soon as he can! Like you it's instant.. And enjoys what food he can within reason for as long as it lasts!! He does enjoy a small drop of Port though so you may have a point there! I think he'll be gutted (sorry bad choice of words!!) if he had to give that up too!

    Bruce... Am I right in thinking that there is a card for Restaurants requesting smaller portion sizes?? Gets awkward and embarrassing on the rare occasions we have been able to eat out.... Tony hates waste!

    Thank you

    Deb x

  • Debbie

    I really have no idea about a card for eating out? But the OPA may have such a thing on their own webpage?

    Personally I have never bothered. I just state that I would like a very small portion and if they don't listen, it gets left. I have not had any real issues with this.

    I like Indian food so having something like Vegetarian Thali is excellent as we can all just pick at the various dishes.

    The closing up (stretching) thing is (to my mind) a bit seasonal. In my first year after surgery I would get alarmed by it, convinced that something was badly wrong. Now I just work around it. What I find difficult is the very binary nature of it.

    I can be absolutely fine, feeling wonderful...... One tiny mouthful more and BOOM...I am uncomfortable and feeling lousy. There is a "self service stretch" when this happens. Stick fingers down throat (after you have gone to the loo). This can give immediate relief and rescue the evening. Not so good for your fellow diners who are in the next cubicle. It works for me.

    The difference between enough and too much is tiny and is also influenced by posture, type of food or drink etc. But it is always just that one extra bite that knocks me sideways.

  • You are absolutely right Bruce, I admit a few stretches back I would have been panicky about it ( Tony I might add has always remained calm).... And like you say he now just takes it in his stride and I have got soo used to him nipping off to the loo to stick his fingers down his throat and return saying "that's better I can carry on now"!! If it wasn't for the fact that it doesn't appear to bother him too much, then I'd feel so sad that this has become a "norm". However, he's here doing fairly ok and needs must as they say. I'm amazed actually at how quickly he's adapted and like you said has learnt different posture, getting up walking around can help! He too to his peril has realised the consequences of just one more mouthful!

    As far as portion size is concerned maybe we shouldn't worry about it so much... Just enjoy what he can!

    Thanks Bruce for your advice support and personal experience.. It really does help!!

    Your continued Good Health!

    Deb x

  • I have heard of people having 'dozens' of stretches, but that probably does not help much, other than that it eventually trains your system into behaving better, and that trying to overdo the stretching in any one session may well cause undue complications.

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