Hi! I am so glad I found this place- it is like a group of kindred souls. Here is my story...any advice, thoughts, or snickers welcome:)
I had some heartburn (mild) a few years ago and my doctor prescribed Nexium. The heartburn left and I have had NO heartburn since. This fact is important to remember in the light of all the chaos that has since occurred.
Two years ago, I got a piece of ham caught in my chest. I panicked and walked around for about 30 minutes until I finally felt it "pop" out into my stomach. I was referred to a GI guy, who did a scope (under total anesthesia) and dilated my esophagus. He said I had something called Schlatzi's Ring? He also did biopsies and everything came back negative. He said I had a mild (not a problem type) hiatal hernia. He sent me home with more Nexium. I was up and eating normally the next day. I thought all was well.
Two years later (last month) I got an Advil Liqui-Gel caught in my chest. I knew immediately it was the same problem. I walked around and eventually I think the thing dissolved. I called the same GI office and my old doc was on vacation so I saw his partner. He scheduled me for a scope and dilation the next day. After the dilation, I woke up in terrible pain. It was in my chest. The doctor and nurses assured me it was gas. The doctor told my husband the scope showed once again I had the ring and that he had used the largest dilator they had to stretch my esophagus open. He told my husband I might be "sore".
That night at home something started happening in my chest. It started tightening and pulsing and the pain was incredible. We called the doctor who told us to go to the ER. They were concerned the scope procedure had somehow torn a hole in my esophagus. $6000 and a bunch of tests later, I was told the problem was a spasming esophagus which was painful but not dangerous. I was also told I was too anxious. (Gee, no kidding!)
I went home and had trouble swallowing from the start. I had pain in my chest. I could get liquids down but no solids. I called the doc but could not get in as it was the holidays and he was busy. I wound up in urgent care and met the kindest female doc who told me to not panic...that this guy had dilated my esophagus like hell and it was going to take a lot of time to heal. She taught me some breathing techniques and gave me some xanax. Most importantly, she was kind and listened. She told me not to worry about eating solids and just to drink plenty of water. She said my body would know when it was ready to try solid food. (My GI doc had said I should be eating anything from Day 2).
Here's where the GERD comes in. Since they did this second dilation, I have had GERD symptoms bigtime. I do NOT have any heartburn, but I have acid backing up in my throat. I have nausea, burping, gas, the lump in the throat, a small cough, mild stomach pain, a full stomach after eating very little, etc. I panic still somewhat when swallowing pills and at times when eating. I have lost 22 pounds---a good thing for me. I am on Protonix and Pepcid...have been for 4 weeks. All of these GERD symptoms are new since this last dilation.
I honestly don't feel like going back to my GI guy...I think he is a jerk. I probably need to find a new one. I'll admit that I am a panicky person when it comes to being in agony and I do need compassionate reassurance.
I have stopped all coffee, soda, chocolate, most meats. I don't smoke. I sleep propped up...a wedge under my mattress.
My main diet is oatmeal, vanilla Slim-Fast, yogurt, pudding, milk, crackers, pretzels, and very small bits of my family's dinners. I can't do much in the evening.
I've tried GasX and Mylanta with some success. I work as a substitute teacher and sometimes the stomach pain and pressure can really get to me. Plus, I'd love to eat slowly and calmly but that doesn't happen during a school day.
I have read a lot of other stories and problems on this forum and my sympathies and hugs to each and every one of you. This problem is nothing to laugh at. Best wishes and good health to you all:)