A Question About My Mom

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LakerChick
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/10/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone I am new here to the board and I am really glad that I found it, a lot of really useful information. My Mom has been suffering from GERD for about 20 years now, always taking either Zantac or Prilosec to treat it. She is 58 years old and has had endoscopies every two years. A year ago she had an endoscopy and the doctor said that she had a sore in her stomach, she also had many polyps there, he could not take out every single one of them(She doesn't get sedated) so he took out a few of them and they were all benign for anything. But now she is suffering from pain that goes from her stomach to her back and she has sometimes where the acid comes up. She is now taking Protonix two times a day and also a Tums at night..sometimes she feels better and other times she doesn't. She doesn't eat anything that causes acid which is why she has lost weight. She thought that the big guns Protonix would cure everything up so of course she is worried about esophagus cancer and of course Barret's disease even though last year the doctor said that he did not find Barrett's..On Monday she is getting an endoscopy done by the same doctor(The same one that told her last year not to come back for two years). She complains about it being hard to swallow sometimes that the food doesn't go down right and that it feels hard going down when a few days ago it did not happen like that..she is just surprised that with this medication that its not doing a complete job..But I am reading the board here and it seems people are suffering the same way. The doctor said that her sphincter does not close all the way due to a hernia that she has, maybe it got worse, or maybe she has an ulcer she doesn't know..but she always fears cancer..Thanks so much for reading this message I really appreciate any response.

HappilyWrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 4/13/2008 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
The medication is not a guaranteed cure-all. Don't be surprised if the medication stops working or does not completely resolve her symptoms. There are many PPI's (proton pump inhibitors) like Protonix on the market and not every one works for every individual. For some individuals, none of the medications will completely get rid of all symptoms.

I took Protonix for years until it stopped working all together- the first doctor I saw just wanted to increase dosage. I was having the same symptoms I had had before I started taking the medication - but I was taking the medication. Switching doctors was the best thing I chose to do because the new doctor treated me different. I saw the new GI doctor for the first time when I was at the point where I just couldn't swallow right any more. Instead of giving me pills like the first doctor, he worked to find the root of the problem. By looking for the root of the problem, I mean he performed tests and modified my medication to determine if the lack of muscle movement in my esophagus (which was why food didn't go down right) was caused by acid damage or if it was just the way my muscles worked naturally. Once he determined that the poor motility (muscle movement) was caused by acid damage, he was able to provide me with choices for a proper solution. I had a weak LES and also had a large hiatal hernia.

From the time I saw the new doctor until today when I am reflux and pain free was about 1 1/2 years. Most of that time was spent with tests followed by medication changes then the same tests to see what changes being on the new medication showed.

I had the Nissen and hiatal hernia repair in October 2007 which cured reflux. I had a biliary sphincterotomy which relieved all chest pain in February 2008 (The short explanation is that they found and resolved a gallbladder area issue that no one knew existed until after the nissen surgery). Today I can eat anything I want except I avoid carbonated beverages (they cause too much gas). I am 12 years younger than your mom and feel better than I have in years. Life quality has improved immensely. I'm sure your mom doesn't have great quality right now.

Making an appointment with a second GI and having them read the most recent endoscopy results may not be a bad idea. After all, a fresh set of eyes can sometimes see something that was missed or offer a solution that is not something the first doctor would normally consider. Good luck.

LakerChick
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/13/2008 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there thank you so much for responding to my message. My Mom is a nervous wreck about having her endoscopy tomorrow, not a fear of actually doing the procedure but what they will find. She always fears having esophagus cancer, or barrett's disease..but my question is, she had last year(March to be exact) an endoscopy, could cancer or barret's disease come that quick? And also, last Saturday she ate very well(she takes two Protonix a day) and had no issues, she has been taking protonix for about 4 weeks now..and for the last few days she has had a bitter taste in her mouth, today it is better, but she doesn't understand why she would have a bitter taste in her mouth if she is taking acid medication..could it have nothing to do with the stomach..I mean acid does come from the stomach right? So she we of course started looking online, stomach cancer, etc and didn't find bitter taste to be a symptom of anything like that..we looked at the side effects of protonix and it said that people get abnormal liver test results..could this medicine somehow ruin the liver and that might be the cause of the bitter taste? Her swallowing has been better today, she ate a piece of angel food cake that she really wanted, sometimes she feels that she has a piece in her throat..which I have read in this forum a lot of people have and it has nothing to do with cancer..I guess when it all comes down to it..the big C scares everyone, and she takes it to the extreme, even I am scared about tomorrow's test, I just want it to be over with already..she was scheduled to do it on April 23rd but she got an earlier appointment because we are sick of waiting..her doctor didn't want to see her til 2009 but since she is having these symptoms she doesn't want to wait anymore. I am glad that you are feeling better..my Mom also has a hernia issue and also problems with her sphincter, hers does not close all the way which is why she gets the stomach acid to begin with..that biliary sphincterotomy..what is that..because we never heard of that and looked it up online but couldn't find any info..is that something to do with the stomach..Any who, I will keep you all informed about tomorrow's test..take care and thanks again for responding

LakerChick
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/14/2008 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Just got back..my Mom is FINE..she has nothing..in fact, her endoscopy this time looked BETTER then the last time..just has some minor irritation..best news we could hear!!! Everything else, the bitter taste in the mouth, it comes from protonix so he said not to worry about that..glad that this is FINALLY over..the last week has been CRAZY

skooby
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 4/14/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi LakerChick

I saw your post earlier and wanted to write in sooner but was not able. I am so glad its nothing serious with your mom. i dealt with the same crap a couple of years and the endo showed a normal esophagus that said it was stress related. I had the endo in 10-06 and was symptom free for a little over a year. Well my problems have started up and its not so much GERd its that my stomach feels like a acid pool. I cannot go for more than 48 hors without prilosec perscription. I will give it another month and if things don't get better back to the GI I go.

I am alot like your mother fearing the worse. When I had the endo the first time I told them not to bother because I already know its cancer....I suffer from severe health anxiety disorder. I think alot of or problems are brought on  by stress.

Take care and again I am glad your mom is ok


LakerChick
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/23/2008 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, as you all know, my mom went and had an endoscopy done last week and the doctor said that everything was fine, no barrett's and no cancer, well he did take some biopsies, well today(because he hadn't called her in days) decided to go back to the doctor and wait in his office to find out the results, well the nurse just came and told her that she DOES have Barrett's for sure..does that make any sense, how can a doctor say she doesn't have anything and yet the biopsy shows that she does..should she do another biopsy to determine if it's accurate..doesn't make any sense and she was feeling better, appetite back and everything, she just wanted the results since he told her to wait a week..but the jerk never called, she had to go find out for herself..for you all who have barrett's, do you have to have another endoscopy to determine if the biopsy was right?
 
(Update)
Ok my mom just called me back and she talked to the doctor and he said that the result was inconclusive, and that even if she does have it, which he doubts that she has, it is very very early early stage and that she would have to do an endoscopy every 3 years, but he wants her to do another endoscopy to get another biopsy done to be sure..he said that if she had something serious he would have called her..nurse scared her for nothing, she was telling me she was a goner LOL because of all the stuff she reads about Barrett's disease..phew, glad that was taken care of

Post Edited (LakerChick) : 4/23/2008 1:57:43 PM (GMT-6)

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