Posted 8/6/2009 6:21 AM (GMT -7)
So sorry to hear you're having so many problems. Believe me, I can relate. I had asthma as a child, and it improved--I guess I was in a "remission", but as I got older (I'm 57 now), it got worse and worse. I do get some allergic asthma symptoms, but nothing like I was suffering with the GERD inflammation. I went from one prilosec 20mg once a day, to twice a day, then to Nexium 40 mg, then twice a day. After a hospitalization with GERD related asthma that wouldn't quit (my GERD was out of control, and even in the hospital it didn't get much better, and I was on very high doses of IV steroids, without much relief. My asthma doc had to just wait it out until the GERD was under control, because no matter what he did, the reflux kept my lungs inflamed.)
At the hospital I was switched to 40mg Protonix twice a day. I would caution you to choose your GI doc carefully. Tell your family doc that you need someone who will really listen to you. I ended up firing my first GI doc/group. They did virtually nothing for me in the hospital, and afterwards basically told me that there was nothing they could do for me other than recommend raising the head of my bed and continuing with the PPI's. They didn't even give me a 24hr PH monitor test.
My family doc referred me to a GI doc he selected because he was well respected, and a good communicator. He was day and night from my first GI doc. He took the time to listen--really listen to me--and didn't discount what I was saying. (My first GI doc told me that I couldn't be experiencing what I was experiencing...very disrespectful of me and my needs.)
My lungs got progressively worse over the past four years, as my reflux increased. I was constantly coughing and wheezing--bringing up lots of phlegm. I had to use a nebulizer 2-3 times a day. (By the way, with what you described regarding breathing problems, you might find a nebulizer a better way of relieving your breathing problems. It's hard to get albuterol in when you're already having reduced airways. (Also a med called Xopenex is a good alternative to Albuterol--worked better for me with fewer shaky side effects. Also, the normal Albuterol puffer dosage is 2puffs every 4-6 hours. Your doc, I'm sure is trying to help you with a lower dose, but keep that in mind. Are you using a spacer? if not, you should get a script for one. It'll make sure you're getting the most from your dosage. Take one puff, then wait ten minutes for the next one--that will give you the biggest "bang for the buck".)
I ended up being on high doses of inhaled steroids (especially this past year), with some oral steroids during critical times. The result was that I ended up with adrenal insufficiency. And all those steroids didn't really help. My doctors pretty much threw their hands up and said that they couldn't get me any better, and they continued to encourage me to look into the surgery. All those steroids have left me with thin skin and bones--my arms look terrible. Whenever I bump them I get ugly purple marks, and it tears easily, so I'm always covered with band aids. Not nice at all.)
I read so many terrible posts online, I was scared to try the surgery. Finally, I got desperate, and sick of being sick. I found this very positive and helpful forum, and it gave me the courage to move forward. I had an excellent surgeon, and the recovery was a hugely pleasant surprise. It was much easier than the many GERD/stomach issues I'd had over the years.
I hope my posts will help you make your decision. Remember, if the GI doc you see is dismissive, fire him and find a new one. It'll be worth the wait. Also, if you do decide to have the surgery, take the time to do the research (so you know what to expect and have your eyes wide open) and find the most skilled surgeon you can find. Not generally skilled--skilled in the laproscopic Nissen Fundoplication surgery. It is a very specific procedure, and a skilled and experienced surgeon is the most important piece of the puzzle.
Good luck to you, Vicrayhoov! Be sure to continue to post and ask questions. There are lots of very caring people on this forum, who will be happy to answer your questions, and give your support and encouragement while you search out an answer to your problems.
The links to my posts follow:
(sorry, I haven't figured out how to make live links here.)
Days 1 and 2
Nissen Surgery Failures…my thoughts