Newbie- very confused.

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ncbluesky
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/5/2010 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I was just given a diagnosis of GERD today following an endoscope last week. The biopsy clearly shows it but the symptoms I have been experiencing are nothing like the GERD symptoms I have read about. I had no history of stomach problems before. Six weeks ago I picked up a stomach bug ( short term pain, diarrhea) Felt fine for a few days and then developed pain several hours after eating that felt like being punched in the ribs. Doc ordered an ultrasound which ruled out gallbladder, pancreas, and liver. Started Nexium and a bland diet and pain continued. I am sticking to the diet but am losing between 4-5 lbs. every week (very unusual for me) and feeling very tired. I am confused. Has anyone else had symptoms like this with GERD? I have not had any heartburn, regurgitation, nothing like that. Any advice is appreciated. shocked shocked

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/5/2010 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
GERD without symptoms or very few symptoms is called Silent GERD.

The tiredness you're feeling is from the weight loss probably.

Joy

ncbluesky
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/5/2010 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Couchtater, Thanks for the info. This is all new and confusing and I appreciate your help. Now I can Google Silent GERD. I still do not understand it and Bless you for being there.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/5/2010 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Stick around, you'll find a wonderful group of well informed people. :)

Hugs,
Joy

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/5/2010 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Blue Sky! Nice to have you join with us. I'm sure that you will have many offer help and support. I'd like to ask a few questions and offer a couple of suggestions to consider. I posted something you might want to consider (a process) on my thread "Approaching my 4th open Fundoplication".

What did your report say about the endoscope, in general. What did the procedure include? You mention a biopsy apparently done during the endoscope. What was the biopsy of and why was done for. I have had numerous endoscopic procedures and will have my 4th esophageal surgery shortly which span nearly 30 years, and have not had a biopsy, to date. Others in our group will need to respond to the biopsy. I'm not suggesting it wasn't needed. The doctor must have seen something that led him/her to biopsy. I just think having access to reports so you can knowledgeably discuss what is wrong and what to do about it is important. This information could be important so the many experienced people on this forum can be of help and support.

It seems to me that your symptoms where you had no previous discomfort prior to the "bug" you picked up could be caused by a variety of illnesses, including GERD. If you are unsettled, consult with you doctor specifically as to what he saw in the scope that suggested GERD to him/her and why you are in pain while on medication and loosing so much weight. Bland diets don't cause weight loss...insufficient calories versus amount of exercise or some illnesses cause weight loss. Are you eating enough. With GERD typically, smaller amounts, well chewed, and eating frequently helps.

If after discussion with your physician you aren't settled, get a second opinion. It is important, I think, for you to feel settled that what is being offered in your treatment, makes sense to you.

Questions I would be asking is what part of my esophagus/stomach isn't working properly, and in what ways. How is the lower sphincter working? Is there a hernia present? You doctor seems to be taking the "right" measures...ultrasound, scope, diet, meds, etc. Be sure to follow-up and get curious and ask lots of questions.

For me, when I am confused, I haven't gathered enough information for the situation to become clear (even if I don't like what the clarity illuminates).

I'm sorry to hear that you are not getting relief. I hope you will keep posting so we can help. There are so many who respond that have so much knowledge and experience. Reading different threads has been very helpful to me! Please keep us appraised of your progress.

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/5/2010 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Blue Sky! Nice to have you join with us. I'm sure that you will have many offer help and support. I'd like to ask a few questions and offer a couple of suggestions to consider. I posted something you might want to consider (a process) on my thread "Approaching my 4th open Fundoplication".

What did your report say about the endoscope, in general. What did the procedure include? You mention a biopsy apparently done during the endoscope. What was the biopsy of and why was done for. I have had numerous endoscopic procedures and will have my 4th esophageal surgery shortly which span nearly 30 years, and have not had a biopsy, to date. Others in our group will need to respond to the biopsy. I'm not suggesting it wasn't needed. The doctor must have seen something that led him/her to biopsy. I just think having access to reports so you can knowledgeably discuss what is wrong and what to do about it is important. This information could be important so the many experienced people on this forum can be of help and support.

It seems to me that your symptoms where you had no previous discomfort prior to the "bug" you picked up could be caused by a variety of illnesses, including GERD. If you are unsettled, consult with you doctor specifically as to what he saw in the scope that suggested GERD to him/her and why you are in pain while on medication and loosing so much weight. Bland diets don't cause weight loss...insufficient calories versus amount of exercise or some illnesses cause weight loss. Are you eating enough. With GERD typically, smaller amounts, well chewed, and eating frequently helps.

If after discussion with your physician you aren't settled, get a second opinion. It is important, I think, for you to feel settled that what is being offered in your treatment, makes sense to you.

Questions I would be asking is what part of my esophagus/stomach isn't working properly, and in what ways. How is the lower sphincter working? Is there a hernia present? You doctor seems to be taking the "right" measures...ultrasound, scope, diet, meds, etc. Be sure to follow-up and get curious and ask lots of questions.

For me, when I am confused, I haven't gathered enough information for the situation to become clear (even if I don't like what the clarity illuminates).

I'm sorry to hear that you are not getting relief. I hope you will keep posting so we can help. There are so many who respond that have so much knowledge and experience. Reading different threads has been very helpful to me! Please keep us appraised of your progress.

ncbluesky
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/5/2010 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear mysevenpinecones, You are so good at expressing all of the questions that are swimming around my mind right now. OK- the endoscope was done because my symptoms suggested ulcer. The surgeon did the biopsies on three areas to check for H. Pylori and he also was aware of a cancer risk (he did two previous cancer surgeries on my back and also a colonoscopy at age 50. My Mom died of colon cancer at a young age. ) I do think he is a good surgeon and I am glad he did the biopsies. The pathology report says- distal esophagus, fragments of squamous mucosa with lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrate and elongated vascular papillae suggestive of gerd, no intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, or malignancy identified. I was very happy not to hear the C -word again! The Nexium is making the pain less severe and I am sticking to the diet. I will keep an eye on the weight loss and I wish I could take you to the doc with me :D Thanks and God bless.

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/6/2010 5:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bluesky, Sounds like your surgeon is on top of what he was looking for. I'm so sorry to hear of your health history, but thrilled that he found no cancer!! I am also glad to hear that the medication he has prescribed is beginning to help. What does he say about your weight loss? I wish I could go with you to the doc...but I think you will do a great job. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

Blessings!

ncbluesky
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/6/2010 6:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning pinecones, I read through your post on the surgery. Wow, you re a tough customer! My cancer surgeries were not that bad. I just had this moment of clarity that if the worst did happen, I would still be alright. Forced myself up after one day and went outside to work in my garden every day. Did not take pain meds instead naps with my pets. The 1st path report said I required more surgery. So I did it. 2nd path report said the cancer had disappeared. OK- now you must be red-flagging. I was so stunned, but I just accept it as a gift. I do not share the story with most people b/c I know what their perception must be. I am not espousing anything. I am just telling you what happened. I will learn everything I can about the GERD and follow advice but I will keep the same attitude I had with the cancer. It worked. Take care and blessings.

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/6/2010 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Evening Bluesky,
I love your attitude and how you responded to your surgeries and health. I think any surgery has its difficulties and trade offs. Yours and mine, as well, seems to have been life changing. (absence of cancer and even though it was a limited repair to my esophagus, I still have it and continue to overhaul it!) I, too, believe in "gifts" and have had several wonderful miracles, without which I don't think I would be here. If you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear your whole story. It sounds very tender. No "red flags" :-) but instead...understanding. You are welcome to email me. I especially loved the "naps with your pets." What a wonderful reframing of a traumatic illness. This brought back many poignant experiences I was privileged to share with some of my patients. Pets seem to have a significant role in healing for some. It seems like you will be on top of the GERD situation in no time.

Joy's suggestion that your tiredness could be from weight loss, which is true. I don't know what others' experience is with esophageal problems, but my experience is what sometimes is a debilitating exhaustion. My approach to this, most of the time, is "I don't have time for this...or I didn't schedule this into my day...etc." Lately, that has been increasingly difficult, which is why I have once again, said "I'm ready to get it fixed."

Joy also mentioned Silent GERD. There have been times over the years where this was my situation. Joy, can you have Silent GERD and have pain? I have tried to find an answer to this and thought you might know.

Bluesky, I hope you continue to experience improvement! I'll be checking up to see how you are doing.

Blessings and Gifts!

ncbluesky
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/7/2010 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear pinecones, My cancer story , well, it s pure Southern Gothic. It begins with a hurricane and how to survive with a car, the clothes on your back, and what is left of your wits. I still can not reframe that ugly picture except as S.Goth. I try to retain my sense of humor/humanity in re: I fought villanous insurance companies and played Survivor- Paperwork Island with the gov. by using the same tactics they teach you to use as a hostage. The details are better suited for a private conversation. I do believe that particular hell brought my cancer. I am so glad you mentioned your rather polite I don t have time feelings. That is exactly how I feel except my response is much less tactful and laced with vulgarities. The pain I have feels almost muscular- along the lines of a spasm and tender aftermath. Pets- I knew I had cancer b/c my cat climbed up on my back, sniffed the spot, and promptly urinated on it (never misses the litter box) several months before I became aware of it. And never billed me! Bless ya.

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/7/2010 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bluesky, It has taken me a while to respond to your last post because I am still laughing...yes, out loud!! I hope you have considered writing and publishing. You are very good :-). From the little you share regarding your challenging experience...it sure sounds Southern Gothic to me. As I mentioned, being aware of the personal nature of the total experience, you are welcome to email me. I'd love to hear the whole story. my7pinecones@yahoo.com .

You are a true "thriver"...rather than a survivor. I love your cat story. Your cat is so tuned in. How did you respond at the time? Did you consider what he/she was offering you? (besides the urine LOL) I'm assuming that you have had no "offerings" on your esophagus area, which is consistent with your report...no cancer!! Have you had an esophageal motility study? With the muscular spasm observation, it might be helpful. There is a thread "Diffusing Esophageal Spasm Feedback" that might be helpful to read. Like the person posting, I, too, have had many coronary as well as pulmonary tests to rule out whether the source was esophageal or heart/lung.

I had a funny (now...it was far from it then) experience with my first esophageal surgery which was in the early 80s. Although recently divorced, I was still covered by my ex-husband's insurance and had preauthorized all treatment and surgeries. As I was coming out of the anesthesia and hardly knew where I was or even who I was...I was awakened by a man in a suit who I didn't know. He responded to my "yes?" by asking me, "WHY have YOU done this?" I barely got out..."What have I done?" He proceded to take off on a tangent telling me I should be ashamed of myself and that I needed to leave the hospital at once. (I honestly, because of my unclear head, envisioned myself walking down the road in a hospital gown holding onto a cath bag and pushing my IV LOL...quite an image). He told me I had "cheated" and lied about preauth (no extensive computers). I finally got "motivated" sufficiently to (anxiety overrides anesthesia) to tell him I had not lied, I was covered, to check his sources and to get out of my room!!

We have come a long way in patient "rights" since then. I do wish we could work in a more shared way...your kitty showed you the problem, and you have loved and cared for your kitty...both are vitally important.

Stay strong and with your wonderful sense of humor!!

Post Edited (my7pinecones) : 3/7/2010 3:56:54 PM (GMT-7)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/7/2010 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had pain at times with mine. It was when I was bad with my eating.

Bluesky,I know the power of an animal's comforting. when I was coming down with pneumonia my cat wanted to put her head on my chest all the time. It relaxed my breathing.


Joy

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/7/2010 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Joy for the info. I wasn't sure about the pain. That makes sense that it could be food related.

I love hearing about these wonderful animals. I am retired now, but was a college professor/clinical director and a psychotherapist. I specialized in adults who had been abused as children. I was privileged to have heard the most tender and amazing stories of animals and nature, also, from these wonderful men and women who were cared for as children in need.

ncbluesky
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/7/2010 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear couchtater and pinecones, It is amazing how maternal cats are. I thought she was ill and took her to the vet where she was declared to be in perfect health. Today has been a good day. Went outside and piddled around the garden. Signs of spring everywhere and inside my hoophouse which I have neglected for nearly two months was a great surprise- fresh greens still alive and growing. So I ate them. I have spent six years doing edible landscaping and in spite of GERD, I refuse to give up either tending it or eating it. I ll check out the posts on spasms. I am going to ask the doctor about any exercises- there has to be something to strengthen the LES. Thank you both for sharing and listening. You are among the gifts that I thank God for every day. Bless yall (how s that for Southern Goth?)

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/7/2010 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
It is nice to share somethings in common with people other than GERD! I, too, play in our gardens and have lots of edible landscaping! I hope you won't give up your joys and pleasures in life!! Please post what you find on exercising (there are some threads on this forum) when you find things that you think work. After my surgery, I will be wanting to do helpful things.

We're still having a few spring snows (melt fast) but things are coming up. Thanks bluesky for the gentle reminder and nudge to get over "how I feel" (rotten) as I approach this surgery (I find out Friday). I WILL get with it :=}! Thanks for your gifts!

Joy, I so enjoy reading the many and varied posts you have contributed on our forum. You have been so giving with your knowledge and experience. Thanks for your willing generosity.

Great and sustained blessings to you both!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/7/2010 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
You two are very sweet.
Bluesky, are you a southern belle? I'm a Georgian through and through. I love the south. There is so much beauty here with the mountains and all.

Also everything I've learned about weak LES is that you can never strenghten it without surgery. Once it's weak it's always weak. It's sad to say. :(

Joy

my7pinecones
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 3/7/2010 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I love the South! However, I can't claim her as my own...unless Southern California counts LOL which is where I lived for nearly 30 years. Joy, you mention Georgia mountains, very beautiful...but for nearly 40 years I have lived in the magnificent Rockies!! My back yard is a river :=)

I've never found anything to change the LES except surgery. If anyone discovers anything...I'm game to try it, but over many years nothing I have tried has helped. Currently as I await esophageal surgery #4 even the exercise of breathing is quite difficult. I look forward to relief!!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/8/2010 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, pinecones, I've heard the Rockies are beautiful. I'd love to have a river in my backyard. All I've got is a very small pond and it's in my neighbor's cow and goat pasture. Phew!

Joy
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