You sound a lot like me when you mentioned not being able to run and lift weights. I too have stopped running since developing GERD. I also have stopped playing racquetball, but I still golf. The other day I was thinking about how many new sets of golf clubs I could have bought for the same price I have paid for doctor visits and medication battling this condition.....and I have only had GERD for 13 months.
I am 39 years old, and am in good health except for GERD. This past November I got Epididymitis again. I battled that back in 2007 as well. I had to take 2400 milligrams of Ibuprofen a day to keep the pain at bay. I had to take two courses of Ciproflaxin to get rid of the infection. I started taking Trazadone for sleep because the pain kept me awake. Around Christmas time the Trazadone stopped working, so I got Zolpidem (ambien) to help me sleep. It helps me get to sleep for a few hours at least every night, but I do believe my GERD symptons have gotten worse since taking Zolpiden. By the way my epididymitis is much better, just get sore from time to time. However, it isn't anything as bad as GERD.
I live in Omaha now. Moved in July of 2009 after I got married. My wife has lived in Omaha for 15 years. We do hope to move to Minnesota next year.
MN Mark, you mentioned Crosby having surgeons with vast experience with lap fundo surgery. That wouldn't be that far from where I am originally from and if I move back to my home area, that is where I would go. I see that they do the Stretta procedure. It is advertised on their website. I have read that the Stretta procedure has been discontinued due to lawsuits. However, maybe it still is available and could be an option for you at Crosby.
Just chuckling about all of the people from Minnesota recently posting here on HealingWell. I still consider myself a Minnesotan, and we have MN Grandma, MN Chick and MN Mark. I also thought I read that the forum moderator Kitt is from Minnesota as well. Must be something in the water that gave us this miserable condition...or maybe it is the Vikings and their constant misfortune that passed it on to us.