Please Help.. I need advice, opinions etc.

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snjmom
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/18/2010 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone.. I desperately need some advice on my situation. I am so glad that I found this site. Maybe I can get some clues as to what is or isnt going on with me. I will try to keep this as short as possible but I also give as many details as possible about my medical background and symptoms. Here we go:

I am a 40 year old white female. I am a non-smoker, non-drinker ... I have been diagnosed with the following conditions: Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Sleep Apnea, and Acid Reflux/GERD. I also am suspected of going through perimenopause as well.

The diagnosis of GERD was in 2004 when I had the Table Tilt Barium Xray Test performed. My doctors at the time never explained to me the symptoms or complications etc. of GERD. Over the years, I kinda left it go and entirely forgot about it. I would have bouts of heartburn or miscellaneous symptoms from time to time but they would come and go so I never really took anything for it.

Well in late 2009 to present, I have been struggling with some weird symptoms. Back in November 2009 my new family doctor told me to take Prilosec for 14 days to see if it helped my symptoms that I was having. I tried it and after about 2-3 days, I really noticed a great change. During this time I went online and everything I read suggested that a bad bout or for damage to take the medicine for at least 4-8 weeks to help heal the esophagus. So when she didn't agree with that and only ordered the 2 week treatment, I was hopeful and trusting that she knew what she was doing. For awhile, I had no real BAD flare ups ..... until the last couple of weeks.

Recently, I went to the ER. They did a full battery of blood work, an EKG, A chest XRAY and gave me a GI cocktail to drink to help the symptoms. The result: In their opinion I was suffering from just a bad bout of acid reflux or GERD. My follow up with my doctor is for this upcoming Tuesday.

So now for the symptoms (which is the most important part of this post to me) .... Please let me know if anyone experiences these symptoms.

1. constant throat clearing
2. hoarseness
3. feeling that there is something in the throat area
4. Sometimes it feels like a lump in the throat
5. discomfort in the throat/windpipe/larnyx area... not painful, its more like pressure, tightness etc. But still very scary to me
6. Sometimes it feels like I have to push food down my throat a bit.. I can eat and drink with no problems but it sometimes feels like I should massage it down my throat (if that makes sense)
7. I do have more belching than usual ..sometimes feel like my burp is "stuck" in my throat
8. Post nasal drip ..feels like mucus in back of throat sometimes
9. Bad breath
10. of course I do have heartburn but it seems the very least annoying of the problems

The main bothersome problem is the tightness/pressure feeling on my throat. I wish I could show you all the exact spot where it feels weird the most, that and the constant throat clearing gets rather annoying too.

So that is about it ... I am scared to death to get a scope test done. I have a severe phobia .. so any tests that can help confirm GERD that are INVASIVE would be my first and obvious preference. Is there any other tests that do not require swallowing a tube down my throat??? .... ANy advice, suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Please help me with this. I am scared to death and can't sleep at night because i am so freaked out.

abiotv
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/18/2010 2:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Do not freak out. I  live with this same situation for quite a while now. I've had two endoscopies done already. no big deal. They put you to sleep
and don't feel a thing. Unfortunately I have Barrets disease. Get  it checked,
 don't wait. I hadn't had a decent night sleep for the last three months.
I get up in the middle of the night with sore throat.
I am contemplatying surgery lately because my quality of life is beginning to be
pretty bad.....
If you wish to email me ..I'll be happy to communicate with u.
Julian
 
Edit:  Email removed from post.  Please post your email address in your profile and that way members only will see it for your own privacy.  Remember anyone can read the HW forums without being a member.
 
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
 
Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 3/18/2010 8:31:04 AM (GMT-6)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 3/18/2010 5:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi snjmom,
What you're describing are classic GERD symptoms. You've definitely come to the right place. Please don't let your worries about tests that you might need to take keep you from finding out what's going on and getting help for your symptoms.

Have you made an appointment with a GI specialist? Your symptoms are severe enough to warrant such a visit. You're right that two weeks of Prilosec will not be enough, judging from your symptoms.

I'm sure that lots of members here will stop by and respond to your post.
Thanks for writing your post with breaks in the text. I find it really hard to read posts that are solid text, with no line breaks!
Hang in there. There is help out there for you.
We'll do our best to support you through this, and offer whatever information we can.
Take care,
Denise

snjmom
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/18/2010 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the support!!

I was fearful that it was signs of something more severe than GERD symptoms. At least I feel now that there is some hope for my situation. I was terrified that it was cancer. The more and more I read the site, the more I notice "Hey, that sounds like ME!"

I also forgot to mention that I seem to have my worse actual "heartburn" occur in the morning when I wake up. Does that happen to anyone else? ...

I will talk to my family doctor on Tuesday to get a referral to see a GI specialist. At the very least I am hoping that she listens to me and gives me a longer treatment plan with a PPI drug so I can get some protection from further damage. Is there any PPI that works best at HEALING the esophagus???? ....

Thanks again!!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 3/18/2010 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi snjmom,
Do you have the head of your bed elevated? I'm not suggesting that you pile a bunch of pillows to raise up your head...that just creates pressure on your stomach, and is likely to cause even more reflux. If you put blocks of wood, bricks, cement blocks, or bed raisers under the legs of the head of your bed, it will elevate your head in a way that will help keep the acid in your stomach. It's very common to have more heartburn when you've been laying down...when you're upright, gravity helps to keep the acid from refluxing as much.

I've been through a lot of different PPI's. I started on Prilosec, then went to Nexium, and am now on Protonix. I was a patient who needed to take a fairly high dose twice a day to get coverage (and even then I had some breakthrough heartburn). My dose was 40mg Protonix morning and night.

My experience communicating on this forum has demonstrated that the PPI that is best for you is very individual. What works great for one person, isn't as effective for another. You haven't been on Prilosec long enough to know how it does for you. My GERD got progressively worse over the years, and my meds have been switched by doctors.

Don't worry...your symptoms are classic. As you said, the more you read posts here, the more you'll see just how many of those symptoms are shared by others!
Good luck getting answers to what's going on!
Take care,
Denise

snjmom
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/18/2010 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the advice and support! ... So, does it seem unlikely that I would have cancer or something else life threatening? I mean I realize there is no way for anyone to know that 100% but I guess what I am desperate for is confirmation (which I am getting from this site) .. confirmation that is is typical GERD symptoms and that I have some hope for medicine therapy (as opposed to surgery etc.) ... My main concern was that it was throat cancer or esophagus cancer ... I just re-read my post so far and OMG I apologize for being so repetitive and frantic. I seem to rephrase the same thing over and over just to get it in my head that it IS GERD/acid reflux symptoms.

I want to say to everyone, please be patient with me ..your support here has made a dramatic difference in my daily life in such a short amount of time. This has been a true blessing!! ... but still I find myself feeling the symptom and freaking out or worrying about it even after reading about how distressing and unpleasant the symptoms really are. Does anyone else go through that? ... Where you KNOW that it is coming from GERD yet still find yourself saying "There has just got to be something else wrong here" ... Can GERD really be something so treatable and yet the symptoms cause panic and cause the sufferer to feel like they are dying? ...

I a beginning to think I am a hypochondriac.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/18/2010 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome. Relax. Stress can make you feel worse.
Denise is right, you need to raise the head of your bed.
Now, about the scope.... I am a wuss and I went through 3 scopes and all of the other tests out there. I survived. I didn't like it, but I got through them.
The first test is usually a barium swallow. There's nothing to it. You drink a chalky liquid as the position you different ways and take Xrays. I was a little nervous the first time so I got some valium to relax me. I didn't need it for the others afterwards.
The second test is the EGD. They sedate you and you know nothing until they wake you up afterwards. I was nervous so they even gave me some valium to relax me. I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep in the waiting room. They inserted the BRAVO during my first EGD. That was my third test.
The hardest test to get through is the motilty test. You can't be sedated because it would affect the data. You just have to relax and follow the doctor's orders. I had to focus hard on happy thoughts to get through it and "zone out".

You are not a hypochondriac. You have an aggrevating illness which needs help.

Joy

snjmom
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/18/2010 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joy, I did go through the barium xrays and was told I had acid reflux disease. That was in 2003 or 2004. I was in between doctors after that so I never really got any consultation or medicine therapy for it. Over the years it is my guess that it just got worse to the point where it is not just simple occasional heartburn anymore.

I noticed something else ... you see I have a laptop and for me it is most comfortable to be laying on my bed, on my stomach when I am online. Do you think that this position would cause me to feel more of these unpleasant throat and chest symptoms? Because I seem to notice it is harder to swallow and my throat feels more "strange" this way but I don't know if it is the position or just that I am freaking myself out again.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/18/2010 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
It's the position. You're putting stress on your stomach and esophagus.
I have a recliner which I relax in while I surf. It feels good.

I had the surgery back in December. It was the first time I had ever been in the hospital since I was born. The thoughts of having all of the tests ran and getting the surgery used to terrify me. Some how, I managed to dig real deep and find that inner strength needed to go through it all and not freak out about it. The wonderful people here helped me in calming my fears. Bill, Denise, Barb, Kitt and many others were my touchstone.
Take a deep breath...relax...
Make an GI appointment...
Go through the tests...
Ask for sedatives when you can get them if your nerves are tight.
And lastly, stick around, for we have large shoulders to lean on...big ears for listening...large hearts to comfort you...

Joy

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 3/18/2010 11:40 PM (GMT -6)   
snjmom-
I see you've gotten some great advice already. Sure sounds like you have the classic symptoms of GERD to me. It surprises me you weren't put on PPIs when you have the dx of reflux in '03 or'04. Alot of people only need to take the meds for this. There are several out there and you may need to try a couple different ones before you find the right one.
Hope you get to see the GI doctor soon. Seems so many PCPs want to just prescribe PPIs and hesitate to get the patients to see the GI docs. I don't know why that is. My PCP did the same thing many years ago and finally sent me to the GI doctor after I complained of food getting stuck.
As Denise and Joy said, relax and try to stress too much. It really does make things worse. Welcome to the Family!

Take care,
Bill

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/19/2010 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the GERD/Heartburn Forum. I have been following your thread and as usual I see you have received great support and advice from our awesome members.



I am always here for you as are all of the members so please know you are not alone. Your concerns are real and I do hope you will make an appointment with the GI physician soon.



When you start to feel overwhelmed and anxious about your sx stop and take a deep breath. Remember to stay in the moment and not anticipate the worst case scenario.



Do stick with us and know that we are here to support you.



Gentle Hugs,



Kitt

MinnesotaMark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 3/19/2010 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
snjmom --hope you feel better soon! MM

juan dela cruz
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/21/2010 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
do you experienced shourtness of breath and dizzyness?

tofeelbettersoon
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/21/2010 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
     I feel for you!! I have had ALL your symptoms that you described. I take Nexium myself and it worked for me. There are larger miligrams if needed. I want tosay that along with GERD I also have a hiatal hernia. Have had this for 30 or more years. Look up hiatal hernia for yourself and see.  In layman terms they call it '' an Upside-down Stomach " The Nexium has really helped. I have to take it every day if I want to feel good. Who doesn't? It heals your stomach. Check out info on all GERD prescriptions. I know nothing else to say right now on this, except I know it is miserable. Good luck and God bless
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