Hi everyone, new member finally accepting I have GERD/LPRD....

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txtri
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/27/2010 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone -
 
First, I want to thank the forum creators, moderators, and contributors.  This is an excellent resource, and very comforting in many ways.  I am grateful that it exsists.
 
So, this is going to be long, but I feel it is necessary for me to put "everything out there" in terms of my expereince with gerd/lprd.  It will help me with keeping perspective on it.
 
I am going through a lot of personal changes in my life right now, both internally and externally.  I came to a point in my life where I needed to make changes, becuase the path I was on was going to lead me to a world of hurt (I anticipated.)  A big part of this new outlook, is addressing personal problems instead of ignoring them or pushing them aside.  My GI distress being one of them.  I knew something was wrong, but didn't even want to deal with it for almost 4 years.  I finally went to a GI this past Monday.  She  concluded it was GERD and IBS, and wanted me to come in for an endoscopy.  The second part really freaked me out.  I thouhgt "I am only 28, does she already need to check for Barrett's!?"  It freaked me out, but gave me a reality check that is a blessing in of itslef.
 
So why did I avoid accepting the fact I had a problem?  Well, because it is tied to an event in my life that COMPLETELY wrecked my state of mind, my confidence, self esteem, sense of self, and was a tremendous source os shame and severe stress.  It was when I was dealing with that, that the gerd showed up.  It makes me really look into the psychological basis of this disease.
 
The "event" occured during an already stress heavy stretch of my life.  I have been dealing with mental/emotional issues for a long time.  Anxiety, depression, OCD, anorexia, bulimia, excercise addiction, etc.  I was in a relationship that brought its own stress, stressful work situation, family stress,  and I was studying for the MCAT (medical school entrance exam.)  I was strung out to say the least.  At that time, just a few weeks before the MCAT, I decided to go to the beach (as I was an avid surfer at the time.)  With surfing there is an unspoken "pecking order" of sorts out in the water.  The locals and more expereinced guys get a bigger share of waves.  Sometimes it doesn't quite work like that, and tensions flare out in the water.  There was a guy who was just taking wave after wave, and wouldn't let a single one pass him by.  This erked me, but what sent me over the top was when he started yelling at me to get out of his way on one wave.  (I know this sounds silly, but it was very real for me, so please bare with me, it is GERD related.)
 
Something inside of me just snapped. Like I temporarily lost my mind, something just came over me...a real anger.  The next wave he took off on, I blatantly got in his way and cut him off.  He flew past me cursing and cussing, and saying all sorts of harsh things.  At that moment, all of that anger, angst that came over me completely went away.  I felt hollow, and totally meek.  Like a complete coward, it was so bizarre.  He came back paddling towards me just tearing into me verbally and threatening me.  I couldn't even look at him in the face, I just cowarded away.  I even gave a weak "sorry."  It was one of the most humiliating expereinces of my life, if not the MOST humiliating.  It probably only lasted less than a minute, bt it felt like an eternity.  A lot of people saw it happen so it made it that much worse.  I left the water completly crushed, ashamed, disgusted with myself.  I couldn't even process the fact that I was a "coward."  It was too much for me to bare.  I just drove home numb.  As much as I don't want to admit it, the expereince traumatized me.  Not so much the event itself, but how I reacted to it, and how my mind couldn't handle the reality of it.  I got back home with this pain started to grow inside of me, the MCAT coming up, work getting crazier, and my other mental issues kicking into overdrive.  For the next 2 months I couldn't sleep.  All I could think about was my cowardness.  Everytime I remembered the event, my stomach would feel as if someone just punched it.  Like my diaphragm would rise and drop - literally.  Every time I would think about the event, my stomach would react that way.  My immune system was weakened, and I started to get sick frequently.  As if I wasn't in enough pain already, I took a job promotion that required me to lead a multi-million dollar project - to prove to myself that my cowardness and that "event" would not stop me from moving on with my life. 
 
Right around the MCAT, which was three weeks later, the GERD symptoms appeared.  At first it was just a constant burning at the upper part of my abdomen, but later I started to feel food regurgitating back into my throat after eating, or when I would burp.  Then I started to have all kinds of upper respiratory issues (sinus congestion, asthma like symptoms, excessive phlegm, irritated eyes, and just not feeling good in general.)  After that, IBS symptoms started.
 
I suffered this was for nearly four years.  I went to therapy, tried to talk it out with others, but the digestive issues remained.  Now, I am coming to terms with it, and accepting it and focusing on how I can make it better.  I still haven't really recovered from "coward" thing, so I am hoping that by really dealing with this it just might resolve the GERD/LRPD.  But in the meantime, taking Prilosec and changing eating, sleeping, etc and seeing a GI.
 
If you read this, thank you.  I know it was long winded, but I felt I had to do it, and be honest with myself about the situation.  If anyone has any feedback, or input, it would be appreciated.
 
My prayers go out to each and everyone one of you.  GERD is horrible, and there are some peopple on here who have dealt with it in its worst forms.  Although my symptoms cause me distress, there are many who are that much worse and my sympathies go out to you.  Hopefully we can all recover from this some day.
 
Thank you and God bless,
 
J.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/27/2010 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and for taking the time to share your story with us. That was very brave of you and I hope it has helped you to feel better about yourself. We must learn to not beat ourselves up all the time and accept that we have issues whether they be big or small is OK.



You have taken a very positive steps in seeing a therapist. The one thing I did not read but perhaps missed it .................have you been dx by a GI physician and had any testing for GERD? If so what were the test results and what treatment did your physician order for you?



You will find as you read through the forum that many of our members have had surgery and others are controlled by medications, diet, and alternative treatments.



Please do let us know how we can support you as we are here and we do care.



Again a warm welcome,



Kitt

txtri
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/27/2010 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Kitt -

Thank you for the welcome.  I have actually seen a GI doc previously, back in early 2007, when all of this more or less started.  She had me do a barium swallow, which showed "minimal reflux."  She just gave me an rx for Protonix, which I never filled (I was too stubborn to accept the fact I even had a little gerd as a result of the event.)  After that, I never sought further treatment.  I talked to my primary care doc about it, and she said it sounded like "silent gerd."  That was late last year.  She suggested I take Prilosec, and maybe do an endocopy ten years from now as a precaution - since white males tend to be at highest risk for complications from gerd.)  This year, I just decided to go see another GI (one of the best in town) and be completely honest with her about ALL of the symptoms.

She told me to take Prilosec once a day, along with some probiotics she gave me, and to schedule an endoscopy.  I have been mulling over the endoscopy, which I feel I should do, but I am not sure when.  I have a another stressful stretch with work coming up in April and May, and then a long vacation oversees in June (3 weeks.)  So I am trying to decide if I should go ahead and get the endoscopy, or wait until I come back from vacation in June.

I really don't deal with burning in my chest and stomach, only when I drink cool to cold water.  The worst symptom I deal with is after eating, and I have to be careful when belching because of regurgitation.  That is the worse, so I try to be careful.  I have already adopted some new behaviors (not eating for 3 hours before going to bed, no fatty foods, no citrus, etc.)  And that is helping already.  I am surprised that my nasal congestion has pretty much went away as a result, and I feel better in general.  The biggest thing I worry about is the long term stuff.  I have no problems changing my behavior, as a GERD diet is healthy in general.  What I do need to watch is excercise.  I do triathlons, so I need to be really mindful to train/race on an empty stomach.  So far I am heading to that rule of thumb, and it is going to take some adjustments.

Sorry about how long my previous post was.  I feel like I put too much out there : )  But life is short, and I want to do whatever it takes to make my health better.  I really feel that this issue is more mental than anything else, in my case at least.

Keep being a great admin.  I think its great how you formally welcome all newcomers : )

Thank you again.

J.


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/27/2010 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I second the motion...Welcome! :))

I, too, am basically a "coward". I was raised always to submit to my elders (which in my opinion is anyone older than me, even by a year). I have a hard time with confrontations and try to shy away from them as much as possible.

I believe that holding in all those repressed emotions have caused some of my gastric troubles. I feel like I'm tied up in knots when the emotions are high and I don't know which way to turn.
Being in the medical field I'm sure you have a great deal of stress. Stress is a big cause of making more acid in your stomach, which can cause troubles.

I had the silent GERD also. I had the Hill procedure three months ago and am doing great.



Don't forget to raise the head of your bed 6-8 inches. This give gravity a chance to help you.

Joy

txtri
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/27/2010 10:50 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Couchtater!

 

Yes, I am now sleeping on my couch to keep my head raised : )  I am going to invest in one of these foam wedges as well.

It's weird, it feels like my stomach sits higher than it use to.  Like it sits closer to my sternum since having these problems.  Kind of sounds like a hernia.  It makes sense, since my stomach was doing all sorts of weird things is response to that stress.

I bought aloe juice today and started drinking that, and plan on doing so everyday.  Making a tea out of fresh ginger really helps settle things as well.  My goal is to treat this as naturally as possible, and work on my issues with "cowardness."  I think that is a mute point for me, because everybody is afraid of something.  I am no different, I'm not perfect.  Accepting that is another issue : )

Thanks again guys, and have a great night!

Best,

 

Jo.


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/28/2010 1:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't use the foam wedge, it's a waste of money. Go to walmart or kmart and get a set of bed risers. They are cheaper and work better. The wedge will cause you to bend at the stomach causing more reflux issues at night.

Joy

zeldagoblin
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 3/28/2010 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jo, welcome. I really do feel strongly that stress plays a big part in all this. I hesitated so much to admit that to myself, because it felt as if putting it down to stress was someone minimizing the importance and severity of the illness. My worst symptoms hit me during the most stressful year of my life, and have gotten worse ever since. I first started to suffer properly 5 years ago when I left a cult religion I had been raised in, my inner core belief system was shattered to pieces, lost my relationship with my mother who is a member even still, and I spent the next 2 years trying to rebuild my mind and figure out just who I was without all that mind control. I still can't understand how I got through it, but I can certainly feel the toll it took on my health.

I try really hard to focus on relaxation now, although my stupid brain makes THAT into a chore as well, something I need to worry about completing or doing enough of! It is very hard to get the mastery over stress.

You have passed the biggest hurdle, mentally speaking, by acknowledging the stress and coming to terms with it. Nice job :-) I hope you start to find some relief very soon xx

txtri
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/29/2010 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks again everyone!

MY plan of attack is to limit the damage as much as possible.  This includes dietary changes, not eating for three hours before sleeping, sleeping with my head raised, excercising on an empty stomach, drinking Aloe juice daily, eating pure yogurt everyday, consuming loads of anti-oxidant rich foods, taking the prescribed meds.  Hopefully that can keep the gerd at bay, while I seriously work on dealing with the emotional baggage/stress that I think lead to this, and finding new ways to relax and limit the impact stress has on my mind/body.  I truly believe I (along with help from my higher power) can beat this.  It's going to take time, and I accept that.

I appreciate everyone for taking the time to read my posts.  I feel bad because there are some folks on here that have it much much worse, and my heart goes out to you.  I hope with the advances in medicine, and understanding the factors involved in GERD, we can all find solutions. 

Best wishes,

J.

 

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