New here and a bit scared.

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neecyrae68
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/27/2010 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, my name is Denise and I had a really scary incident last night.  I was told by a doctor a long time ago that I had Gerd or reflux..not sure which. I told him what was happeneing and he prescribed me Rantidine. Well since then I have lost my insuraunce and have been taking over the counter rantidine.
 
 I wake up at night choking and have lots of acid in my throat. Last night it happened and it was the worst ever. It seemed like I was never going to catch my breath. This morning I can't hardly talk from being so hoarse. This was the scariest "attack" yet. It dont help matters that almost exactly a year to  the day my step-mother died from choking to death. It had nothing to do with Gerd..but it was what was running through my mind. I never have these choking spells any other time than at night.  It happens every couple of months. One thing, I did not take the rantidine before I went to bed last night..I felt ok. I guess that was my first mistake. Anyway, it really scared me that it took longer to get my breathing under control. I usually vomit and burp alot after these incidents. I really could use some reassuring. Can you pass out after a while trying to catch your breath? Usually I can just start breathing through my nose and I calm down quick, but last night I just felt like I couldnt do anything. Can you die from this if you pass out? Sorry, I am not trying to be an alarmist, but this one really shook me up. As I said, I have no insuraunce so is there a really good OTC med to take? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks! Denise

speden
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 8/27/2010 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise,

Have you elevated the head of your bed? If you have a weak esophagus then it's not a good idea to lay down on a flat bed, since the stomach contents can move up to your throat and lungs. Also you should sleep on your back to keep pressure off your stomach.

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/27/2010 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise -
Welcome to the GERD forum. I always had very good results using prevacid, but I haven't tried the otc stuff yet. Might give it a try though. speden is right about elevating your bed too, about 4 to 6 inches. I'd probably go 6 inches with the info you have given us. You have to raise the feet of the bed and not just ad pillows or prop up the mattress. This will let gravity help keep things where they belong.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09

Ritchg
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 8/27/2010 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise
I don't know if you have a wal-mart around where you but the ones around here offer a lot of prescription generic meds. for like 4.00 which is alot cheaper than alot of the overcounter meds. Luckily I have insurance don't know where I would be with out it I guess in pain every day because I couldn't afford all of my meds. Good luck to you and sorry to hear you are having so much trouble.

Take Care
Ritch

neecyrae68
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/27/2010 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the replies. I will try elevating the bed. I appreciate knowing I am not alone.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/28/2010 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise,
My name's Denise, too...glad to meet you! Anyway...a couple things come to mind. First, stop worrying. You can't die of what you're experiencing. I know it's a scary thing to go through, but try to relax when it happens, breathe, and try drinking water. Water will wash the acid out of your esophagus and help relieve the effects, if you can drink without having it cause other problems.

Do you have Maalox on hand? A good swallow of that would calm things down in a hurry. Those types of liquid antacids are perfect for putting out the fire. They won't help stop it from coming back, but it will relieve the pain.

Elevating the head of your bed is critical. You can buy bed raisers, and just use them at the head of the bed. You can even elevate the bed raisers further by putting a piece of 2X6 under each one if you like. Other people use only blocks of wood or bricks or cement blocks to raise their bed. Whatever you choose, raise it ASAP.

Next, since most GI docs will prescribe a proton-pump inhibitor for severe GERD (and it sounds like yours is pretty severe at times) that would be a critical over the counter med to start with. The prescribed dose usually starts at 20mg a day--taken a half hour to an hour before breakfast--but in your case if nighttime is your biggest issue, a half hour to an hour before dinner would be better. Docs then tend to go to 20mg before breakfast and before dinner if the once a day isn't effective. It goes up from there, but that's a good start.

The Zantac (Rantidine) at night is also a good idea. When I was at my worst, my doc prescribed 300mg of that at bedtime, in addition to the proton pump inhibitor I took.

Ritchg had a good point...there are places who compete for pharmacy business by charging only $4 for generic prescriptions. You can find generic PPI's...I take one that is the generic for Protonix--a very good PPI. If you can get to a doc who can prescribe them for you generically, and find that source, that would be the very best option.

Since you have this problem, and it is reoccurring, a visit to your doctor is in order. Until then, the over the counter choices will help a lot.

Good luck with finding a solution. You're on the right track.
Be sure to stay with us...we'll support you and offer whatever advice we can.
Take care,
Denise

neecyrae68
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/28/2010 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise..I appreciate all of your suggestions. I am not sure I understand what a proton pump is? Is it medication? I am hoping to gain some insuraunce sometime soon so I can get to the doctor. I am just starting to get my voice back after two days. This was the worst attack yet..I have to admit, it kind of makes me afraid to go to sleep :(

I am not sure how I would take medicine or drink water when I am having the attack, when it happens I am gasping for breath so badly. I seen where someone wrote that what the problem is, is I can't seem to exhale for a bit during the attack. Like I said, usually I can catch my breath by breathing through my nose, but this time it was impossible. I hate that it wakes you up out of a dead sleep!

Again, thanks for writing :)
Denise

Ritchg
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 8/29/2010 6:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise a Proton Pump Inhibitor is a type of reflux medication like prilosec, prevacid, nexium or Dexilant. There are generic forms of prilosec, and prevacid but not the others. Hope this answers your questions.

Ritch
Ritch

Gerd
High Blood Pressure, High Choleterol
Chrons Disease

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/29/2010 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise,
I've recently visited an allergy/asthma doc, who said that when you can't breathe like that it's due to a spasm in your vocal chords. That makes perfect sense in your case, since you've had vocal hoarseness symptoms after the attack.

He gave me a paper and asked me to practice what he calls "Relaxed Throat Breathing". Here's the procedure. He said the procedure should be practiced when there is no attack (it's called a "Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion (Vocal Cord Dysfunction)")

RELAXED THROAT BREATHING EXERCISES
During practice:

1. Sip water before and after doing these exercises.
2. Exercises:

A. Shoulders Down
This is the cue for you to relax

B. Hand on abdomen
This helps you focus on easy abdominal breath support--the best and most relaxed way to breathe.

C. Gentle, quick "sip" of air IN (sip, sip, sip)
Breathe through your mouth
Relaxed lips
about 1 second inhale each sip

D. Gentle blow OUT (blow, blow, blow)
Through slightly tight lips
about 2-3 seconds for each blow out

3. Practice 5 reps, 20 times per day when you are NOT having symptoms.

4. Make it automatic, and use it at the first sense of throat tightness to prevent or suppress the VDC. You may start with the inhale or the exhale.

5. Use it to "pre-treat" yourself before known triggers for VCD. (This would be difficult in your case, since it wakes you up...you could practice it, though, so you're ready when it happens)

6. This technique can also be a "stress buster" tool to use in other situations.

Actually, Protonix is also a proton pump inhibitor that is now in generic form, but not over the counter. Ritchg may mean OTC meds. There are acid pumps in your body that produce acid and send it to your stomach. The medication stops the pumps from producing the acid. It is much more effective than Zantac-type medications, although, as I said, with extreme reflux problems, both work well together.

I hope you will be able to visit a doctor soon. Until then, if you can get your bed elevated, it could make a real difference. Also, be sure to practice the breathing exercises, so if you get yourself into that situation, you can know how to breathe effectively without panic.

Glad you're with us, Denise. We'll do what we can to support you through, but as Kitt always says, we're not doctors, and your best course of action is to get to one as soon as you can to be evaluated and treated. Until then, you can try the things suggested here. Many have gone through similar experiences, so what we can offer is our own experiences. We can't diagnose, or provide you with medical advice...just our own personal knowledge, gained from our own struggles with GERD.

Good luck, and practice that breathing!
Denise

neecyrae68
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/29/2010 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks alot!! I do hope to see a doctor soon :) I will practice breathing, raise my bed and look for some OTC meds in the meantime. I just feel better having people understand! :)

sip..sip..sip :)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/29/2010 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise, I'm glad you found us! When I was struggling, there were many very negative forums on the internet, and many that are not actively responded to--threads whose last activity was sometime in 2008!

This is a great group of people. I came when I was considering having the Nissen Fundoplication surgery to repair my non-functioning valve (the LES, which is supposed to keep acid in the stomach). I'd read very frightening things about the surgery and its results, and at this forum I found people who'd actually experienced the surgery and had very sensible, positive, and realistic things to say. They guided me through my decision, surgery, and recovery, and I am very appreciative. Because of the help I received here, I decided to remain an active member, and see if I can pay some of that kindness forward to help another person in search of help. In addition, I've made some very good friends, and I love keeping in touch with them!

Sip, sip, sip, blow, blow, blow! Practice, so you've got the tools you need!
Glad to hear you're going to be proactive and help yourself in whatever way you can right now.

We're here for you!
The other
Denise
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