I went through a very similar experience with my GI doc and PH monitor. I was having severe lung issues and my asthma and family doctors were both confident that the severity was a reaction to my reflux. They sent me to a GI doc for testing. Keep in mind that I was having what I considered significant reflux (I never left the house without TUMS and was keeping Maalox in business.)
On top of that, I was taking 40mg Protonix twice a day and 300mg Ranitidine at bedtime. My lungs were extremely bad and I was on high doses of steroids to conteract the effects of reflux. I had also been hospitalized for a week after a bad episode that made my lungs dangerously impaired.
So...that said, when I had my first PH test I had a DeMeester score of 4 and my GI doc confidently told me that my lung issues were not being caused by reflux.
My family doc wasn't buying it. Still, I wasn't pushing for the surgery because I'd read so many horrible posts describing terrible side effects from the surgery. (I hadn't found this wonderful forum yet.) I went on like that for four years, with my lungs getting worse and worse.
Finally, my family doctor said that I was in a life-threatening situation, and he referred me to a surgeon himself. The surgeon did a barium swallow and an endoscopy and told me that I would be a good candidate for the surgery and should call and schedule one. As I said, I was very hesitant to just go and have the surgery, so I went back to my GI doc with that information, and asked for a second opinion.
He did another PH test, and my DeMeester score was a fraction over 14, which is the top score for "normal". Still, after four years, and my doctor referring me himself, my GI doc said that I could either "continue using medication" or he could refer me to a surgeon to discuss the possibility of surgery.
Since I'd already found the medication route ineffective, I opted to see the surgeon. He was willing to do the surgery based on my doctor's opinions, but did mention that he was a bit concerned over the low DeMeester score.
Long story short, I had the surgery three weeks later. I had horrible lungs before and after surgery, with a lung infection. I was on very high doses of steroids...unhealthy doses. Anyway after two and a half months, my lungs cleared.
I only wish I'd insisted on the surgery four years earlier, because I ended up with thin skin that bruises and tears very easily, as a result of all the steroids.
I tell my story (sorry it's long) because I want to illustrate the fact that PH tests do not tell the whole story. Like you, I had extremely painful heartburn during the tests and was shocked to find that my reflux was not registering as high as I was perceiving it to be.
If you're suffering, don't give up.
I wish you the very best of luck!
Post Edited (dencha) : 10/28/2011 9:03:08 PM (GMT-6)