Please dear Friends... I am losing my mind...

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Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/11/2012 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
PlDear HW Friends,
 
Please I need your advice as I feel like I might die. 
 
Back in November 2011 I began to feel like I might choke as I took a bite of food and needed to push it down with a mouthful of water.  One day at work I felt severe, stabbing chest pain unlike anything I had felt.  I attributed it to stress but things immediately went downhill and I found it difficult to swallow any food because it felt stuck in the middle of my chest.
 
I am 50 years old and haven't had a period in a year and have had the bout of hot flashes and night sweats.  I used to become dizzy at times at night in bed and experience heart palpitations which I attributed to the change in weather and barometric pressure.  Am I insane? 
 
I have been trying to eat soft foods but have many food allergies (corn, milk, eggs, nuts, etc.) and have not been eating much because eveything I put into my mouth refluxes back (white and acid with some texture). 
 
I feel like I may die.  I have lost 35 pounds and am so weak I can hardly make it through the day.  I've been for a barium swallow (moderate reflux) and gastroscopy (negative) and countless blood tests, ultrasounds all of which have provided no answer to what is wrong with me.
 
Ohhhhh the night!  I dread the night.  The moment night falls the regurgitation of white matter and acid into the back of my throat starts and continues throughout teh night.  I am sleeping on a raised bed, with a wedge and pillows in a 90-degree position but the acid and contents continue to flow upwards into my mouth and sinuses strangling me.  I am terrified
 
I am going to die.  I am so sstressed and pleaswe help me.  No one seems to know what is wrong iwth me.  I am a wreck and exhausted and cannot eat anything soft even liquids reflux.  I am on prevacid fast tab twice a day and even the metoclopramide that is supposed to empty an already empty stomach is refluxing back into my mouth and choking me.
 
Please does anyone know what is going on with me!  Could it be hormones, an infection?  Parasite?  Anything?!
 
God Bless you all, please comment.  I am so afraid.
 
Paula

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/11/2012 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Paula,

I have been struggling with GERD for 4 years, normal gastroscopy, barium swallow showed a bit of reflux. I might not be to dissimilar from you. PPI's don't work for me either, and this is not abnormal for people with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD, people with a normal gastroscopy). I also lost about 30lbs due to a restricted diet that I used to maintain (which didn't help me). So as much pain as you are in, I do think you are just a rough case of GERD. I don't think you are going to die any time soon, and I don't think you are insane. But at the same time if I were you I would be following up with doctors for more testing (i.e. motility and ph testing).

Maybe you have some things going on in addition to your GERD. I hate to say it, but maybe your anxiety over the GERD symptoms is causing additional symptoms, which can happen. I don't really know, and nobody here can know 100% what is going on with your body. All I can tell you is, if it were me, I would keep seeing the doctor to get tests done, and I would not give up and try to stay positive. I know how hard it is but until you are diagnosed with something you don't know what you have, so you might as well save your head and heart the extra worry and try to imagine it as something fixable that you can and will overcome. Why give yourself the extra stress of 'what if'?

I hope you find the problem and are able to find a solution. I know how hard this can be, and wish you the best.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/11/2012 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
 

Welcome to the GERD/Heartburn forum. This forum is for questions, discussions and support relating to Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD - Heartburn) and include Causes, Complications, Diagnosis, Medical Treatments, Surgical Treatments, and Symptoms.

I am not a Dr. but I would suspect you have high anxiety going on along with your GERD symptoms.  You are not insane and you are not going to die.  You are a person going through a rough time and I agree with theacidrefluxman - be your own best advocate.  Look for a GI Physician that will follow up with further testing as you are obviously ill.  

Any illness that in some way seems to increase an individual's helplessness and hopelessness will also be a trigger for anxietyand/or depression.  

Here is a breathing exercise that may help you when your feeling anxous and afraid.  

The Divided Breath:

Imagine your lungs as having 3 parts. The bottom third, the middle, and top third. On the inhale fill the bottom third first, then the middle and finally the third. Make sure that this is one continuous breath, but divided, with a slight pause in between each third. Hold the breath in for 3-5 seconds if possible. Exhale in reverse. First blow out the top third, then the middle, and finally the bottom third of your lungs until all air is expelled. (remember the pauses) Repeat several rounds for a total of about 10 minutes. Practicing this every day will not only give you control and structure to your breathing, it will strengthen and loosen the thoracic muscles, allowing better, more productive breathing, and relieving the chest tightness!

Please know that we are here for you and keep talking with us.  Feel comfortable venting as we all need to let out our feelings.

Kindly,

Kitt 




~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/11/2012 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Acidreflux Man and Kitt,
 
You are my blessings.  Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.  I am indeed in panic mode and have even suffered anxiety attacks lately (never ever had one before).  I've been to ER 4 'x in the past week because for some reason, when nightfalls its almost like an attack.  I become cold and shaky and the reflux goes full force until morning.  Two days ago I was admitted and given IV fluids for dehydration.  Even now as we speak, the soy milk I drank for breakfast is back up in my throat with the acid.  At night the regurgitation is unending and terrifying. 
 
Is this what GERD does?  I've been fine until the dreaded 50...maybe hormones?  Gosh I wish I knew more.  But all of my tests have come back negative and Im so hopeless and sad.
 
God Bless you for writing back to me.  I feel like you've given me a hug and I really need one right now.  I can't stop crying.  I am supposed to be bringing home a new puppy in a month and Im so afraid that I won't be able to care for him.  He is the love of my life.  I've just lost my Dad and Im taking care of my Mom the best I can but this is taking the wind out of sails day by day.  I keep praying that I'll be ok. 
 
Thank you for giving me some hope, dear sweet people.

Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/11/2012 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
PS. The ER Doc gave me sub-lingual Lorazapan which doesn't help. It just makes it easier to cry.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/11/2012 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Paula,
 
I am so sorry to read of the death of your Dad and now you are the caregiver for you Mom so you have a lot of stress and grieve going on in your life.  We have a great forum, Anxiety and panic, and we would love to have you come and post of your stress and anxiety with us there.  Perhaps the members in that forum, including myself, can provide the support you need right now. 
 
As for the reflux/GERD I am posting a link for you to take a look at especially the info on which tests you should ask for and remember you are vulnerable right now.  If your Dr. gives you a hard time and tells you that you don't need further testing find a new one,  one that you can build a trust relationship with.
 
 
Be kind to yourself right now and take care of you as you are important.  “Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.
- Louise L. Hay.
 
Keeping you in my prayers,
 
Kitt
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/11/2012 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Kitt,

I just tried to eat 4 spoonfulls of pureed pumpkin and soymilk and it is stuck somewhere below my collarbones. This is what scares me the most!! I cannot eat! Not even soft foods. I have lost over 30 pounds and Im scared.

Is food getting stuck there common with GERD? Will it ever go away? Should I try to eat more to force it down... Im scared because at night everything comes back up into my mouth.

Please talk to me. I am terrified. I even took a Lorazapan to calm down but Im not calm. Im so dreading the night time when this becomes so much worse. Even standing up everything backs up into my throat at night!

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 3/11/2012 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Serrena,

Sorry you are going through this =(. Swallowing trouble is not uncommon with this condition, and I had this symptom with my first LPR flare-up. . I have a couple of questions:
1. Did you have the endoscopy performed prior to experiencing this symptom? If you did, the gastro would have picked up on any abnormalities related to damage from reflux. However, you may need to get a an esophageal manometry performed, as this tests for any motility issues.
2. How long have you been on your meds?
Feel Good,

-Faith

Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/11/2012 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Faith,
 
I had a GED which they say was normal.  I also had a barium swallow which showed moderate reflux.  I am supposed to have a PH monitoring test next week that scares the death out of me.
 
The day after my GED, I felt fine, they had given me a throat motility pill to take.  The pill got stuck in my throat just above my collarbones for what felt like days.  I was a mess.  I could taste the pill stuck there...perhaps in one of the six biopsy sites they took during the endoscopy.  Since then everything sticks there.  The PH Monitoring test scares me so much.
 
I don't know how I will be here at home with a tube down my nose and into my esophagus for 24 hours.  The ENT tried to look down at my throat and the moment the scope got to that point in my neck I freaked out and pulled it out!  Im sure I have more damage there now.
 
Have you had the PH Monitoring 24-hour test?  What does it show? 
 
Are you able to swallow solid food again?  Will I ever be able to sit down to dinner with my family ever again?  I am so darn scared.

Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/11/2012 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Faith,

I have been on Omeprazole suspension for 4 weeks which did not help. Now I have been on Prevacid fast tabs for a week and 1/2 now in addition to Metaclopramide, and Gaviscon liquid :(

Its just that Im getting worse and the regurgitation of white matter (Bile?) along with acid all day and night is relatively new and destroying me. I cannot get any sleep and cannot even eat a mouthful of plain yogurt.

I am just so hopeless. I would just one day wish to have dinner with my family again. I am an outsider, scared, alone and so afraid and I don't know if I will ever get better. Its been 4 months now... sometimes I dream that I will die.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/11/2012 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
You can ask for sedation with your scopes. Also they make a small capsule that they can attach (while your sedated) to your esophagus to do the pH test. It passes on through your body safely after three-four days. It's called a Bravo.

You've probably got a hiatal hernia causing the stuck food feeling. Believe me it's not stuck, the skin is just sensitive there and is irritated.
The idea testing you need is:
Barium swallow
Endoscopy
Stomach emptying
Motility study (manometry)
pH Study
Joy

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 3/11/2012 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Serenna,

I was petrified to undergo the 24 hour ph study also. I actually posted about this and quite a few of the wonderful members on this site really helped me through this. While this test isn't the most comfortable thing, it is tolerable (and I have major anxiety.) The ph test is really important because it will help your doctor determine your reflux pattern, the content of your reflux (gas, bile, acid, etc.) and if you ever consider getting surgery for your reflux you will need to have this test done. The double probe 24 hour ph test is also really important if you have both GERD and LPR because there are two sensors that measure the amount of reflux in both your throat and esophagus.

In reference to your question about me eating normally again, yes I am able to eat everything now but this took a while. First I need to heal the physical reflux damage (which was only a few months) and then I needed to work on the mental aspect of this (which took a bit longer). I recently underwent a manometry and was told I have no motility issues so that information has been very comforting to me.

The medicine takes a while to work, and could take up to 6 months to see results, especially if you have LPR. I just went through a major flare-up that started last July, and only now can I say I feel almost 100% better.
Feel Good,

-Faith

WrappedGal27
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/11/2012 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Serena, - so sorry you are going through this but you definitely have others here that have or are still struggling along with you.

I just recently posted my GERD Saga story so feel free to read it because it may help calm some of your fears. My REFLUX lasted for a few years and was not caught until just recently when I had my Endoscopy done which revealed I had a Hiatal Hernia and a rather abnormally LARGE Diaphram/Hole which made it easy for things to slide up and press on my chest and cause the severe GERD Pain/Reflux.

As a result of all that backwash coming up through my throat this past year, my Endoscopy revealed that my Throat/Esophogus was given the WORSE GRADE RATING of a D-

I did not test positive for Barrott's esophogus but I was headed in that direction or WORSE (cancer) if the Grade D did not improve.

Needless to say, none of the medications I took worked and Surgery has been the best option to fix this issue. I had surgery on Monday (March 5th) and was discharged on Wednesday (March 7th). I can't seem to sleep as the pain meds are just not working for me but instead making me very restless/anxious. I have slept 2 hours total (I think) over the past 3 days.

UGH...

You can read my full story here:

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2363603


*You will see from my story that I REFUSED the 24 hour PH Test after I had to suffer through the worst Manometry Test in the WORLD. I also learned AFTER I had this archaic test that they can put some type of 'chip' in your throat to record the PH testings and take the measurements as well for swallowing. If you have insurance and they will pay then RUN and get that TEST/PROCEDURE performed (they knock you OUT) instead of having to sit there while this strobe/snake goes up your nose and down your throat and stays there for almost an hour because the incompetent nurse could not get any reading 'standard' or 'calibrated' for almost 20 minutes.

It was just nuts. I stopped the test when she was nearing the hour mark and she confirmed that she was nearly done but I told her there was NO WAY I was sitting for another strobe to be put up my nose and down my throat and then I would need to where it for 24 hours and actually try and eat with it. No Way...

My Upper GI Series Test with the Barium Swallow showed enough to the doctors that I had SEVERE REFLUX and in my case ANY and ALL Foods caused it so I was not too interested in them trying to figure out which category my REFLUX was affecting..No need to take a Poll on my dime..

Here are a few things that I have been doing over the past few years:

Sleep in a Recliner and sit upright during the night-time. It is literally the only way to get any sleep and relieve the pain.

Don't eat past 6 pm OR stay up at least two hours AFTER you ingest something.

Even though you may have relief by chewing gum, this actually makes the GERD worse because the gum chewing causes you to swallow too much AIR which flares up the GERD.

Try Nexium or Dexilant for prescription meds. Omnaprozale did not WORK EVER for me but at least I had some relief with the Nexium until I became immune to it working and then the Dexilant did provide some relief but not enough relief to help the Esophogas heal.

Blessings to you!

WrappedGal27

Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/12/2012 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Friends,

You are all Godsends and my emotional as well as physical Saviors. :-) I am still afraid, which I guess is natural. I thought that perhaps I was getting a bit better but I just took a spoonful of Gaviscon liquid (which I use in addition to the Prevacid Fast-tabs) and within a minute it burst back up into my mouth, along with what feels like stomach contents and acid. :(

I am going to cancel the PH Monitoring test that was scheduled for me on March 20th because I reflux so much matter into my mouth all day and night that Im afraid I'll aspirate with that tube down into my esophagus and stomach for 24 hours.

Please, can you tell me, is it normal to reflux so much all the time, and ohhh Lord its so much worse at night. Stomach won't stop working and the moment it growls, within a second, it feels like my stomach contents and acid is right up to my nose.

Last night my sinuses were burning - even my eyes were burning.

Has this kind of thing ever happened to you?

Marcello
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 3/12/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Paula, do not cancel the appointment, I can't stress this enough.

These tests will help understand what's going on. Without them, it's guesswork.

You will not swallow the pH probe. It's securely fastened.

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 3/12/2012 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I would not cancel the test either. It is a very important test, and will assist in getting you the relief you need.

The "tube" is actually very, very thin. I also regurgitated often before my surgery, and the test did not cause any extra problems. The tube is so thin and tiny that I did not have any discomfort, difficulty eating, or anything. You do feel it there, but its not bad at all. If it does bother you, just keep in mind the end goal... getting you healthy again!

I used to regurgitate/reflux many times after every meal. I took PPIs, which made the reflux non-acidic, but did not fix the reflux itself. Its definitely not normal, but these tests you are doing will help your doctor put together a plan to get you back to normal.

Serenna50
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/12/2012 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Marcello and bowecho. I am so terrified. I just wonder if I will ever be able to eat again. I can't even put yogurt down without it refluxing. I've lost so much weight and am living on soy milk and may I ask you a question?

At night, Im propped up in a raised bed but the minute nightfalls my stomach won't stop growling and sending up acid and what I can only imagine is bile from an empty stomach into my mouth and nose and choking me...I sleep probably 2 hours a night.

Im so hungry I could die but I can't eat. Do you reflux that bad at night too?

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 3/12/2012 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Serena,

Yes, nighttime is a common time for reflux to flare up, possibly due to the relaxation of the LES as we "rest and digest". My worst flare-ups are always at night.

To this day, sometimes the only way I can get some sleep is to prop myself into a sitting position on the couch. I support myself by putting my pillow on the back of the couch (where your back would normally go) and lean against it. That in combination with the pillows I put behind my back leave me in a sitting position and I am able to sleep.

Please, do not cancel your pH monitoring. It is the "gold standard" in diagnosing GERD, and if it's diagnosed, it can be properly treated. Request sedation if you need - that way, you just wake up when it's all over.

Take care,
Ashley

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 3/12/2012 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I refluxed a ton, I felt like my LES (the valve between your esophagus and stomach) was wide open all the time. Unlike others, mine wasn't very bad at night, but it still wasn't too much better.

My reflux also caused constant chest pain. I had multiple tests (including the pH monitoring), and tried multiple medications that only made my reflux non-acidic, but didn't stop the reflux itself. Surgery ended up being the only solution, and it was very successful.

I lost 60 pounds total over the year and a half my symptoms were really bad. I've gained about 20 back since the surgery.

LBIsummers
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/12/2012 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Paula,

I too have reflux that goes all the way up to my ears and sinuses. Everything and anything I eat or drink (including water) goes straight up to my throat & head. Very annoying and painful. Fortunately I will be having my surgery on Wednesday. I'm hoping this will be the answer to my prayers.

Good Luck!

Carole

kaylajane
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 3/12/2012 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm going to address your period issue - You could be going thru early menopause - I went thru menopause starting in my 30's and by age 46 was totally finished with the curse of periods every month (Yippee) but I did have years of hot flashes and still have insomnia - you can have a blood test to check this out -it's not cheap but it could answer at least one of your worries.
Good luck with the other issues - it sounds like you are having a horrible time and I hope it gets better.
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