Should I go back to the doctor now?

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KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 6/28/2012 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
At the end of April I had an endoscopy during which my doctor dilated my esophagus. I was put on Dexilant, which I have been taking for 2 months now. My first follow-up appointment with my doctor was at the end of May. I complained that my throat was still tight when dry swallowing. He said to give it time and come see him again at the end of August.
 
Right now my dry swallowing issue seems to be getting worse. When I dry swallow I sometimes only feel the tightness in my throat, but most of the time I also feel tightness or pain in what I think is my lower esophagus, right above my stomach. When I had my endoscopy, the doctor found abnormal motility, but he said it was because of damage from reflux (I had grade one esophagitis). I'm so scared that I have done something to permanently damage the motility of my esophagus. I'm not sure if I should try to schedule an appointment with my doctor now or try to hold out for another two months. I feel like such a wimp, but my quality of life is awful right now. I'm afraid my doctor won't take me seriously or will tell me to give it more time.
 
 

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 6/28/2012 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KitKat,
I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with such uncomfortable symptoms.  I know how hard it is to wait for your follow up visit with the doctor. 
 
I have two thoughts about this.  First, your doc is likely to consider the length of weight time between appointments as important to ensure that enough healing time has occured before a reevaluation.  I've had lots of problems with gastritis and esophagitis over my lifetime, and I can tell you that the healing process is extremely slow.  I would lose at least 20 pounds, and would be in agony for 2 to 3 months.  It takes time to heal.
 
On the other hand, you know how you feel.  If you are truly frightened that your condition is deteriorating and you want the doctor to evaluate you sooner, that's your call.  Maybe you could call the office and discuss your symptoms and concerns with one of your doctor's nurses.
 
Good luck getting things healed and feeling better!
Very best wishes,
Denise
Words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 6/29/2012 6:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise,

Thanks for your reply. I think I may try to stick it out, but I don't understand why things improved and have now regressed. I think I'll at least give the doctor's office a call to see if this is normal. My understanding was that grade one esophagitis is not that severe. But this healing process is so slow! I've been on PPIs since February, and the esophagitis developed despite being on the medication. That makes me really nervous; I'm concerned that the medication won't protect my esophagus well enough and I'll have to have surgery. I'm 25, so that wrap would have to last for a long time! I've read a lot of your posts about the surgery though, and they are definitely encouraging!

Thanks again,
Stefanie

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 6/29/2012 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stefanie,
I know it's hard to believe, but these kinds of things can take a very long time to heal.  Are you being extremely careful about what you're eating and drinking?  It's possible to reinjure the tissue by eating things that are irritating.
 
As you're healing your esophagus, be sure to take small bites and chew your food thoroughly.  When it's swallowed it should be a creamy consistency to avoid scratching as you swallow.  Don't eat anything that isn't either creamy to begin with (I used to have to LIVE on egg custard for two months whenever I had a flare-up) or hasn't been chewed to a creamy consistency.
 
Stay away from anything at all spicy or acidic, and don't drink anything alcoholic.  If you're very careful with your eating in addition to the PPIs, it can assist in healing.
 
I wish there was a quick fix, but there's not. If you can get your doc to write a script for Carafate suspension, it can provide a LOT of relief. (It's expensive, so it's best if you have a good prescripton plan.  Otherwise, you can use the generic pill-form--you can put it in a little shot glass or medicine cup, and mix it with a little water.  You then throw it back like a shot.  The suspension form is a lot better if you can get it.)
 
I have had the Nissen surgery, so my esophagus doesn't get inflamed like it used to, but I still get an irritated wrap when my stomach is flaring up.  (my wrap was made from my stomach, so it makes sense.)  When that happens I feel real relief from a dose of Carafate.  The good thing about Carafate is that it sticks to the stomach and esophagus lining for up to 6 hours.  That's why it's so much more protective and effective than Maalox.
 
Hang in there...if you work at it and baby your esophagus, you can get this healed.
 
Very best wishes! 
Denise
Words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

Post Edited (dencha) : 6/29/2012 7:43:23 AM (GMT-6)


Oldknitter
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/29/2012 8:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I found this site a while ago when I was feeling hopeless due to LPR. My throat and mouth felt as though I had coated them with acid.....and guess what? That is the case....so it hurts dreadfully when it's in your throat. I had problems with my throat, mouth, ears and sinus.

Unlike you, I wasn't brave enough to actually join and post here in the beginning. I just lurked around, read all the things people tried and learned so much about my condition.

I took what I learned, added to my doctors advise and Prilosec....and there is hope. I feel better and really believe you will too. Now that I have a normal life again I felt compelled to join this group and try and help others by sharing it can get better.

It's hard, but baby your throat and let it try to heal....pretty tender tissue there. Try swallowing with your head bent forward a little...that helped me.

Breath.....this group is great and will support you.

horizon
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 6/29/2012 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
KitKat, our cases sound similar and I think you answered my thread. I had an Endo on 06/06. This showed irritation in my lower esophagus, but my biopsies did not show anything and everything else looks OK. I took PPIs off and on since this started in 2010, but didn't take anything consistantly until I saw the GI in April except Pepcid. My classic heartburn symptoms are much better and quelled with a Tums occasionally in additon to 40 mg Prilosec that GI prescribed. Nothing has stopped the lump in the throat feeling. I have altered my diet somewhat (drink one cup of low acid coffee and avoid other triggers), but haven't been as stringent as some here (I do have alcohol now and then in small amounts). Honestly, I haven't noticed effects from any food or drink except gourmet expresso back in early 2011 (never had this again after that experience). My follow-up is Jul 09 and I'm sure the GI will just suggest continued PPIs as my case is not severe per the testing. I wish I could feel that a few months of consistent dosage will heal the throat symptoms, but I am still skeptical. Hope I am wrong and that this helps.

It is very frustrating, to say the least. I do think stress and age have been a factor for me and as you are far from perimenopause I couldn't say that for you. ( I am 48). I am not very heavy, but could stand to lose 15 pounds. I wonder if losing that could be a big factor for me? Could be, but that won't be easy for me in my situation (caregiver). Anyway, I wish I had a solution for you, but you are not alone! Maybe, in a few months, I will be able to say that PPIs have made a big difference!
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