I'm new here and I know this is very long but I wanted to give a full history and description to maybe make things better for advice - sorry it's a novel!! Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
In October 2005 I got into a car accident and that is when my health started failing. Someone "tboned" my SUV and totaled it. I was wearing a seat belt, which later was part of the theory about how my symptoms developed (That the seat belt held me back but not my organs). I'm not sure if it is the case or was pure coincidence. I hadn't had any issues with heartburn, nausea or indigestion before this, just once and a great while - which is apparently normal if you eat something extremely spicy.
In November of 2005 I started getting heartburn. I didn't think too much of it, just took Tums and drank Pepto-Bismol. Towards Thanksgiving it was an every day occurrence and starting to effect my everyday life. One day I cut up a pineapple and ate about half of it. I was in excruciating pain, I thought I was having a heart attack. I honestly had never felt that much pain before! I took a lot of Tums and Pepto and went to my family doctor asap. He basically just blew it off and acted as though there was no issues. In the next couple weeks I lost about 15-20 pounds because all I ate were mashed potatoes, I was terrified of food. I went to my doctor again and he acted as though there still wasn't an issue. My brother is a chiropractor and told me to demand an endoscopy. The doctor finally agreed and I got one scheduled. The results came back that I had a slight hiatal hernia, severe acid reflux and my esophagus was eroded. They put me on 2 Nexium AND 2 Prevacid a day, so a total of 4 pills. I can't remember the mg but it seemed a bit excessive. They said it would heal my esophagus, which it did do - so for that I am thankful. They had suggested a surgery for the hernia, but I was scared. I had a barium swallow, which confirmed the severe acid reflux and hernia. After about 6 months on the medicine I wasn't having nearly as much heartburn but always felt exhausted. I stopped taking the medicines and just tried to eat healthy. A few times I'd have something very spicy and would pay for it with the extreme pain and feeling of a heart attack. I went to the E.R. a few times to get a GI Cocktail, which has lanacane in it and would soothe my issues. I'd take over the counter types of Prevacid for a few weeks and eat healthy. This cycle has been happening since 2006. I just tried to ignore it since I didn't want surgery or the medicines. Obviously, you can't really ignore this issue...
On June 23, 2012 I woke up feeling really weird and very nauseous, I assumed I was getting sick. I'm used to feeling nauseous and having indigestion and slight heartburn everyday, especially in the mornings. The next Saturday I started felling really bad again. Then on July 4th I had really awful bad heartburn. I assumed it was because I ate spicy salsa the day before. It was so bad I went to Urgent Care, got the GI Cocktail and a prescription for Prevacid. By the time I got home I was feeling awful. The GI Cocktail didn't work too well and I was getting sicker. Turns out I had a heartburn attack AND the flu. I took the Prevacid and started eating really healthy and "safe". I figured my esophagus was eroded again and the medicine would help. It'd be this whole cycle again and all would be well. Within 2 months I ended up losing 25 pounds, which now puts me very under weight. I feel awful every day. My husband finally told me to go get an endoscopy and checked out. I also hit 30 this year and have been wanting to start trying to have children. My family doctor (I changed from the previous one from 2005, since he wasn't helpful) told me I am not in good enough health to get pregnant right now.
On September 14th I had my endoscopy. Right before going under my doctor asked about my gallbladder and I told him I don't think anything is wrong with it. He seemed to think that was the only issue and acted as though this "heartburn" I feel isn't really that bad. I explained to him exactly where it hurts, up under my rib cage, in the center and it feels like it is on fire. I told him when the pain is so bad all I want to do is stick a knife into my stomach, it's unbearable. He still blew off my description. I'm in no way suicidal, but when the attack is that bad I begin to understand how people have committed suicide instead of dealing with sickness/cancers, etc. He then told how they will take biopsies to check for cancer because when your esophagus erodes as much as mine, I could get esophageal cancer. That was a great last thought before being put under! My results came back that it's obvious I have acid reflux and my lower esophageal sphincter muscle is loose and does not function at all. They didn't say anything about the hernia or erosion. I do have a picture they took of inside, there are some white wrinkly things and you can tell the LES doesn't close at all. He ordered me to get a sonogram of my gallbladder. That came back normal and his nurse said if I have issues in a few weeks to call back. I told her I've never stopped having issues and I need to figure out what to do. She was extremely annoyed but scheduled me.
I decided to get a second opinion because my doctor was extremely rude and always seemed annoyed by me. His online reviews say the same from many different patients. I went to another doctor in the same practice. I told him everything and said I wanted to treat the problem not the symptoms. I told him I want to have children soon and the 4 pills a day (I'm back on 4 Prevacid a day) isn't an option. He agreed and said he wanted to rule out my gallbladder 100% since I said when I get the attacks, sometimes it hurts through to my back, but I told him it rarely went to my back. I had a HIDA scan done (which wasn't my idea of pleasant at all!) and that came back at 29%, which is almost normal and nothing to worry about. I had a Gastric Emptying Study done and that came back normal. He called today to tell me this and said for me to eat a low fat diet for 4 weeks and keep a diary of what I eat, then we will go over it and see what the triggers are. I told him I have been on a low/no fat diet for 3 months and can tell him exactly what causes the issues. He told me he didn't feel comfortable taking out my gallbladder, I agreed and told him I refuse to have my gallbladder out, since that isn't the issue. I asked about the LES and what we can do to treat that. He told me it is normally treated with medicines and no surgery. He told me again to do this 4 week food diary. I hung up and just started crying. I feel as though they don't care and are blowing me off. Why would I need to do another 4 weeks when I can tell him for the last 12 weeks what exactly I eat each day. It doesn't vary that much AT ALL. I don't eat greasy or fatty foods, I eat extremely healthy.
So now I'm at a point that I have no idea what to do anymore. All I know is that I'm sick of eating the same boring "safe" foods daily. I'm sick of having heartburn, indigestion, nausea, trouble swallowing, fatigue, exhaustion and hopelessness. I'm not a depressed person, but this is making me become one. I have to adjust my life to how I feel that day. I wake up throughout the night with indigestion and heartburn. I've elevated my headboard, I sleep on my left side, I take Ambien, Melatonin and Benadryl just to try to sleep through it. Does anyone have any advice? I have read where people have great results with Nissen and LINX. I'm willing to have surgery if that means no more daily pain and inconveniences (I am worried about not being able to vomit and being bloated though). I want to feel healthy and I want to get pregnant soon!