Okay I just had to join up with all of you because I've just recently had some improvements with this problem.
First, I love whoever used the term "air vomiting' which is the perfect way to describe the inconvenient "fix" to what we're experiencing. I tried demonstrating it to my GI using a tooth brush, but of course I couldn't do it because it's just so awkward to do in front of people. I mean hell, I can't really think of any other condition which would lead me to use a private, handicap restroom at my best friend's wedding.
Anywho, a little (as it turns out, it wasn't just a little) history before I get to the possible cure/management that's working for me. In early 2016 I had this big "awakening" moment when I realized most of my emotional problems might be caused by health/body problems. It's been one hell of a hellish, boring, and lonely year - trying to convince family/friends that all emotional problems are actually physical. Every failed doctor visit just made other's convinced it was all in my head. This actually caused real anxiety because I felt that nobody cared.
Up until this journey (26 m), I never really took care or notice to my body. I just ignored when it wasn't functioning properly and probably "took it out" on others. So as a complete n00b to body awareness, I started logging EVERYTHING. My experience, symptoms, possible triggers, my
location... the problem for a while was that I knew was experiencing physical symptoms but I didn't really know what. I mean what the hell is post-nasal drip anyway?!
My first big "a-ha!" moment came when found a ENT that specializes in treating singers. The previous two years I more for less taught myself to sing for the music I was writing, but I developed a few bad habits with my technique. Long story short, I was officially diagnosed with VOCAL CORD DYSFUNCTION and was instructed to take PPIs for a while. By this point, I was taking so many OTC drugs, I really had no idea what pill caused what relief, if any. Of course, if you look online there are literally hundreds of potential triggers for VCD... none of which the specialist even bothered to mention... (this is the Cleveland Clinic btw) but I did the PPI song and dance, suffered for 3 months, and nothing changed. I was then given "speech therapy" which was kind of a joke. The exercises I learned are more effective now, but at the time they felt useless. And so I suffered another... oh couple of months I guess. NO BIG. She said I was "hording air" in my chest, not breathing with my diaphragm. I believe this was true. I'm definitely guilty of "trying to look macho" by not so subtlety puffing out my chest to display my manliness. And I would suck in my gut while walking the halls in high school. I will say, ironically, the breathing expert actually taught me a few breathing techniques I later had to UNDO with my Feldenkrais practitioner. (You had ONE job, speech lady! CMON)
Eventually I got an endoscopy and found out I have no reflux whatsoever, which I already knew, but these doctors...... I'm sure you all know. I did have two MINOR STOMACH ULCERS which, idk, after 3 months of PPI's to heal them, might still be there. I couldn't really detect the ulcers before, nor can I now.
Still, I found myself a trapped in cycle of "episodes" that only got worse. For a long, long while, the nightmare was that I really was becoming "stupid" and for a while I appeared "burnt out" (I smoke/vape pot regularly) which did not help my case at all to find help/guidance. I once rushed to my parents in a panic unable to breathe and my Mom simply handed me a coffee -- my Mom is former physical therapist and current FELDENKRAIS PRACTITIONER -- but she was already convinced it was more in my head than anything -- I had never really argued with my parents before last year -- but man, I mean the Thanksgiving dinner table got flipped, glass everywhere, once my brother tried to gently tell me "I think you might be a psychopath." My 3 siblings and parents flew out for Christmas last year -- but I decided to stay home and continue my research in those fleeting moments when my brain actually functioned somewhat.
I can't say exactly when, but at some point during this dark period I too, like all of your, somehow, discovered the AIR VOMITING/FORCED GAG/BELCH TECHNIQUE and took note of just how RELIEVING it felt. It's a practice I'd rather not do but for a while there, it seemed to work as a temporary fix. This discovery along with much needed CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS 2x weekly gave me a lot of hope moving into 2017. I also started WORKING OUT especially with focus of fixing my PROBLEM AREAS like my rounded computer shoulders, back, FORWARD HEAD POSTURE, TIGHT PECORALS, HIP FLEXOR IMMOBILITY, -- basically everything that isn't a bicep or whatever remained from doing the Elliptical for a semester in college 4 years prior. Up until this point, the few years prior I WAS MOSTLY SEDENTARY and worked from my computer and played too much Skyrim. I didn't really exercise at all -- and my daily efforts to search online for answers, on the coach, using my iPhone, probably made things a LOT worse. It's worth noting at this point I was CLUELESS TO MY BODY and figured I had a problem that some pill could fix. (as it turns out, that was somewhat true).
While the Chiropractic adjustment was a good start, my "doctor" was often vague and I didn't really understand what was going on. The reputation of the cult-is aspects of Chiropractors is true it seems. It's worth noting, I was all out of alignment, did monthly sessions with a ROLFING practitioner (no, that is not "rolling on the floor laughing" - the floor and I became good pals that year but there sure as hell wasn't too much laughter). This ROLFER focused on fascial displacement and correction, while the CHIROPRACTOR was more skeletal. Meanwhile, putting my faith in these "doctors" (for a good 6 months) really put my mind at ease. I spent less time looking for "the answer" on my phone, which allowed me to finally take part in LIFE again, somewhat. Allowing this treatment to unfold, "letting go" for the time-being, improved my mood and led to a lot of apologies and relationship rebuilding. And for a while things steadily got better.
Eventually, I felt that I reached a wall with these doctors. I was experiencing less symptoms, but I still DIDN'T UNDERSTAND what was going on. I needed RELIABILITY so eventually I can go back into public after managing and taking care of whatever at home treatment was necessary to function at my best.
With that said I highly recommend THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD with a PRACTIONER (don't do the tapes/CDs) who's practice is based on RAISING AWARENESS of the body and physical movements. I've found these guided sessions to be MUCH BETTER than any previous PHYSICAL THERAPY or JOGA practice. It's not the most popular of practices (I blame the name/branding) but I can assure you, with the right teacher, the benefits outweighed anything I carelessly tried doing like light Yoga. I could see Yoga as beneficial to a physically fit person who is without problems/issues. Thinking back, I really pushed some of it too far and DIDN'T NOTICE (until later; when I became more aware of what proper range of motion actually is. I've more or less self-diagnosed myself with a case of DOUBLE CRUSH, CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME. And boy... I sure am terrible at trying to fix this. I mean literally EVERYTHING I do, work and fun, requires my hands. I'll take any Podcast recommendations if you got em...
OKAY, so we've arrived at the actual topic of what we're all here for. This past July, then MUCH IMPROVED but still a ways away from normal functioning -- I decided I show my GI the great belch discovery. As I said, I couldn't perform in front of him -- but I did have a video that showed me doing it at home, with me in my underwear. But at this point I was already infinitely embarrassed by my gagging at the sink.
He then NAMED THE THING (!) or at least something related to it, and gave me a nice big pamphlet on SUPERGASTRIC BELCHING -- which had a few sub-types -- and on further review both did and didn't seem like what I was experiencing. Nowhere did I read that the AIR VOMITING was something I did VOLUNTARILY as a way to get relief. After reading all of your posts here, I'm guessing it's more of a term to describe all the gurgling and "inner burps" we all seem to experience throughout our necks, back of necks, throat, chest, etc.
I'm still exploring how it's related, but I first discovered this technique using a TONGUE SCRAPER as I started to notice "white stuff" covering the back of my tongue. I believe this to be Candida overgrowth but I'm not entirely certain. What I do know is that when I TRIGGER THE BELCH my TONGUE RELEASES from what seems to be a SUNKEN POSITION deeper in my throat. I feel an UNFOLDING beneath my jaw, AS IF MY TONGUE GETS STUCK, or INFLAMED in an alternative, improper position. I'm still making efforts to keep my tongue OUT and FREE but I am still, quite stupidly, very, very bad at self-care related routines like STAYING HYDRATED and MAINTAINING IDEAL ORAL HYGIENE -- this might be where my habit of smoking weed and passing out on my couch playing Skyrim becomes a problem worth exploring.
I have, however managed to develop a pretty consistent NETI-POT routine, (once a day isn't nearly enough for me at this point) and I'm discovering just how much phlegm and excess mucus (both in my throat and sinuses) might be contributing to other issues. I often have this "zombie" look, (psychopathic-looking as my brother concluded) that GOES AWAY after using the Neti-Pot a certain, magical number of times. Most interesting to me now, and I can't find ANYONE online who has experienced this -- but there;s often GASTRIC MOVEMENT that follows whenever I do the rinse. Sometimes it's those little inner gurgles, sometimes I even have to fart suddenly. It's as if the rinse clears out some kind of GASTRIC HIGHWAY that's all jammed up. I most certainly experience stomach/chest relief in addition to the sinus/mucosal clearing. Just recently, I've begun to look like a HUMAN BEING again, which makes checking out at the grocery store a lot more fun. Suddenly the world and its poeple are friends with me again -- despite my previous, oh-so refined efforts to PASS AS A HEALTHY PERSON any time I reluctantly did stuff in public. and ****, it sure is "fun" to FINALLY BE ABLE TO PROVE MY SANITY in that my substance habits and solitary lifestyle had NOTHING to do with how I was functioning for that year (and however long it plagued me without my conscious awareness) I'll say that while having a mysterious illness is not NEARLY as terrible as trying to find HELP and SUPPORT in a world that see's you as someone who's SUFFERING comes from their OWN ACTIVE WILL as if I'm some kind of person who enjoy's "being the victim." Grrr... *sigh*...
Alas, I must move passed anger and resentment, for if I were to blame... it'd feel like the entire world let me down when I was in dire need.
AND SO, FINALLY, this is what my GI prescribed: CITALOPRAM.
Aka CELEXA, -- and before you dismiss this (like I did for 2 months after leaving my appointment) - the drug isn't just for treating "anxiety" and "depression." My GI told me some anti-depressants are great for treating NERVE ISSUES. Still, it took 2 months for me to finally give in. I mean, I had just spent the last two years telling literally every person that I was PHYSICALLY ILL and not MENTALLY.
You see, I didn't FEEL depressed or anxious. I felt like I had a level head on my shoulders (not literally of course, oh ho ho), and years of solitary living and "chilling," I really felt free of any anxiety-related problems. I KNEW anxiety. My life was basically a series of embarrassing moments, all of which gave me social anxiety, until one day I began to care a lot less about
my failings. I developed a fierce capacity for SELF-COMPASSION, I mean how could I not after giving that best man speech that somehow came out of me all while wearing a Breathe-Right strip throughout the day so I could "think clearly." I can't even say for certain if my microphone was vigorously shaking out of pure nervousness or weak arms.
Finally, I must admit that my journey to learn how to burp like a normal human is not yet compete. You see, after 2-3 weeks of starting Citalopram (and I gotta say, there's a strange "break-in" process that occurs when starting an SSRI, it seems) - that glorious bodily occurrence had arrived. A NORMAL BELCH CAME OUT OF ME FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER - and it most certainly could be due no other reason than Citalopram.
BUT WAIT! There's a twist, unfortunately. You see, when starting Citalopram - I went on a detox of sorts at the same time. No weed. No alcohol.
No ADDERALL for two weeks.
And yes, while amphetamine is controversial to many - the drug has moved me to a place I never would have found without it. After 4 years of filling out script
s, I'd argue that Adderall is only "bad" in the sense of over-use and abuse, along with it's SIDE EFFECTS, many masked, most of which are tolerable and worth the inconvenience. I'd call the ability to "control your dopamine sources" an invaluable teaching tool, enlightening to say the least. --
And so, with my newfound beaming confidence in gastric functioning, after just ONE fantastic belch - I felt on top of it all to add Adderall back in equation.
To my disappointment, I've since not burped like on that glorious day. It seems for my case, a possible compromise must be made.
Thank you for reading my no doubt excessive take on my story so far, and allowing me to vent on possible unrelated health issues. I certainly think its possible my story might sound at least somewhat familiar to some of yours. Hopefully, not at all. But c'mon, I mean there are dozens of us! Dozens of us...who can't burp!
Lastly, I have two theories for how this chain of events all started:
At some point during the absolute hell that was 2016, while lying on my living room floor, what came to me was to search "people who lack body awareness" into google. What came up was a condition called PROPRIOCEPTION DYSFUNCTION. (*sigh* and I bet my own Mother's Feldenkrais website THAT I HELPED DESIGN would have showed up on page 16 or so... *sigh*) This "condition" is most often diagnosed in children -- when it's missed, a false diagnosis of Depression, ADHD, anxiety, etc. is usually given. Those missed, I can only suspect, are put through one surefire mess of a life experience.
^ I prefer this theory. It's just not at all what I'd call "epically lame" like Theory 2, which is a 10, maybe 11 year-old-me's undiagnosed head trauma, left untreated, caused by a sizable log my father mistakingly tossed in my direction. A chiropractic scan supports this theory, in all seriousness.
I don't remember much that day. Only that I felt like a child, for seconds later I seemingly fell into my mother's arms and drenched her shirt with a outpour of tears. I remember thinking my sudden shift in headspace and immediate desire for comfort was well past my age, well past the age when that sort comfort is given.
Post Edited (thegryphonator) : 12/13/2017 5:42:45 AM (GMT-7)