You've got a lot of good friends on this forum who can support you and give suggestions, which is great. It's no fun to have a rude and obnoxious GI doc. I know, because I had a "mean" GI doc who didn't listen to me. I got sick of put-downs and lack of listening skills, and asked my PCP to recommend another GI doc who would fit my needs/personality better. He did that, and my second GI doc was wonderful. He listened carefully and respectfully, and never put me down. They're out there...you just have to look hard.
This is the other thing to remember. GI docs are focused on the health of the GI tract, and as long as the esophagus isn't damaged, don't think that the reflux is a problem. An ENT is more knowledgeable about how GERD can cause symptoms like the ones you're suffering with, because that's the areas they're responsible for. If you don't have damage to the esophagus, a GI doc's job is done.
Still, I have to say this. Your OCD can be playing a part in your suffering as well. If you're focusing on your symptoms and obsessing on them it can make the whole situation much more unbearable. I speak from some experience here, as my husband of nearly 40 years suffers from OCD and I can see how it can make his life miserable. He also has at times become very obsessed and worried about health issues at different points in his life, and generally has health anxiety. At one point it even led him into a deep depression during which he lost 60 pounds. He was certain he was dying of cancer.
Fortunately, our PCP was wonderful, and as Andy suggested, put him through extensive testing as a way of encouraging him to see a therapist. People who are feeling sick, no matter what the cause, don't want to hear a doc tell them it's in their head. By treating him for both issues at the same time, he helped my husband accept the idea that therapy might help. Otherwise, his fear would have been that therapy would be wasting precious time that would have been better spent searching out the real cause of his illness.
It's not easy to deal with symptoms that aren't clear-cut. I had a similar situation with my reflux issues. Even my wonderful GI doc had a closed mind regarding how much a little reflux could do to my lung condition. My PCP and asthma docs were certain my reflux was making my asthma uncontrollable, but my first 24 hr PH monitor came out with a DeMeester score of 4, which is very low--well within the "normal" range of <14. He told me point blank that my reflux was not causing my asthma.
At this point I was suffering with horrible and dangerous lung conditions and had even spent a week in the hospital because of gastritis/reflux induced asthma. My PCP was not happy about the situation, and I was on high doses of steroids that weren't good for my body. I went on like this for a few years.
Finally, my PCP got fed up and he referred me to a surgeon himself. That surgeon did some tests, and said that I was a good candidate for surgery (he trusted my PCP and was willing to do the surgery on his recommendation). Having read a lot about the Nissen surgery, I wasn't ready to jump into having it without lots of research into surgeons on my own.
I took this info back to my GI doc, he did another PH monitor, which came out between 14 and 15--still very low. But because my my PCP's concern and actions, he told me I could either continue on meds, or he could refer me to a surgeon, which he did. (The meds weren't doing the job--it was a false choice in my opinion.)
I met with the surgeon and asked him lots of questions. He was also concerned about the low DeMeester score, but said he'd do the surgery on the recommendation of my doctors. He said that if the asthma was being caused by my reflux, that the surgery would work. And it did! It took two and a half months for my poor lungs to heal, but heal they did, and they've been healthy ever since. (I do have bad allergies and asthma which create their own issues, but the reflux damage has stopped and my lungs are 100% better.)
Yes, small amounts of reflux can create discomfort, and as in my case, even damage. This can happen in spite of PPIs (I was on 40mg Protonix twice a day, plus 300mg Ranitidine at night, and my bed was elevated.) I didn't have high volume reflux, so it wasn't a concern to my GI doc. As long as it wasn't damaging his "neck of the woods", he wasn't concerned.
Knowing your propensity for obsessing on your health, be careful, though. That can have a life of its own, and can really pull you down. Spending a lot of time on the internet searching for health information can make things worse if you have a tendency toward obsessing and worrying. I know you need the support, but try to work on both issues at the same time if you can.
Hang in there!
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma"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) : 1/4/2013 8:36:18 AM (GMT-7)