My name is Robert and I'm new to the club. I am 26.
I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia in August, 2011, after experiencing extreme heartburn following a violent vomiting/dry heaving episode. I literally felt my stomach rise into my esophogus, and try to drop, but it didn't. It got stuck, and it dropped me to my knees in pain. It took months before I realized that episode was what caused it. I thought it was from the Orange juice and vodka I had drank the night before.
My first doctor (now retired) passed it off as GERD and encouraged me to change my diet. I did that, and after 4 months with very little success using OTC's like Prilosec, I went back and he forwarded me to an endoscopy center, which did a scope. The doc found a hiatal hernia, and all of my tests (Barretts, H Plori, and others) came back negative. They gave me a 10-day supply of Dexilant and sent me on my way. Told me to eat healthy, raise the head of the bed, etc. I took OTC Prevacid for a while since it was the closest thing I could find to Dexilant. I eventually ended up back at the doc and requested a script for Dex. Dexilant was an incredible savior for me at the time...working very well. However, after a $20/month promotion ran out after a year, I couldn't afford the nearly 300/month for it anymore. I went back to my old doctor and he put me on generic Protonix (Pantaprazole) 40 mg a day. It gets me by but by no means would I consider it a success.
My old doctor just retired so I recently got to meet and greet my new doctor, who is much younger. When I told him about these issues, and my ongoing pain with heartburn and the feeling of me constantly choking on my stomach, he upgraded me to Protonix 40mg twice per day, and said maybe it's time to consider surgery. He has forwarded me to the surgeon to see what they think.
At this point, I think surgery could be in my best interest, since I'm really getting tired of taking PPIs for the past 2 years. However, when I asked my old doctor about it, he basically said no way because of its lack of effectiveness over time.
I'm wondering everyone's opinions on the Nissen Fundoplication surgery (my most likely option). I'm very concerned about the inability to vomit, and also the issues with bloating and not being able to burp. I do drink beer/alcohol, which concerns me more about some of the complications. Also uber scared I could end up one of those people eating out of a feeding tube. I have a 2-year old daughter and I want to be there for her every step of the way.
Thank you everyone!!