I was diagnosed with a 'small hiatal hernia' about a year ago via endoscope after 5 years of recurrent unexplainable chest pain. While it was a small one, that was the only explanation my GI had for the chest pains - so he prescribed Nexium and called it a day.
As per usual, the chest pains went away, then came back 6 months later, then went away, etc. I ran out of Nexium, so went drugless for a while - when it seemed I was becoming symptomatic again, I got on Prilosec OTC instead of dealing with doctor visits... fast forward 7 months.
Chest pains returned Sunday evening, April 6th - severely limiting sleep for at least 3 days. Let me elaborate on chest pains. There is an intense burning up the middle of my chest to my sternum, then there is a piercing that radiates from there across my ribs. The piercing isn't consistent, it will be on the right side sometimes and left side others - most often on the left. When laying down the pain intensifies and seems to pulsate with my heartbeart... which also seems to flutter, but that's probably just me panicking at the situation. I also experience slight tingling/numbness in my left hand at times... this was particularly alarming during the initial stages of my 'diagnosis'. It was also accompanied by some serious bloating which felt like it should be relieved by a burp... a burp would do no good. Note that there was nothing particularly different in my diet or lifestyle in this weekend. Symptoms were all completely gone by that Thursday.
Chest pains returned once again on the morning of Sunday the 20th. I was visiting DC, so it was a pretty awful time walking around looking at monuments. It was accompanied with nausea and bloating. It went off and on over the next few days and I'd have to sleep sitting up on the couch to try to quell the fire in my chest every time I laid down.
Now we get to today... Thursday... I went to the doctor (not GI, just regular old GP) because it was getting pretty annoying that I couldn't ever sleep and my chest was on fire. He prescribed me Dexilant. I went home, ran a few miles, did some laundry, watched a movie, took a pill... was not in much discomfort. I eat some corn and ramen noodles (I'm a master chef)... 9PM hits... BAM! Chest on fire, stomach cramps, bloating, wife complaining that I won't come to bed... but I can't go to bed because I can't lay down. At this point I've been awake for over 24 hours but I can't even sleep sitting up because the burning hits me too hard if I'm not straight up. My kidneys hurt, too, but this could be due to sitting in a kitchen chair on a laptop computer for 7 hours.
Considering going to an urgent care in a couple hours if this doesn't ease up.
Is there any way this could be a 'small hiatal hernia'? Any suggestions for easing this discomfort I'm in? Thoughts on what else this could be?