Hi all, as a result of worsening GERD symptoms, my quality of life has decreased significantly in the past few years. I would like some opinions on what my next steps should/could be. I think its possible that the situation has become 'too clouded' for me to think about it properly anymore.
Ages 6-18: Occasional acid reflux and indigestion.
Age 18: Frequency of symptoms increases to weekly/daily.
Age 19: Started my first PPI. Currently taking Prevacid 30mg, 2 times a day.
Age 22: Acid reflux is constant without heavy doses of PPIs. Right sided abdominal pain begins as a result of an emotionally damaging situation. Daily pain since.
Age 25 (current): Symptoms continue to worsen despite radical lifestyle changes and medication. For years, I've been steadily improving my diet, and for months now, I've literally had it down to fruits, nuts, and veggies, but my symptoms continue to worsen anyways. I tried several home remedies like probiotics, apple cider vinegar, a gluten-free diet for 1 month, a lactose-free diet for one week, etc. and none of those things worked.
In the most recent year or two, my symptoms have totally gotten out of hand - worse than I thought was possible for acid reflux. There are long stretches of time (hours) where my acid reflux is so bad, all I can do is just sit and think about how awful it feels - I can't watch TV or do anything other than focus on the discomfort. If this happens at midnight, I end up staying up until 4-7AM sometimes.
Unfortunately, with years of ongoing pain and inconvenience, I've let myself reach a point where my mental health has started deteriorating - I've become much less social, I either sleep way to much or way too little (0-18 hrs), I have become very apathetic, depressed, etc.. I'm also worried about my worsening job performance. If I 'get the boot' for poor performance or quit in order to focus on my health, I'm unsure how I will continue to receive affordable health care and put a roof over my head. In an emergency situation, I guess I could live with my parents, but this is highly undesirable for me at this point.
How on Earth am I supposed to deal with my worsening symptoms, continue to perform well at my job, go through with this surgery and the potential complications of it, and remain happy/positive? I've talked to several general doctors, a few GI specialists, and a psychiatrist, so I am actively seeking as much professional help as possible. I know the Nissen Fundoplication is a next step, but I'm worried about the complications. I don't know how much more I can deal with if something did go wrong or how my job might be affected by a long recovery. Also, for reasons that are hard to explain, my abdominal pain makes me hesitant about having surgery - it seems like the surgery wouldn't really do anything to fix that, and that maybe there is another problem that needs fixings that is the real culprit.
I'm guessing some of you have been at wits end with your medical condition(s) (maybe even relating to GERD and the Nissen Fundoplication surgery?). I would greatly appreciate it if you could lend your insight about this ongoing situation.
Thank you for reading.