My heart goes out to you and anyone who has to decide on whether or not they should undergoe a procedure or take pills simply because of money issues. Everytime I read a post here about a member not able to afford certain procedures etc...it just breaks my heart. I always took our medical system here in Canada for granted and like many other Canadians, I often complained about it. I don't so much since I joined here at Healing Well. But, with regards to your dilemma, I was put in the same position as you on whether or not to have the scope, although not because of the cost. I had both an endoscopy and colonoscopy a couple of years ago and was diagnosed with GERD, Hiatal Hernia, intestinal spasms, bowel spasms (I also have bladder spasms), IBS and something else that has the word "colitis" in it but I cant remember what it is. You could say my fibromyalgia functions like GERD of the brain LOL. My husband keeps track of my "conditions" and he isnt here right now. My doctor recently thought I should have another scope in case my condition changed and involved something more serious. I am a little afraid of having a scope now because I took a very bad reaction to the medication used during the scope "Versed". So he and I discussed it and I told him I would prefer not not have it unless my symtoms worsen. And he agreed, so long as I keep him updated. I did, however, agree to barrium exrays. I am still waiting for the results. Can you ask your doctor if there are other less costly procedures you could have done if you are concerned about getting a diagnosis?? Ulcers can be diagnosed via a barrium and its best to take meds to help cure the ulcers. The nice thing is that the meds are temporary. The only thing the scopes I underwent did for me was ease my mind about having a "progressive" or "worse" condition than than those I do have. Make any sense? . So anyhow, what I had to do is change my diet and my lifestyle. Slow walking several times a day really helps. Drinking lots of water really helps (water is very very important if you are increasing your fiber, and remember too that you are suppose to increase it only a little at a time...otherwise you could make matters worse). As far as diet goes...it just depends on the person. Personally, I have to be carefull of fiber intake because my IBS will flare (My body is sooo strange you would not believe it). I also have to be careful of dairy products...I drink soy milk now. I need to watch my sugar intake...Splenda took care of that. I need fruits and veggies in my diet..lots of em. Red meat can bring me to my knees on a bad day. And look out if I indulge in Pizza or pie or anything with lard or yeast in it. I can sometimes get away with eating a little of it, but its always a chance I take. I also started a low carb diet...which you already know. I needed the meds to start the healing process but I had to try out several different ones before finding one that works. And the one I am on is actually one of the less expensive ones, so maybe you can ask that your meds be changed. Have you considered researching on the internet the different meds available? I believe Prilosec and Nexium are in the same category - Omeprabozole. The meds that worked for me were from a different category. Altough they are all PPI's There are three or four diff categories of meds that include a slew of diff brand names. Does your doctor get samples...can you ask him for some...to see if a diff med would bring better results? It would be free that way
I really hope this helps you a little. No, I hope it helps you alot. I wish I could do more. Best of luck to you.
~ Good wishes from Dee~