Hi there hopelessnyc,
I feel your pain. I have been in the same place as you the last 13 months. I am 35 and lost 60 pounds, changed my lifestyle completely, even did vegan, gluten and dairy free diet for over 6 months with no effect. Did the bricks under the bed, reflux wedge, no alcohol, no coffee, small portions, not eating late, staying away from trigger foods, a LOT of different natural remedies, you name it, I have done it.
Also been tried on different PPI's and other medication. Had endoscopy and was told I had small hiatal hernia, mild gastritis, duodenitis, incompetent LES. 5 weeks ago I had an "attack"- massive chest pain, trouble swallowing (even water), sore throat, sinusitis got worse, (I have actually had sinusitis for over two years now due to reflux and I use steroid nasal spray), I had trouble taking a deep breath. My boss put me in a taxi and sent me to A&E as I was crying my eyes out because of the pain- they suspected that I had severe esophagitis and bumped up my esomeprazole to 80mg a day! It did help bring the pain down from 10 to about
5 but I still can't eat solid food because it hurts my chest, I guess it will take time to heal. I saw a gastroenterologist end of last month and he recommended nissen fundoplication surgery as I have tried absolutely everything else and nothing helps. I am having the oesophageal manometry and bravo PH testing done tomorrow as it is a requirement before surgery.
Dear friend, do not despair, I know what it's like to feel suicidal because you feel like you just can't go on and nothing that you do seems to help no matter how hard you try and so what is the point, right? I have been there, twice (this last year with stomach and 2.5 years ago I also had spinal surgery and before that I was in a lot of pain and was very down and even been on antidepressants for a year).
I also have no social life, I have become a recluse and it's really hard at work to just keep going, everyone just expects you to get on with it no matter how bad you feel. My fiancée is very understanding but you know how it is with guys, not all of them are good at handling these things well. He feels frustrated that he can't help me and also slightly annoyed that I am always unwell.
All I can say is that please don't give up, there IS a solution to this, just keep trying different medicines and different dosages as what might work for one person doesn't work for someone else.
I have tried Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Raniditine and they didn't do a thing and to be honest the side effects of those two PPI's were even worse than the symptoms they were meant to treat. Esomeprazole is the best one so far but 40mg did nothing, 80mg seems to be a bit better at controlling symptoms and no side effects but still not brilliant.
Have they ever checked if your LES was closing properly? Or if you have hiatal hernia? I get sore throat too, especially first thing in the morning and I know it's from the acid. I also came across a lot of doctors who just don't care and just dish out more pills to get rid of you. But you just have to be pushy and nag them, keep telling them that you are still not improving. It's their job to get you better. If it means more tests than so be it. I learned this the hard way when I had excruciating backache and nerve pain, they thought I was exaggerating how bad the pain was and didn't want to refer me for any tests, but I persisted. I saw a pain consultant first then a spinal surgeon and he did tests and found two slipped discs and two deformed vertebrae.
Just hang in there and be persistent at trying to find out the cause and hopefully a solution. 30 years is too young to give up, even if it feels like it at the moment. I mean it's not great to take antidepressants but they really helped me when I was feeling suicidal with back and nerve pain and helped me get through the surgery and post-op recovery so you might want to try that for a little while. They take a few weeks to kick in but I felt like I could cope when I was on them. Also when you are stressed and depressed the pain just feels a whole lot worse as you are more sensitive to it. Also when you are stressed the stomach produces more acid which in turn causes more issues so it's a vicious circle.
So just take it one day at a time and know that there are other people going through what you are going through, you are not alone my friend.
We will fight this and we will win, okay?
All my love