Ok I thought I would share an update in the hopes it may help others and well...maybe to ask a question or two. Of course we are all unique, but this is the start to my success story.
I have suffered with Reflux disease (bad heartburn) for about 16 years. I have had a scope test and barium swallow tests several times, which confirm my esophagus allows reflux and everything else checks out as being normal. I have been taking Prevacid 30 mg for the same time period and on occasion have taken 60 mg once a day during certain times for relief. This medicine neutralizes your stomach acid and even though your still have fluid refluxing its now low acidity, which is less irritating.
This worked for many years but all through this time period I had several occasions where my chest was really sore. At many times I felt as if I was having a heart attack from this discomfort and through the years have had an EKG done several times at the ER and even a heart stress test. The tests always came back, fit as a fiddle, so I assumed it was the reflux and must have been something I recently digested in my diet.
That’s the background and until now was the story of my daily life. Recently I started developing progressive worsening signs of classic GAD. I was become anxious all the time and was having trouble going shopping, being around friends and well, I guess just leaving the house. A walk around the block was really, and I mean really difficult. I had to have my cell phone with me at all times, in constant fear of a heart attack, as my chest discomfort was my barometer as to how I felt or was going to feel. I could be at the store or out for a walk and all of a sudden the pain would kick in and left me with a deep desire to get back to my safe haven – my home or vehicle to calmly rest.
It has been 6 weeks now since I started Effexor XR 75 mg (an anti-depressant) and to my amazement my chest soreness has really lessoned. I am starting to be less anxious and am getting better each day. I exercise more, have gone and had friends for dinner gatherings, and even went to the mall shopping for a couple hours. The doctor also prescribed me Xanax as needed, issued me 50 tablets of 0.5mg and said I could take up to 2 per day if required. Honestly speaking, I liked the feeling of taking them. It was very calming and completely took my chest discomfort away. I have read a bunch and observed several posts on Benzo’s and have really tried not to take the Xanax. To date I have taken roughly 10 tablets, mostly in the beginning well starting Effexor, but really take comfort that I have something in my pocket that works wonders and is fast if needed
Since starting the Effexor I have eaten foods that in the past would trigger chest discomfort or bed-ridden discomfort in the past and well now...nothing. Up first thing, no heartburn or even the slightest inclination of chest soreness. Don’t need any antacid or Tylenol. I wonder now, looking back at my history, if I really had that serious of a problem with reflux or it was the Anxiety monkey all the time? Or is it just the Effexor that is blocking the retake up of this discomfort? My gut tells me I have had progressing anxiety problems over the last 16 years, and all along these issues were in the shadow of what my doctor and I chalked up to as reflux disease.
In one way I am glad my anxiety is out of the closet and that it kicked me in the butt. I took the necessary steps to seek professional help and with this medication not only is my anxiety getting under control but also the chest pains are disappearing. I know it’s early for me in my treatment for Anxiety, but after 6 weeks on Effexor, it’s the first time in a very very long time that I have managed to go a week with no chest pain discomfort.
That’s my update and another chapter in my success story.
Healthy regards to all,