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KarenG
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/17/2007 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi - I've been reading this forum for a couple weeks now and its helped to see that I'm not alone with GERD but everyday has been a struggle and it seems to be getting worse. Originally I went to the ER in January b/c I was having a hard time breathing. My chest was tight and I felt like I was breathing through a straw. They said my breathing was fine, chest x-ray and soft tissue of neck was fine and prescribed me steroids and antibiotics for supposed post nasal drip - the steroids did seem to help after a week or so and I was feeling back to normal. Then about 6 weeks ago and started again and much worse. I was experiencing the difficulty breathing, tight chest, lump in throat and constant clearing my throat and burping was the only thing that would relieve it. In fact it feels like it just keeps welling up until I make myself burp and relieve some of the pressure, if that makes sense. But, also when I burp whatever I ate or drank seems to come back up and bending over makes it happen to. I've never been able to burp in my life except during my pregnancies and after my last one in 2004, the burping never went away. It wasn't bad though (or so I thought) and I was a bit proud that I could burp now! But it clued me in to find this message board and start reading up on GERD. I went to my doc and she prescribed me Nexium which I've been taking for 5 weeks and honestly, I don't think it's any better and seems to be getting worse. At first I was on 40mg in the morning. She told me to wait until about 11am before my lunch before taking it, but I couldn't stand it so I started taking it before or at breakfast. I saw her two weeks later and she upped my dosage to 40mg twice a day, which I've read is not great to be on for very long. Still, not a lot of relief. I told her that I was bending over drying my hair and up came acid into my nose and left eye...so she suspects a hiatal hernia, which I have an appt with a Gastro doc this Thurs. My primary doc wants me scoped right away and this doc wants to see my first and possibly change my meds or do a barium swallow first, which I almost want to get scoped to get an answer.
So, I'm here because I am so miserable. Is there an end to this? I'm 45 and the mom of two (6 and 2) and my life is being taken over by this. I don't sleep well - straight up or I wake gasping for breath sometimes. When I get stressed, it gets so much worse. Sometimes I ready to call 911 b/c I just can't breathe and I have to talk myself into realizing that I'm panicking and to slow down and breathe. I've given up chocolate, caffeine (1 sip of coffee sends me into full blown GERD) fast food, spicy food (I'm in New Orleans, so given up spicy food is tough!), carbonated drinks, etc. etc. What I want to know is how did this happen so suddenly? I was drinking wine, beer, diet coke, coffee! just 2 months ago with no problem. Now, I'm slamming water to try to burp (the Nexium is making it hard to burp) and eating granny smith apples (is that just a myth?) hoping to calm this down. Any suggestions, advice would be so appreciated. Right now I'm sitting here with the feeling of a huge lump(?) in my throat wondering if this is going to get any better. Will exercise help? Are there people out there that Nexium did not work for that another med did, Prilosec or Previcid? Oh, and I NEVER get heartburn! I know that is a symptom of GERD, so maybe that is what is throwing me...no heartburn ever..just bringing up everything when I bend or burp and this sensation of a lump and hard time breathing.
Thanks!
Karen

porcelain doll
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/18/2007 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   

Karen:  I know exactly how you feel!!!This GERD can wreak havoc on ones life.  I had been on Protonix for about 7 months and did very good and could pretty much eat spicy foods.  Then one day the pill just stopped working and what happened I got what they call the "rebound effect."  The GERD came back with a vengeance.  This has been since January and I am still not back on my feet.  This Gerd can affect ones quality of life so I truly understand what you are going through and totally sympathize. 

The reflux was so bad that I even aspirated some of the acid in my lungs(it sounds like that is what probably happened to you).  I developed so many respiratory problems which had been non-existant before.  I had to be on Advair, Singulair, and Methylprednisone.  I had to switch medication several times from Aciphex to Prevacid then to Nexium.  I even had a pulmonary function study test and CT scan of my lungs and they came back normal.  I have been taking 40mg of Nexium twice a day for about 8 weeks now but I think it is taking forever to kick in.  I am still getting some acid breakthrough especially at night.  So, I am not too happy with the Nexium and my doctor says to keep on taking it.  All of the PPIs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid work different on each individual (in other words what might work for me might not work for you).  I am doing all of the things you mention (a complete lifestyle change) and it has been hard.  I also developed anxiety issues which I never had before.  When my anxiety gets really bad I take the smallest dose of Xanax and it helps and calms me down. 

Maybe right now something like Xanax might help you for your panic attacks to take away the edge you are feeling.  As far as the exercise, I wouldn't do anything stenuous because it always makes the Gerd worse especially if there is a respiratory problem.  Also as far as the Granny Smith apples I don't know.  I haven't tried that but I did try the Braggs apple cider vinegar and it was a total disaster.  I could literally feel the acid rising and thought I was going to choke and major panic set in.  I took another Nexium and it finally subsided but it seemed like an eternity.  Sometimes we are so desperate to get rid of this misery that we will try just about anything. I am glad the forum exists because it is nice to have a support group.

Good luck, Duchess....


porcelain doll
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/18/2007 12:05 AM (GMT -6)   
BTW Porcelain Doll and Duchess are the same person me!!! I had a problem registering and I guess it took both names.  So when I post I don't know which one is the Porcelain Doll and Duchess.  Hope it makes sense.....

KarenG
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/18/2007 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Duchess, thank you so much for the reply. Helps to know others are out there with this. Going to the gastro doc tomorrow and I just hopes that she takes me seriously and does something different. A change in meds, endoscopy or barium swallow. Something that can help. I'm going on a business trip this weekend and next and will be among about 35-40 doctors for meetings and dinners and not looking forward to it. Usually I would, but I know that I can get into panic mode pretty quickly and may have to excuse myself. Plus will be talking to patients all weekend too, so I'm hoping that it will take my mind off of this rather than me concentrating on it and not being able to function. I'm SO sick of this after a couple months, I cannot imagine going through it for years.
Thanks again!
Karen

california lady
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/21/2007 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Karen I'm in the same boat as you. I'm a 60 year old women, very active, happily married and this hit me with no warning. A few weeks ago I got a serious sinus infection with a swollen lymph node behind my right ear. The doctor put me on antibiotics for ten days, but I wasn't getting better. Then I started to notice a tight feeling like a tight band, squeezing feeling around my stomach, up close to my ribcage. And I felt like I couldn't get my breath, like you I never had hearburn. My doctor did an ekg and my heart was normal. So, I went to an ear, nose throat specialist and discovered I had laryngitis and GERD.Up to a few weeks ago I was eating all kinds of food, drinking lots of fresh orange juice, fresh fish, pizza nothing bothered my stomach. Now I'm afraid to eat anything but liquids, yogart and soft vegetables becuase I start choking if I eat even a tiny amount of food. I can't breath well at night, have to set up straight because I start coughing when I try to lie down, so now I'm on the couch and can't even sleep in my own bed. I've always been thin and now I'm losing weight and don't know what to do with this eating problem. I have my first appointment with a GI specialist next week. This has consumed me, my life changed overnight and all the symptoms you described I have too. I'm so glad to find this support group because I'm really scared but not alone. Jan

friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 4/21/2007 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   

california lady, did they say that these sinus problems were due to the reflux?  Because I am really wondering if that is why I have rhinitis.  I have an awful amount of post nasal drip and it is giving me a lump in my throat.

How did the ENT decide that you have GERD?  You should definitely get an endoscopy and/or a pH study to know exactly if your esophagus is normal.  Maybe it will look normal and then that will put your mind at ease and then you will have a less restrictive diet.

I am 34 and I got all these GI problems from a drastic weight loss (I stopped eating due to stress).  Then, when I did a barium swallow they told me I had "vigorous GERD" so I freaked out and didn't eat so many foods (very bad for my health because I was already food deprived).  I didn't know what to eat and was panicky.  But then I had an endoscopy done and my esophagus looked normal so I am less restrictive with my diet.

Good luck to you.  Hope this email helped. friendlygal


california lady
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/22/2007 9:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Friendly Gal My ENT took a look down my throat and it was very swollen and red, this was due to the sinus infection and severe post nasal drip. So, I developed laryangitis and with my other symptoms of the tight bloated feeling in my stomach, choking when I tried to swallow and thick mucous feeling in my throat, also I felt like something was coming up my throat from my stomach she suspected GERN and put me on pepcid, medrol steroids to reduce the swelling in my throat and sinus and Claritin for the post nasal drip. I never took alot of medications, so this is totally miserable, because of my age I have all kinds of side effects. I'm scheduled for my first visit with a GI specialist next week. The post nasal drip has completely stopped taking the Claritan, have you tried anything like that, it's such a relief not to have that nasty stuff running down my throat every day. I'm sure my GI will run all the tests you mentioned, how awful is the barium swallow, or is it not as bad as I'm thinking. I freaked out when I was trying to eat and started choking, but the swollen throat was mostly to blame, so hopefully I'll be able able to get back to a more normal diet, at least eat some solid food. I've been flat on my back for three weeks, never been so sick and miserable.
I hope you're doing better and your message was a real help.

friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 4/22/2007 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   

california lady, you're welcome.  The barium swallow is nothing.  What is GERN?

 


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/22/2007 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Karen.

Just letting you know that there's a really good forum on here for Anxiety/Panic sufferers here at HW, too. Anxiety or panic, of course, can aggravate GERD like crazy.

california lady
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/22/2007 1:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Friendlygal I meant GERD, I'm so glad to hear the barium is nothing, I"m pretty much overwhelmed right now. I think the anxiety is making me worse, this morning I started coughing and thought I was going to pass out. One small blessing, the tight swollen feeling around my stomach seems to be a little better. Thanks for the helpful advice. I really do appreciate this forum.
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