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.