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I have been suffering from heartburn, constipation, severe bloating and generally GI discomfort since my teenage years. I am now 33 and was finally diagnosed with GERD and hiatal hernia following a barium swallow and gastroendoscopy. Was told that my esophagus was "raw" because of all the acid reflux and was immediately put on Nexium which I took for about 3 months. I did notice an improvement during those months but the idea of a lifetime commitment to taking this drug bothered me so I researched other alternative ways to cope with it, which did help a little but by any means, do not prevent the GERD symptoms from occurring.
I hate the fact that I can't have coffee, tomatoes, spicy food or a glass of wine every now and then. I am very health conscious and follow mostly a vegetarian diet with the occasional "fish" treat but the fact that I have food restrictions doesn't sit well with me, especially if we're talking about foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits which are so delicious and good for you. I know that I should not be eating late at night and should only have small meals but I'm human and sometimes I crave these foods and want to have them but boy, do I suffer the consequences! Last night for instance I had some bean chili with mixed greens and a touch of yogurt and that was it. The bloating sensation, nausea and headache started almost instantly and lasted throughout the night and have not subsided even in the morning. I woke up wanting to throw up but simply couldn't so now I can't go to work and sitting at home feeling miserable.
I am so angry at this situation but I don't see any other choice but to try and avoid all the foods that exacerbate the symptoms. To be honest, I feel great when I don't eat and the moment I swallow something, the discomfort starts. Eating shouldn't be this stressful. It is supposed to be one of the pleasures in life. I know you guys understand me but I do not wish this upon anybody. I feel that my friends sometimes think that I am exaggerating but when you feel this way, there is no way that you can shake it off, no matter how positive a person you may be. Believe me, I am far from being a "cry-baby" but I am tired of feeling this way and would do anything to be like a normal person. Meanwhile, I am doing all that I can to cope and hope that by eliminating the foods that trigger my symptoms will alleviate my distress. Stay strong, people!
– Name withheld by request
In 2009, I was managing our family business. I'm such a workaholic. That October I started to feel dizzy and bloated after heavy meals. Every time I felt bloated, I would just sit with my hips bent at 90 degrees and I deep breathing. After 1-2 hours, it would all be gone.
In the last week of October I was admitted to the hospital because of profuse vomiting. It felt like my intestines were going to come out of my mouth. I wasn’t bringing anything up but still retching. I spent. 6 days in the ward, it was so hard for me. I was in such pain. The other patients told me "You can do it. Just pray. God will help you." My relatives sang songs about God to help me sleep.
When I got home, I had to go on a bland diet. No fatty foods, salty foods, sour foods. I just ate rice, oats, and biscuits. I'm got so thin, I lost 4 kilograms. Three weeks later, I was admitted again with the same signs and symptoms because I was accustomed to eating even when I felt full. That was more horrible than my previous hospitalization. I was discharged after 7 days.
From those experiences, I now keep a much more strict diet. I avoid alcoholic and carbonated beverages, I avoid stress, and I only eat small frequent meals. But sometimes I still experience bloating. I am still researching GERD for more information.
– Name withheld by request
Been treated for GERD for 3 months after complaining of chest pain and burning sensation on my chest and back. Recently (December) I have had chest burning again and this time it’s serious as its now 24-hr. Went to a doctor, thinks I have anxiety but told me to do barium meal test. I did but told me my esophagus is not too narrow. I went to another specialist who told me I might need a surgery. I don't know what to do or who to believe. Our doctors here in Africa don't have much experience in diagnosing these problems.
– Name withheld by request
I grew up with two parents who had constant heartburn. Dad always had antacids in his pocket and mom kept them on her nightstand. I just thought it was a thing that all adults suffered from. So when I started to suffer from heartburn in college, I didn’t think of it as something I should seek treatment for. I just started buying big bottles of antacids and sleeping on a pile of pillows to elevate my head. I put on too much weight during grad school, and between eating a students’ poor diet, the excess weight, and the stress, heartburn became just a way of life.
When I was about 30 I got a job at a hospital. One of the doctors saw me popping antacids after lunch and asked if I had ever talked to my doctor about my heartburn. He was shocked that I had never even mentioned it! I consider myself an educated person but that was the first time I heard that long term heartburn can be a sign of GERD, and that going too long untreated, GERD can lead to esophageal cancer.
I found a doctor in the hospital who was doing a clinical trial on people with untreated GERD. I got a free endoscopy as part of the trial, and I was lucky to find that I didn’t have any damage to my esophagus despite years without treatment. I was told to follow up with my primary care doctor and get treatment. She put me on a proton pump inhibitor and I can’t tell you how amazing it was – I took the first pill, and that night for the first time in years I didn’t have heartburn! She told me I’d probably need to be on PPIs the rest of my life if I didn’t want the heartburn to come back.
I started trying to make other changes – eating smaller dinners and not eating right before bedtime – and within a few months I was able to cut back to one pill every other day. But boy if I forgot which day I was on and missed a pill, the GERD came back with a vengeance.
It took another five years for me to find the willpower to start making serious changes to improve my health. I started bicycling in 2008, and started losing a lot of weight. Part of my diet plan was to stop eating at all after about 3pm. Now I no longer need the PPIs.
However, this doesn’t mean I’m “cured” of my GERD. I still have to use antacids on the rare occasions that I eat too close to bedtime or have too large of a meal. It’s still there, waiting for me to slip back into bad habits, and it always will be. It’s just like any other chronic disease. I just wish I had learned earlier that heartburn is not something you have to live with, that treatments and lifestyle changes exist that can help. Good luck to all of you who are still struggling.
– Name withheld by request
I had a stomach stapling in 1985 to save my life. That it did but in the end, how much am I losing? I started having reflux immediately after surgery. The doctor didn't want to admit there was a problem so he ignored it until I became a pain in the neck. I have been dealing with GERD since then. It has been the struggle of my life. I am on medications which vary in results and length of the results. Now the problem has become so severe that when I am sleeping, my stomach contents come out my nose and mouth. Even if I have an early dinner it doesn't matter. I wake up coughing choking and vomiting. Not a pretty sight. I find myself becoming more and more despondent. The newest problems relating to this disease is wheezing, coughing and body aches and chills. The aches and chills last one day and may not come back for a week or two but everything else remains. Every day I live with the fear that I will aspirate one last time and die. The stapling caused more problems than imagined and none of them were even discussed as being a possibility. I lost almost 200 lbs but regained 80 which is typical with a stapling. I fear now that I have acquired asthma as a result of this horrific disease.
My gall bladder was removed over 10 years ago but I have suffered from constant heartburn ever since. I was eventually sent for a barium swallow which confirmed that I had a large reflux that was originally treated with Prevacid. Over time that medication was changed to Nexium. Just recently I returned to the doctor as I was experiencing an increase in heartburn. I was sent for another barium swallow. I went to a different lab than the first test.
Today I was at a doctor for unrelated issues and inquired about the test result. According to this lab, I have NO reflux at all. Now I’m confused because I have read that this doesn’t heal itself. I was seen by a nurse practitioner who was unable to answer my questions. How do I know which test has the correct diagnosis and maybe I have been taking medication unnecessarily for years?
– Name withheld by request
Can anybody out there give me any help please. I have recently been diagnosed with GERD after suffering for a while with almost constant heartburn and a feeling of a lump in my throat. I had a barium swallow which diagnosed the acid reflux which has now been constant for almost 3 months now. I have no idea what triggered it off but it is awful all day apart from first thing in the morning. Then as soon as the day goes on it creeps up and gets worse and worse. I have tried avoiding all the usual triggers and have also had 2 very unsuccessful attempts on PPIs. After trying the first for 3 weeks I stopped as there was no change at all and it ended up making me feel worse. With the second I have been on them for almost a month (2 a day 30mg) and again no change whatsoever. It is making me very low. I was also diagnosed with depression but after taking an SSRI for a while I had to stop because of a serious side-effect. I have yet to go back to my doctor but wondered if anybody out there has had similar lack of success with medication for severe and almost constant GERD. None of even the heavy duty antacids make any difference either and I have tried apple cider vinegar and honey too. Any suggestions as it is severely impacting my life.
When I was 12 my tummy aches became severe and I spent the next 10 years being tested to see what was wrong. In 1996 my new doctor realized that I did not have an esophageal sphincter and in early 1997 I had fundoplication surgery to help manage the acid that kept going up my throat. The surgery came undone less than a year later. At the time I was only 22 years old so my doctors didn't think that I should have another surgery until I'm much older and it was up to me to stay on medication for the rest of my life. I chose to not take anything except for the occasional antacid and instead managed my diet. I'm 36 years old now and I've only had to be on meds twice since I was 22. Even if I have a 'cheat' day I don't suffer any set backs like I did when I was younger and on meds. Never underestimate the power of a good workout. It'll help you digest your food faster and keep you feeling much better than most medications.
I was diagnosed with GERD four years ago and I’m only 21. It is very hard and I feel that people who say “it's just heartburn” are very ignorant. This is a lifestyle on it's own. Most of the time I can't breath properly because the acid reaches up to my nose. I am constantly thinking I have some type of virus because of my sore throat, only to find, after yet another visit to my doctor, that it’s “JUST heartburn”.
I just feel so tired of taking pills every day and having to wait half an hour before I have breakfast. I have to plan every morning accordingly and wake up before I normally would. I know this is supposed to be about courage but I think after 4 years and 4 different medications, all of which stopped working about 8 months after starting them, I'm just frustrated.
So just hang in there, because this is a disease that happens at all ages. If we can see that there are more people suffering the same as us, maybe that will give us the hope we need to continue with our lives as normally as GERD can let us.
– Name withheld by request
When I was 28, I was diagnosed with GERD. I had excruciating stomach pains and went to see a doctor. I am now 43 and had not had any symptoms or issues with heartburn or any other symptom associated with GERD again until 9 months ago. I had trouble with food and it felt like the food was getting stuck in my throat. I went to see an ENT and was treated for acid reflux, but that brought back the memory of my GERD diagnosis some 15 years prior. I went to a gastroenterologist, had an endoscopy done and was once again diagnosed with GERD. This time the outcome has not been so good. The GI doctor I saw prescribed two different medications. I was having bad reaction to the medicine and felt the only thing the GI doctor was doing was medicating me. I decided to go to another GI doctor and who prescribed a different medication to help with the discomfort of the burning, which I only experience in my throat. I still don't have any resolution to this problem and am really frustrated. I have never had heartburn in my life and I only started feeling burning in my throat when I started taking medicine for GERD. I just wish someone could do something to make me feel better. I can't imagine feeling like this the rest of my life.
My original symptoms started when I was about 10 years old. I was diagnosed with a peptic ulcer. I am now 56 yrs old, so a long time ago not much was known about GERD, and for many years during upsets I had to be on a milk/toast diet. I mean that was it, milk & toast, any way you could serve it, for sometimes a week until my stomach would settle down.
I believe stress plays an important part in my level of GERD. My family doctor sent me to a gastroenterologist where I had a endoscopy and was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus. I had to have more endoscopies to dilate my esophagus. I had to have many more prescriptions (always the best, not covered by insurance) many more ultra sounds, a 24 hr pH study, and the worst, an esophageal manometry 2 times. Finally I ended up with a Nissen Fundoplication in 2003. They said it was a temporary fix.
Now most of the old symptoms are all back, and I am on the strongest meds available. I wake in the middle of the night choking on reflux. I endure heartburn, bloating, not being able to wear tight clothes, sore throat and occasionally a burnt tongue. I do not know what my future holds. I eat only bland, white, foods most of the time. But STILL I have problems.
I am 63 yrs old and 8 months ago I started having problems with swallowing. I could not even drink liquids, consequently I lost over 40 lbs in a period of 4 months. My doctor recommended upper endoscopy and found that my esophagus was completely shut, and it was forced opened, however the problem continued and I had second endoscopy with a biopsy. Luckily everything came back clear, and I was prescribed medication for acid reflux. It seemed to help a little but I am now having the same problems and still dropping weight. I can’t eat any meats or breads and it’s hard to drink water, I can only take few sips at a time. So far, I can eat a cup of oatmeal in the morning, cup of soup at noon and cup of cereal about 5 pm, but now I feel weak and sleepy most of the time. I have tried taking a nutritional supplement but it wont stay down. I am just waiting for a new referral to another doctor, but the truth is I am much afraid and sometimes think I should just keep trying what little food stays down.
I am 22 years old and 6 months ago I was diagnosed with GERD. As a teenager I was always stressed, as I was living with an abusive step father. I suffered with panic/anxiety disorder along with depression. At age 13 I began regurgitating massive amounts of acid/ bile every morning. I went to a gastro-specialist who found gallstones and they wanted to take out my gallbladder because they thought that was causing the problem. However they said if they do take it out it may not stop the regurgitation, so what was the point? So I went to another specialist. I had multiple tests that a normal 13 year old shouldn't be going through. I can’t count how many endoscopies, MRI's, ultrasounds etc. that I have had; they found a good amount of damage in my esophagus. I was not surprised. They put me on esomeprazole but it did not help.
I stopped seeing the specialists because they couldn’t find a diagnosis. I began seeing a doctor who is a regular primary care doctor, not a specialist! He sat and talked with me for about 1/2 hour. He told me that it sounds like I have GERD, and he gave me samples of a different PPI since I have no insurance. About 3 days after taking the medication I completely stopped vomiting. It’s crazy that it took 9 years to diagnose me and fix me. I was so sick of waking up every morning just to vomit, I began thinking this is hell, and I don’t want to deal with this any more I wanted to give up! I am so happy that I found a doctor that actually sits down and talks and actually cares, not a specialist who is in and out giving me 3 minutes to explain what’s going on and to have to pay $200 a visit for 3 minutes of their time. That day I met my new doctor was the first day I walked out of a doctor’s office feeling relieved, and taken care of. I have been vomit free for 6 months! After 9 years of hell and I am loving waking up in a good mood.
I am 27 years old and have been suffering with GERD for the last 10 years. It all started when I was 17 and started having occasional heartburn when I would lie down and go to sleep. By the time I was 18 and starting my first year of college, the heartburn was so bad that I could no longer sleep laying down and had to prop a pillow up against the wall near my bed and attempt to get a couple hours of sleep every night. Eventually the heartburn became so bad that I was experiencing it all day long and not just at night time. When I was 19 I went to see a gastroenterologist who did an upper endoscopy and diagnosed me with GERD and told me that I had esophageal ulcers. Between the age of 19 and now at age 27 I have tried almost every single medication that is out there for GERD. They all worked great for a while and then after a year or so they would stop being effective. I have tried EVERYTHING; controlling my diet, lifestyle changes, everything, and nothing seems to effectively help my acid reflux. The current gastroenterologist I'm seeing said she doesn't think I'm a candidate for surgery. I'm not sure why, as I'm only 27, have had this for 10 years now, it's obviously not going away, and I've tried almost every medication there is without long-term success. I'm severely frustrated at this point in time, and after my appointment next week I think I'll be trying to find another doctor and get a second opinion.
Do you know what it feels like to have a 50lb weight on your chest? What it feels like when your stomach has spasms for over 30 minutes? Heart palpitations that feel like they will never stop? Eating has become so stressful at times I'd rather not eat. If I eat something that triggers, if I eat too much, if I eat too little, if I eat too late at night, if I don't eat soon enough when I get up. I can't begin to remember the last time I had a full nights sleep. I have had symptoms like this for several years and within the last year I feel like I am in constant pain. I found out 3 weeks ago that I have Barrett's Esophagus, my mother and 4 of her sisters/brother have Barrett's or GERD, my grandfather died of esophageal cancer.
In the past weeks I have experienced every possible emotion and I try to remain positive but how is it that so many people can give out advice about something they know nothing about? I feel like I have lost so many things, including friends. I used to go for coffee in the mornings or drinks in the evening. Yes my friends are still there but they don't understand. Going out to eat is a chore, no soda, no alcohol, no ice tea-haven't found a restaurant that serves decaffeinated tea yet, no heavy sauces/spices. I feel trapped! I don't feel like having relations with my spouse because the pressure on my stomach. I wish I could live in my nightgown because that is the only piece of clothing that doesn't hurt. Some how I am supposed to change my lifestyle and move on. Like someone before me said, I understand there are so many people that are suffering much worse but I am having a hard time keeping my head up every day!
– Name withheld by request
I have been dealing with GERD now for 8 months. People around me seem to think I should lighten up about it because it is not like I was diagnosed with a terminal disease. I am not sure if they understand how, as much as you want to keep an optimistic attitude, it chips away at you every day. The constant chest pain, the constant meal planning, always worrying about what drugs you are taking and are they safe long term, the side effects and other digestive upsets caused by these drugs, being up all night and the fatigue from sleeplessness and pain. I have anxiety about going to bed because I have woken up many nights with rapid heart rates, bloating, gas, pain. I know that there are people suffering worse illnesses than me but I sometimes I just can't help but get really down about it.
– Name withheld by request
It was a Monday, and I felt uncomfortable in class. Tuesday rolled around and I was too sick to attend school. A visit to the doctors only resulted in "a virus" so I was told to stay home until I felt better. Too bad I didn’t feel better! As my absences started piling up, I tried to go back to school. but I wasn’t able. Two weeks and 3 doctors appointments later I was diagnosed with GERD. I am 16, and I was told to make lifestyle changes such as cutting out dairy, greasy foods, spicy foods, chocolate, soda, and any citrus foods. Do you know how hard this is? I don’t think people are aware how crazy this is, unless you have to deal with it. I will forever have to deal with this, and I don’t even know how I will. I can't imagine my life without chocolate.
– Name withheld by request
[Editor’s note: Some foods worsen reflux. But everyone is a bit different in how they respond to food. Cutting back on a food (eating just a little) may help just as much as cutting it out and eating none. Talk it over with your doctor.]
Like others I had stomach ache as a child, heartburn in pregnancy and a 'delicate stomach' thereafter. My baby daughter was diagnosed as lactose intolerant, and I thought I might be too, so cut out the dairy. Much better! At menopause I started to get constant indigestion, and have just started on a proton pump inhibitor. I know this is supposed to be courageous stories and I am doing my best to be brave. Until I get a diagnosis I have resolved to be calm, patient, keep a positive mental attitude and distract myself with pleasant activities whenever I can. I am in the fortunate position of not having to care for anyone else and I do appreciate the fact that my time is my own. I can concentrate on things like diet modification and rest. My heart goes out to those of you caring for young children and managing a GI disorder.
I have been struggling with severe acid reflux for the past 3 years. It began with severe stomach pain, but I did not have the traditional burning sensation one associates with GERD. I went to the E.R., and they treated me for acid reflux after testing to ensure I was not in a life/death situation. I took a PPI once a day for many months, felt better, and then decided to discontinue the medication. The GERD is back now, and I now also experience excruciating chest pain, which sometimes radiates into my jaw and side of the face. I have been to the E.R. twice, and have had an endoscopy once which, thankfully, came back clean. Last night, I experienced 5 hours of excruciating chest pain and decided to "tough it out". I cannot continue to go to the E.R., as it's not the answer! Just called my G.I. to help me get back on track. I am at work today, with only 3 hours of very uncomfortable sleep. My stomach is burning with residual pain from the night. The anxiety over the situation does not make this any better. Final note... hang in there, people!!! There are others that know the hell you are going through. I pray for each and every one of you.
– Name withheld by request
Up until about 5 years ago I had experienced periodic (but not frequent) heartburn and was occasionally aware of acid reflux. I used to treat myself with up to 6 or 8 Tums a day. A stress test revealed no problems but an endoscopic examination revealed erosions of the esophagus. My surgeon prescribed a PPI every day, which I have done faithfully. Shortly after starting this treatment all of my GERD symptoms disappeared and I reduced my intake of Tums to one or two tablets a week. After 5 years on this program I recently had a follow-up endoscopy which revealed that I still had some esophageal erosions, although somewhat less than at the time of the first exam. The surgeon described it as a grade one (the lowest of 4 grades, I believe). Nevertheless, he has instructed me to double up on the PPI at least until he schedules a repeat endoscopy in 6 months (and I strongly suspect he will then recommend my staying on that regimen for life.) He claims that many my age (77) are on this dosage of a proton pump inhibitor for the long term without ill effect, and he says my complete lack of symptoms is due to the fact that my reflux does not reach high enough for me to be aware of it. Still, I am very apprehensive about this high dosage every day, although after a week on this increased dosage I have experienced only slight, intermittent stomach pain but more frequent nighttime bloating and gas. I have read that this high dosage, at my age, can make one more susceptible to fractures (blocks absorption of calcium?) and I am an active skier. I wish I could get some independent advice on this.
[Editor’s note: A study published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested an increased risk of hip fracture in persons taking a PPI, which increased if the patients were taking the PPI a longer period of time, or at higher doses. This is probably due to impaired calcium absorption when there is less acid in the stomach. It is of note that the patients with hip fractures in this study were much more likely to be a cigarette smoker, be thin, be a diabetic, be alcoholic, have had a stroke, had dementia or had previous bone fractures. If you need to take a PPI, you should talk with your doctor about your risk of osteoporosis. Details on this topic can be found in here, Clinical Corner.]
– Name withheld by request
During last summer, I was diagnosed with GERD. I had to go to the doctor's at least 9 times before they found out what it was. So, waiting so much without the proper medication, I also got Barrett’s esophagus. I'm 14, and I think that this is something I should not have to go through or worry about. I mean I’m not saying I’m the only one, but sometimes it worries me, like I wonder if it's gonna hurt me somehow, and not a lot of people understand what it is. They say "oh ya, GERD is just heartburn, no big deal" but to me, it is.
– Name withheld by request
I first started experiencing symptoms many years ago. I had constant heartburn, burning stomach aches, burning mouth; I always felt nauseous and I was constantly chewing on antacids, which did not help. Then I was no longer able to eat any foods or keep anything down. My doctor refused to listen to me and told me that young people do not have intestinal disorders and that I simply had an eating disorder since I was losing weight. However, the symptoms continued to control my life, I felt sick everyday, and I lost 20lbs.
I finally changed doctors who gave me an upper GI and found out that I had GERD, among other gastrointestinal disorders. Medication made my life so much easier in the beginning, however I have had to switch medications often and I always have to be careful about what I eat, when I eat, and I still sleep with the head of my bed propped up. The good news is that I have a new specialist who actually listens and is helping me to find treatments that work with my lifestyle. The lesson I learned is to listen to my body and to always have a voice with my doctors, because no one knows your body better than you.
– Name withheld by request
I have suffered from what I thought was heartburn, indigestion for more than 38 years. I am 60 years, just retired after 25 years in a very stressful job, which I did at least 2000 miles a week driving. It was really causing problems about 8 years ago so I decided to go to the doctor, who did an endoscope to see if I had an ulcer. He suggested it was a Hiatal hernia, and advised me to lose weight round my waist. However I tried antacids as a short term fix which helped immediately.
I had a really bad cold over Christmas which left me with a dry cough, and sore throat and tongue, and I also find swallowing very painful. But the ever burning pain is still happening every day sometimes twice a day.
I was concerned about my tongue and looked up on a web site for tongue infections, which linked with 'gastroesophageal reflux'. I then researched the symptoms, and found they all matched my own symptoms.
I have now made an appointment to see my doctor, to confirm that I have GERD, and then hopefully to find a cure with either medication or lifestyle changes.
Here’s hoping that my suspicion is correct and I can start some sort of treatment.
– Penny Clist
I always had stomach aches as a child. As a young adult, the heartburn became like an inner furnace in my chest. Then I was pregnant and so when I complained to the doctor I was told that it is a fact of life because of my situation. Living on antacids became routine. Eating small meals, sleeping high on cushions during the years of childbirth was acceptable. I had gone to a gastroenterologist after my first child and complained to him about the heartburn and back pain. He wasn’t concerned about the heartburn and thought I had an anal fissure.
After my youngest child was born, my back pain became more intense. An orthopedist could not find anything wrong.
Then the attacks started. With a sore tummy, painful to eat or drink, and constant heartburn, I had gone back to the doctor several times. He told me I had a virus. Finally, I told him I feel silly about complaining, but I have constant headaches, stomach aches, a hard time eating and drinking, and a lack of general energy.
My family doctor decided that perhaps because of my taking so much NSAID’s I gave myself a stomach ulcer. He gave me a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It was like magic. I was able to sleep through the night. I made an appointment with a gastroenterologist again (12 years after the first one). He was upset that I had not come sooner. The endoscope showed that I have no ulcers in the stomach, but I have esophagitis. In addition to continuing on the PPI he suggested I try to make some lifestyle changes. That part of the plan is the most difficult. Being a mother of five young children and a working mother (I’m an RN) on shift work makes a routine lifestyle impossible. It took me a year and a half to get it organized. I am taking a year off shift work by opening a small home business. This way I am home all the time, can sleep every night, and enjoy family weekends. Wish me luck.
I was diagnosed with GERD many moons ago. My primary symptom is a persistent dry cough to relieve a tickle in my throat, often to the point of light-headedness, and occasionally to the point of bronchial spasms. The coughing frequently throws me into a temporary asthmatic state. Sleeping with head raised and proton pump inhibitors help, but not completely. When I get a cold, watch out, because the coughing then get frequent and it triggered by almost anything, including swallowing saliva "crooked." Anything that I eat must be smooth since any roughage triggers the cough. There's got to be a better way! But what?