Dyspeptic: or One Hell of a Rough Night

I have GERD, and had spent a couple years on medications like prilosec and nexium until the side-effects of those meds became worse than the problem. Last spring it was suggested I would probably need to have Nissen fundoplication before I ran screaming from the gastro's office. Okay, I didn't run screaming, but I did walk out going "No way in hell." I haven't been back to him since. After stopping the nexium, I actually saw improvement in many of my issues and had less acid reflux. Look,  a little bit of heartburn I can deal with. Waking up with the dratted stuff in my mouth, not so much. It's extremely unpleasant. Last night I woke up with the feel of it all the way in my nasal passages. It felt like it was burning my nose hairs, and (forgive the TMI) I spent an hour vomiting until there was nothing left to, and then another hour heaving. It was NOT a good night.

So what the hell do I do? I was sleeping in my recliner sitting up when this happened, and this happens three times or more a week.

Go back to the gastro? The surgery is off the table. Seriously, as you will not get me on the table. Sigh. Okay, so let's look at the things that could make this issue improve and see if I'm doing any of them.

To prevent heartburn, avoid foods and beverages that may trigger your symptoms. For many people, these include:
Carbonated beverages
Citrus fruits and juices
Tomato sauces
Spicy or fatty foods
Full-fat dairy products
If other foods regularly give you heartburn, avoid those foods, too.
Hahahahaha. Oh crap. Well, there goes being a lush.
Hee, yeah, you're getting caffeine, carbonated beverages and chocolate away from me!

No, seriously. Apparently my life style is a problem. I live on caffeine, drink diet sodas, treat myself to chocolate, love Italian dishes, suck on peppermints. I do it all. Last night's awful episode undoubtedly resulted from the rocky road ice cream an hour before I went to bed last night coupled with the diet coke, hamburger and fries for supper.

I've got to make some very real changes. Moving on, let's look at other changes and see just how bad I am.

Also, try the following changes to your eating habits and lifestyle:
Avoid bending over or exercising just after eating
Avoid garments or belts that fit tightly around your waist
Do not lie down with a full stomach. For example, avoid eating within 2 - 3 hours of bedtime.
Do not smoke.
Eat smaller meals.
Lose weight if you are overweight.
Reduce stress.
Sleep with your head raised about 6 inches. Do this by tilting your entire bed, or by using a wedge under your body, not just with normal pillows.
Well, I can absolutely guarantee I'm not exercising right after eating or wearing tight clothes around my waist. I don't smoke, and I often sleep in the recliner, sitting up, which makes no impact.

But, I need to work harder to not lie down with a full stomach, I need to lose weight, and I need to reduce stress.

Here is where I laugh maniacally. Reduce stress? How?

Don't they realize all this just ratcheted the stress up? Give up a diet I eat because I'm exhausted and stressed in the first place and replace it with one of bland foods?

Sometimes the things we are asked to do seem insurmountable, too much to ask, and we gnash our teeth and bemoan our fate. Here's my bottom line, though: I don't want another night like last night. I don't. So, first thing I'm gonna give up is spearmint. Hee, that's a serious sacrifice, but you know, it's the right thing to do. I'm also gonna make sure I'm not doing those exercises right after I eat. I can do these two things, no problem. Ought to fix everything, like immediately. :-)

Nah, I kid. I will find the fortitude to take control and make the lifestyle changes that could improve this. Pills can't fix everything, and neither can surgeries We have to do our part, too. So, if I nod off while you're talking to me, it's because I've reached the top of the list and am giving up caffeine. Or because I really imbibed (the very top of the list, alcohol)! No, that one I can cross off the list first, easy breezy along with spearmint.

Now, what to do for stress reduction? Hmmmm.

Wish me luck!


Eric said...

Also Bananas can cause heartburn. Acupuncture can help but you nailed it with the stress part. Most important yet most difficult to affect. Look up "pericardium 6" as acupressure point, press it well and often.
As a fellow sufferer I know the irritating nature of the problem. It's also not without its own health risks. Best of luck with it.

kathleen said...

You have my deepest condolences on the loss of spearmint in your life...I think perhaps just taking a moment for yourself more than once every twenty years or so might help...ahh..and scrapbooking..hee..I hear that scrapbook related stress and injury occur very rarely. (((())))

melbo said...

Oh my, you have my sympathies. I know the food exclusion list is pretty daunting and seems like one more stress to add to your life. I don't know how I'd cope without caffeine ... and other things.

I sleep partially upright too but not for the same reason. Doesn't make for a good night's sleep does it.

Anonymous said...

I knew there was a reason I never liked spearmint!

The thing with the surgery is that it only last for a few years - I think my dad's lasted for about 10 years.

I wish you all the best. Although I have a different condition, I am all too familiar with the end of an endoscopy tube!