Fear of the burn

I am afraid.


A 21-year-old who is in fact on GERD medicine should not wake up in the middle of the night with heartburn. That’d be like a 20-something (who’s not pregnant) regularly having to wake up in the middle of the night to pee. At this age, sleep should not be interrupted.

Not to mention, it’s the fourth type of acid reflux medicine I’ve tried in 2 years. It’s even a higher dose. I’m afraid to say that they only work for a short amount of time because I will run out of medicines to try. Then what?

On top of that medicine, I shouldn’t have to carry around lifesavers (additional acid reducing medicine that old people or pregnant women have to take, like Tums but more powerful) with me everywhere I go for supplemental relief.

What about heartburn trigger foods? Nope, can’t enjoy chocolate, tea, mint, or any of that good stuff without my esophagus hating me.

My medicine used to stop me from burping louder than my boyfriend… oh, that’s when it worked for the first few months.

I am really, really scared. I was supposed to get a endoscopy this summer to see what the heck is going on in there… but (shame on me) I was too scared of the procedure to make an appointment. And now, though I’m still afraid of the procedure, I’m more afraid of the results.

There’s gotta be some ugly ulcers in there. Oh yeah, I’m not done yet… on top of the GERD, I have self-diagnosed ulcers. You see, acid reflux makes your insides burn because you put food in there. Well, so does mine. In addition, I also get burning when my stomach is empty and food is the cure (ultimate ulcer symptom). But food is a trigger for acid reflux. Food = cure and trigger? Story of my life digestive system.

They are self-diagnosed because I haven’t had an endoscopy to make them official. But if they find ulcers, then what? You can’t really do anything but avoid things like Midol (uh, hello? No chocolate or Midol? How do they expect me to live with Aunt Flo?) and hope and pray that they heal. Well let me tell you, they’re not healing, endoscopy or not.

What else could they find? A damaged esophagus? Barrett’s Esophagus?

The c-word?

It’s unlikely for me, but after seeing my Dad’s slim chances… It’s hard to not be fearful. You would be terrified too after living among the nightmare.

You would think acid reflux would be no big deal.

I’m scared to rely on a medication (that doesn’t work effectively) every day of my life. I’m scared that this is a chronic condition that will almost guarantee a surgery or two. I have to live with it forever and two years into it, it can’t be adequately controlled. Dare I add another irritator called pregnancy someday? That’s may be close enough to call it a death wish.

I hope I’m being a hypochondriac. But everything I said was true. Please tell me I’m being silly!

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