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Dyspeptic: or One Hell of a Rough Night (Again)

September 5, 2011

from 8/24/2011

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.

Treatment

To prevent heartburn, avoid foods and beverages that may trigger your symptoms. For many people, these include:
Alcohol
Caffeine
Carbonated beverages
Chocolate
Citrus fruits and juices
Tomatoes
Tomato sauces
Spicy or fatty foods
Full-fat dairy products
Peppermint
Spearmint
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!

 9/5/11 Update:  Yeah, spearmint reduction has not been enough (joke), and I’ve had a couple similar nights since then, and several others where I just woke up gasping and swallowing that nasty stuff back. I am actively working to remove the things from the list, trying to figure out what are the triggers for this for me. After eating chocolate two hours before bedtime and waking up an hour after falling asleep and vomiting, I’ve decided to move chocolate to breakfast time, per Kathleen’s suggestion. 🙂
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2 Comments
  1. September 7, 2011 6:26 am

    Hi, Kim! sorry to read you are having such problems with this. I have reflux at times, since I had gastric banding several years ago. (And allergic to Prevacid – go figure!).

    I take Prilosec daily in the morning, and have no problems generally. But I *do* find that certain foods before bedtime are more triggers than others. Alcohol, chocolate, etc are not triggers for me. A food diary helped.

    Other things that help: having antacids in my night table and taking one right before bedtime on nights when I think I will have trouble. Cursing at myself when I break the rules and wake up miserable. And knowing that generally the problem WILL go away if I stay upright long enough.

    Good luck at working things out. Stress, for me, has been a HUGE issue, but the night time antacids DO help.

    • KWombles permalink*
      September 7, 2011 5:02 pm

      Thanks for the tips and kind words. Yes, the cursing in the middle of the night does help; some mistakes I won’t repeat! It’s eliminated middle of the night snacking, so I’ll look on the positive side.

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