Saturday, 15 December 2012

Reflux ridiculousness

I've been having some proper problems with reflux in the last few months. Basically, it started in August or so and my tongue was really, really painful. It hurt to eat as it felt like my tongue was burning. Sort of like when you eat loads of fizzy sweets and then your tongue hurts for the rest of the day. Try having that every day for a few months. Anything with a slight texture or flavour would absolutely destroy my tongue so I probably wasn't even eating enough when it was at its worst.

The incredibly annoying irony of this, is that previously I've never had reflux issues in the slightest. I've been happily taking Omeprazole for years at a basic 10mg a day. When my tongue was still hurting, and a clinic appointment came around, I brought it up to my dr and he suspected reflux. More specifically, that reflux had been burning my tongue, so my tongue was essentially a sensitive burn which would explain the pain when trying to eat say.... anything. He changed the dosage to 20mg a day (I say he did, but I actually had to go to the GP and have it changed, which caused a lot of idiotic issues as I'd managed to book an appointment with a locum who didn't know how to use the computer system. Smart.) and changing the dosage helped a lot. The pain halved quite quickly and with any luck, it would go away completely.

But noooooo, unfortunately the same thing started to happen, so my dr (ahem, GP) changed the dosage to 40mg a day, so its 20mg in the morning and 20mg at night. This seems to do the trick, and if it starts to happen again, I will loose my temper incredibly and cause the most unbelievable shit storm, you would not believe.

Now back to the irony of all this.

A few months before all this started to happen, I'd agreed to do a reflux study with some peppy little dr who'd persuaded my dr to ask all his clinic patients if they'd like to take part. Completely optional of course, but I thought it sounded like a good deal as he'd get his research and the info could also be used to make sure I'm on the correct amount of reflux medication. The reflux bloke had pointed out how reflux can cause infections and so on, and considering how I only go a few weeks or a couple of months off IVs before needing them again, and also have a fairly colourful amount of scarring on my xray, I was interested.

By the by, I'm fairly sure I cocked this up in the first place, as I was asked to stop taking my reflux meds for a month, and for some reason, accidentally stopped taking my Ursodeoxycolic acid for a month instead. Although I'm positive that's what I was told to stop taking and was incredibly confused anyway. Oh well!

Once the day came to go to the reflux dept and have a charming little tube stuck up my nose and down my throat to monitor my reflux for 24 hours, I started to get a little jumpy. I've had 3 NGs previously, all placed within the space of a week when I was 11 (right before getting my PEG). The first one was pretty bad as they'd managed to convince themselves that an adult size NG was a suitable size for my little 11yr old frame, and spent the following days (before I threw it up, ha!) unable to sit up or eat solid food as it was so uncomfortable. Thankfully the other two were paed sized and never bothered me up until my PEG placement.

The little dr assured me that the reflux tube would not even be half as bad as an NG, and waved this tiny, nearly threadlike thin piece of tubing in front of me to show me how small it was. So, begs the question, how did that tiny piece of tubing become more traumatic for a 20yr old than 3 NG placements when I was 11?

HE LIED!

Yep, the bastard actually lied through his teeth. Once I'd finally given him the go ahead, he swiftly dropped the tiny tubing and picked up this huge tube that was closer to resembling a small suction tube, and rammed that up my nose. Not to mention that I'd had a nose bleed the previous night due to being on Ceft IVs and coughing like a maniac. Him ramming this tube up my nose with such force hurt so much I pushed him away and told him to back off and that he wasn't coming near me again. I felt like I'd been punched in the nose. He then profusely apologised, and said how he needed to put that tube down first (for something that I've forgotten, but it wasn't very justified to not bloody mention it in the first place) before he placed the smaller one. Suffice to say, he didn't come near me again and I left the department in a very bad mood, with my hand still over my nose in pain.

So yes I find it quite ironic that I'd never had reflux issues in the past before getting this problem quite badly, and also that I was offered a 24 hour reflux monitor and they fucked up to the point of not even managing to go through with it. But as I said, I'm hoping the 40mg a day will work nicely, as its actually taking the piss when you can't finish a small cheese burger from mcdonalds because the tomato sauce is making it too painful to take another bite.

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