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Friday, May 10, 2013

pH Probe Test Results - Mayo Visit Day 2

I met with the doctor today at Mayo to find out the results of my pH probe test. The doctor told me that during my twenty-four hour test, the stomach acid was present 95% of the time. That means that my acid reflux is making the vomiting worse because the medication they put me on for it (Aciphex twice daily) isn't working. During fifty-six recorded episodes during the test, forty-four of them showed vomit and not acid. That just floored me. I had THAT much food and acid come up during twenty-four hours! That was just a lot to take in.

He explained that no surgeon would do the nissen fludoplication surgery that he was considering before because of the vomiting. Additionally, my vomiting would cause the surgery to become undone, which would be pointless.

The acid needs to be reduced to at least 25%. The doctor wants me to try breathing exercises and relaxation techniques the psychologist gave me because he doesn't want me on a lot of medications.

The psychologist I consulted with this morning thinks that if I can reduce my anxiety then that will help control the vomiting. The problem is that I have anxiety BECAUSE of the stomach issues. The psychologist also wants me to try walking thirty minutes a day. The issue I have with that, that I explained to him, was that it's a catch-22 for me. I have issues leaving my bathroom long enough to do anything or I'd go hiking! So, my solution that I came up with, is to drag one of the Wii's that we own downstairs, hook it up to my TV, and do yoga on the Wii Fit so that I can exercise for thirty minutes a day. He also printed out a list of psychologists for me to see in Atlanta that I should follow up with.

Meanwhile, the GI doctor wants to see if I receive any relief from the alternative methods - deep breathing and relaxation. He put me on Protonix 40mg, twice daily, to protect my esophagus.

He told me to follow up with my doctor in Atlanta to do a chronic liver disease test and a pelvic floor test. I will wait for his notes before I make an appointment with my regular GI doctor. I'm not quite sure what to do about the GERD. I've been on every medication known to man for the acid reflux. What do I do if none of them work?

I'm going to scan in the relaxation techniques and will attach them to this post for later. I wanted to write out what the doctor told me before I forgot. =)


Jay said...

As much as I agree that fewer medications the better, I can't help but scoff when given instructions for relaxation techniques. Sometimes I have to see the humour in the situation and picture a patient with a broken leg given the same suggestion to lessen the pain. I developed problems with anxiety over the past years due to not being very socially active but some doctors seem to assume that anxiety is the sole cause. Ativan and clonazipam 'help' in the short term, but speaking from personal experience these treatments are more harmful than helpful.

Diane Jessup said...

I am on both dexilant and protonix for acid reflux. Have you tried Dexilant? (You can get a savings card for it).

Anonymous said...

I was very interested in what the Dr's at Mayo said. I am currently being seen by Dr's at University of Michigan. I am on 3- GERD medicines. I aspirated my stomach contents into my lungs. I have been in the hospital 4- times in the last 9- months with Aspiration Pneumonia. Two of those times in the I.C.U. Where I was in Critical condition. I now sleep in a reclining chair at night because of fear I will aspirate. I have also hd the Botox injection and we are seeing if that also helps.

T-girl said...

I hope the relaxation helps. It is reminiscent of the now-archaic view that ulcers were due to tension or emotional issues, rather than the h-pylori infection that most of them are now known to be caused by. That said, relaxation is a healthy thing for most humans in our culture. I worked with a hypnotherapist years back (for another set of issues) and the first session he got me very relaxed and then put in a post-hypnotic suggestion that when I touched my thumb and forefinger together I would be instantly and completely relaxed. It was fabulous! I did it often enough that I lost the habitual tension that I carried around with me: I'd touch my finger/thumb together and nothing would happen because I was already relaxed. It's a wonderful feeling, even if it's addressing the results of the GERD rather than being its cause. (Note; I take protonix - 40mg - and sometimes wonder if I don't have enough acid to digest my food, since it often comes back up without acid .)
I've considered asking him to work with me again to see if there's anything my subconscious can do to help out.

About walks: I bring a barf bag with me whenever I go (dog poo bags from the dispenser in the park are just fine if I've forgotten to bring my own or used it up without replacement), so I don't have to stay too close to the kitchen sink (love that garbage disposal!). In the car, I not only have barf bags, but learned that paper Starbucks-type cups are great while driving. They sit, handily, in the cup holder and if I suddenly feel the urge, I can grab one and it stays open and available and after use can be stowed back in the cup holder until I can stop, keeping me from being left, literally, holding the bag.

Did Mayo have anything else to offer?