During high school I began to have terrible acid reflux anytime I went to lay down. Although undiagnosed at the time, I had GERD. One day I tried eating chef boyardee and a meatball got stuck in my esophagus and ended up regurgitating it a moment after. Soon after, I would have days where I couldn't even swallow my own saliva.

I finally ended up at the hospital where, after some tests, they confirmed my condition and not only informed me that I had Achalasia, but that my esophagus in general was the smallest he's ever seen. They stretched it once with a balloon dilation that provided some relief, but it eventually shrunk again.

2 years after I had another "attack" where I couldn't swallow anything and had another dilatation done. This time, they told me that I had a hiatal hernia and Barrett's esophagus. Originally, they were going to try a botox injection to relax the muscle and let food pass, but after the endoscopy, they realized that the tissue was so scarred and hard that it was impossible and opted for the second dilation instead. It was less effective, but enough that I could swallow again.

These days I still eat the same foods I used to, but with an exhausting amount of chewing and a LOT of thin liquids to push it down forcefully. I still end up over the toilet more than I'd like to, but have learned tricks on how to control my swallowing better.

TL;DR I have a naturally thin and scarred esophagus that inhibits me to swallow food easily

EDIT: Well looks like that's a wrap! I didn't really expect to get more than maybe 15 questions. You all have really started motivating me to finally take care of my condition before it gets worse, so I definitely appreciate you taking the time to comment. And to those suffering from the same issues, I wish you luck!

Comments: 126 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

zoganshero10 karma

Hi, I am a 22 year old male with GERD, Barretts, and a hiatal hernia, i am also very underweight. Reading this post was like reading an escalated version of my life. Just about every symptom you described is what i have though not nearly as severe. I am wondering what the tips and tricks you know are. If you could tell me some i think that would help me out a lot!

Also some advice, i read down below (or up above?) that you are adverse to taking pills, however i used to be prescribed xanax for my anxiety, which i took very very rarely, and i found that whenever i would take some, or any benzo really, that i could eat normally and food actually tasted much better. I do not condone illegal drug use but i think it is something consider because while i do not miss the anti anxiety medicine and its side effects the relief i experienced when eating after taking some was..amazing. Best of luck though I hope things work out for you!

When i say "it" is something to consider i dont mean illegal drug use but a lot of eating problems are related to stress, you may want to see a doctor for that as well it could help.

i_love_barqs3 karma

For the GERD, get an elevated wedge pillow and sleep on your left side. Obviously stay away from all citrus, fried, and spicy foods. You can google more in-depth lists on what is safe and un-safe to eat. Water is your friend.

For me, if food gets stuck, the trick I have to do is immediately take a big gulp of warm water as soon as I feel pressure building up. Then another, and another. If that doesn't work, there's too much thick saliva behind it so I actually need to heave up some of it. Then I just repeat it until it pushes down.

It's actually a very uncomfortable feeling, but I've learned to deal with it as long as it eventually moves the food along.

Boroflow2 karma


i_love_barqs5 karma

This is what has been said to me, what I have read, and what had helped me from experience. If sleeping on your right side works better for you, than I say stick with that.

igetkindahungry1 karma

Elevated wedge pillows don't work; you'll just slide down the pillow at night. What does work is to elevate the head of your bed, eg. by putting lifters under the bed frame, by 6 to 8 inches.

Source: I'm 32, GERD, Barrett's, hiatal hernia.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Well, it works for me so...

Lifters I'm would work better I suppose.

Fixhotep3 karma

holy shit. are you me? my story is almost identical

at 19 i had gerd. one day my esophagus was swollen from the reflux and i had a piece of chicken get stuck. it took 3 attempts after about 20 hours to take it out, in which they actually had to sedate me and go in with some weird ass tool (after the balloons didnt work). i had no idea how much saliva you produce until i couldnt swallow it. i was like that for a full day, i had to carry a bucket with me to spit in. it was terrible.

i had a nissenfundoplication to fix that and a hiatal hernia. this has a 97% success rate and mine failed. basically i had to cut out all alcohol and soda, which fixed most of my reflux problems.

tl;dr i feel ya bro.

i_love_barqs2 karma

Buckets of saliva, yup, sounds about right! Sometimes it would happen in public and I had to find something to spit into, unless I was outside.

So far they haven't tried to do anything with the hiatal hernia, so I'll see what they say on my next check-up.

Fixhotep2 karma

at a young age, surgery is a likely option. you cant go the rest of your life with that. if you were 50, they may say "fuck it." but 20? nope, they wanna fix that shit.

have they talked about nissenfundoplication with you?

i_love_barqs2 karma

Yes they have, but only after scraping some of the scarred tissue off. Instead they went in wanting to try a botox injection, but figured out it was too scarred anyway. So they went with the balloon dilation instead.

Next time, I'm definitely going to be more aware of what's being said to me. I was too caught up in wanting to eat something that I just didn't care to listen to the facts. Until now, that is.

SamoneRules3 karma

Because of the acid reflux symptom, do you have a lot of heartburn because of it? And if so, do you just handle it without the help of any medication?

i_love_barqs5 karma

Yeah just about every time I'm even slightly horizontal, or if I'm moving around a lot.

To be honest, the last time I took medicine for it was a year ago. I stopped mostly out of stubbornness in being in a routine, but also because nobody would give me a straight answer on what the medication did to help my problem, so I always held a little resentment towards the doctors.

...Mostly the stubbornness though. Realizing this could turn into cancer if I keep this up, I'll be getting another check-up next month and plan to stick to the medication this time.

farticulate3 karma

I've found that /r/keto has taken my acid reflux away entirely.

i_love_barqs3 karma

Is that for losing weight? I probably should've mentioned I weigh around 105lbs-- VERY underweight, though I think I've always been. Along with not eating much to begin with, my Achalasia has probably made weight gaining seem impossible.

farticulate3 karma

It can be, but it has a lot of other uses. It's used for kids with epilepsy, it can help stem the growth of certain cancers, lowers blood pressure, and in a lot of cases, stops or decreases acid reflux.

I still stay away from tomatoes and caffeine as well as being on keto, but I don't have to take my medication anymore!

i_love_barqs3 karma

I'll definitely look into it, thanks :)

dancing_pferret2 karma

Don't stop taking the Omeprazole. If they put a camera in you to have a look and it's all inflamed, they can tell you to come back in a month after taking it. It makes a big difference.

Source: this happened to me.

i_love_barqs2 karma

The medication I got was a white cherry flavored liquid. Is that what it's called?

RobieFLASH2 karma

Hey man, i got diagnosed with GERD at the age of 15, but after some strong medication, it no longer is an issue. No questions, just wanted to show some love for a fellow GERD bro. Cheers Man

i_love_barqs1 karma

Thanks man, glad you're doing well

BumDiddy2 karma

I'm no doctor, but shouldn't they try taking the meatball out of your throat first?

Genuine question, with this condition, does it cause you to snore a lot and if so, can you develop the same conditions as apnea patients?

Edit: before you answer, my dumbass is probably mixing the food tube with the air tube. Fuck me I am dumb.

i_love_barqs2 karma

Oh no, I probably should've added I had to regurgitate it after.

And yeah, two seperate tubes lol. I can actually breath fine whenever food becomes stuck, it's just insanely uncomfortable.

Volundarkvioa2 karma

I don't have any questions but as a former individual who suffered from GERD (thankfully I didn't developed achalasia or Barrett's esophagus), I just wanted to say keep going strong.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Thanks, will do

karencav2 karma

Sounds like you may have Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE); I am a mom with 2 preteen boys who have it.

You can learn a lot at the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders. Go to: www.apfed.org

Don't waste your time with just any gastrointestinal physician; make sure you get one with a LOT of experience with EoE patients.

I see that you are 20 years old but since you seemed to developed the problem in high school, I believe your best bet is to start with an established center that specializes in pediatric eosinophilia. (They may be able to evaluate you anyway, and certainly should be able to steer you in the right direction.) Here are three:

The Center for Pediatric Eosinophilic Disorders at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: http://www.chop.edu/service/center-for-pediatric-eosinophilic-disorders/home.html

Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Program at Boston Children's Hospital: http://www.childrenshospital.org/clinicalservices/Site2664/mainpageS2664P0.html

Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/service/c/eosinophilic-disorders/default/

Best of luck to you!

i_love_barqs1 karma

Thanks for the info! :)

TheAndydundas1 karma


i_love_barqs1 karma

Oh sorry, this must have gotten lost in my inbox.

I was fine with how they treated me, I just wish they explained more on what the medication did rather than just tell me to take it. I wish they had told me the risks of not keeping my condition in check. The only reason I knew Barrette's esophagus was a precancerous was because I googled it myself and my mom who's a nurse confirmed it. Funny what things they let slip!

[deleted]1 karma


i_love_barqs1 karma

Woah, what? Did you ever figure out what that was? Never happened to me before.

[deleted]1 karma


i_love_barqs1 karma

Wow, that's weird. At least nothing more serious came up.

manf07121 karma

the VA diagnosed me with GERD and its getting worse, any advice on how to make this better? its getting to the epoint where it wakes me up at night.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Cut off citrus-- NO orange juice. Ever. No more greasy and spicy foods and no more sodas either. Try to eat 4 hours before bed, always try and keep your head propped (I have a wedge pillow I bought off amazon) and sleep on your left side. Drink lots of water.

Read the other comments on suggested OTC meds! Hope this helps. :)

karencav1 karma

When you were scoped, did your doctor take biopsies and check your eosinophil levels? Eosinophilic esophagitis is often misdiagnosed as GERD...

i_love_barqs1 karma

Now that I think about it, I think that's what they thought it was originally. Honestly, at the time, all I wanted to do was eat again. I didn't care about anything afterwards. Now that I'm more aware and organized with my life, I'm starting to acknowledge the effects this could have on my health in the long-term.

I'll confirm this with my mom, she'll know.

etchgtown1 karma

Hi - 34, GERD, hiatal hernia, but no Barrett's luckily. Nexium seriously improved my quality of life, so it sucks that you can't even get it down. Do the liquid drugs improve things at all?

i_love_barqs1 karma

I didn't trust the medication given to me by the doctors. I was stubborn in the fact that I didn't want to be "the sick boy who takes 5 types of medicine a day." I used it a couple times, then eventually threw it out.

I'm NOW finally realizing if I had used it for a long period of time, it could really help protect my esophagus. Definitely going to stick to it on my next appointment.

Jathm1 karma

I started out at the age of 8 using Nexium and some other prescription medications that always made me feel loopy or just sick. I am 23 now and the one that did the trick for me was Prevacid. That stuff is amazing!

Not saying any one medication is the cure, but keep asking for alternatives from your doctor until you find one that really works for you.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Yeah I plan to, along with giving up a few foods and not eating so close to bedtime.

LustrousWS61 karma

Mid 20s here with GERD. Any advice on how to sleep more then 5 hours a day with the pain? I wake up really early with indigestion every single day. Dexilant has worked best but only made it barely liveable. My pain gets worse the more Im not perfectly vertical. I've been scoped and biopsied so many times, thousands (getting close to tens) in medical bills and no solid answers...

i_love_barqs2 karma

Have you tried Prilosec? I've heard great things about it, though I'm unable to take pills myself because of the Achalasia. Can't give you my own experience with it.

Buy a wedge pillow and sleep on your left side. Don't eat 4 hours before bed.

LustrousWS61 karma

Dexilant works better for me than prilosec (OTC and Rx). I'll try the wedge pillow but why left side? It hurts to sleep on my left

i_love_barqs1 karma

It's because the stomach acid sits below the entrance of your esophagus (most of the time) because of how the stomach and esophagus are shaped.

blingx1 karma

I wonder if I have some form of this. Lately, after going on a drinking binge. When I wake up, I throw up either random acid or just nothing until I kinda burp during the throw up.

Happens randomly throughout the day after getting up from laying down. Coughing a lot too.

i_love_barqs1 karma

I'm no doctor, but if it HAD to be any of those things, it could just be a case of GERD. GERD itself isn't that uncommon as far as I know, you just have to keep it in check.

That's only assuming you DO have it though, when it's probably just that drinking binge. Maybe you should get a check-up?

narwhalslut1 karma

Oh my god. My mother has very, very serious GERD. She is over twice your age. :( :( :( :(

She has to have their throat forcibly stretched many times a year. :(

I'm not a praying man but I'd almost prefer to avoid that as the other cancer and heart disease in my parents' families.

Oh yeah, her esophagus is effectively tied at the end and she can't vomit, she just dry heaves, oh my this is depressing the shit out of me. outta here.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Oh man, I'm sorry to hear that. :(

narwhalslut2 karma

She is the last person in the world to deserve the health problems she's had, but it crushes my soul (and worries me greatly as a 23 year old) to hear of someone so young having such problems. :(

Are you sensitive to mint, as well as Citrus?

Did you have a history of heart burn and reflux prior to this?

i_love_barqs1 karma

No worries, I'm an insanely optimistic guy despite this. :)

Although eating takes more moderation now, it hasn't exactly been "life-altering". Then again, I've never eaten that much in the first place. Like I said, I can still eat whatever I want. It just takes a little more effort to eat dry/chewy foods like bread or steak.

Mint never bothered me, but citrus DEFINITELY does. I don't drink orange juice anymore because of it. I'm too scared to try grapefruit!

Prior, I did have reflux, but I don't think it was this bad. I used to be able to drink chocolate-milk before bed and my throat would feel so comfortably cold as if it was like some "anti-reflux/heartburn" by the time I went to lay down. Doesn't work so well anymore.

cuzzard1 karma

i feel for you man. ever try Tecta and Ranitidine 2x/day? keep my evil GERD under control.

i_love_barqs2 karma

Unfortunately, pills always get stuck in my throat because of the Achalasia. The curse of it...

They go down sometimes though as long as I can keep it there long enough and can still swallow my saliva. Takes a good while though.

So, to answer your question, no. I try to avoid pills and focus on liquid medication.

cuzzard1 karma

liquid meds? that would be awesome. i have never been offered liquid :(

i_love_barqs2 karma

They gave me a couple bottles, but I no longer have them and I have no idea what the medicine was called. They just told me it "coats my throat." I'm thinking it acted as a shield from the reflux...? Which... sounds... very logical...

...God I'm and idiot.

FreyjaSunshine1 karma

Probably Carafate (sucralfate).

i_love_barqs2 karma

YES I think that was it! Definitely rings a bell. Probably something I should've never stopped taking, huh?

NickRowan1 karma

I'm pretty sure I have GERD, I have an appointment with a specialist next month for proper scans and tests but in the meantime I'm pretty much self medicating on over the counter PPI's. I've also cut down on acidic foods like tomato, cut out coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and citrus drinks and I'm somewhat better. I used to eat super fast before and I try chew more now although that's a hard habit to change after 30 years.

I still have attacks of coughing when I get stressed out at work or in particularly bad traffic :) I've coughed so much a few time I ended up throwing up.

I'm hoping I don't have to have any operations and that I don't have Barrett but we'll see in a month. :-/

Any other hints and tips you can give me on things to avoid? How do you sleep now ? Do you try keep your head elevated?

i_love_barqs3 karma

As far as things to avoid, I think you're doing well. Water is ALWAYS great as a neutralizer, even better than milk. The only other tip concerning GERD I can give is to eat 4 hours before bed and sleep on your left side. Excessive use of antacids can sometimes do your more harm than good. I bought a wedge pillow off amazon to elevate my head and it's helped a little. I suggest buying one.

Every night I sleep I usually have reflux to some degree, but lately it's been mild. This is probably because I keep staying up late drinking Barqs root beer (which for the life of me I cannot stop drinking... too good).

Jathm1 karma

Water never works for me, but I may just be an odd duck. I end up regurgitating milk (and most of my other food) and water just seemed to make it worse.

Best thing I found was lots of tums and not laying down

i_love_barqs1 karma

Just do whatever works for you, everyone is different. For instance, unless I lay down IMMEDIATELY afterwards, spicy foods don't exactly bother me.

NuggetQueen1 karma

You might find interest in researching Gerson Therapy and/or a juicing lifestyle. I'm going to guess that your condition can also make it difficult to absorb the right amount of vitamins and minerals. seriously, check out Gerson Therapy. Some of it is whacko, like the coffee enemas and some peoples' crazy dedication to the therapy. But if you research with common sense on your shoulder, I really think the information could be beneficial to you.

If you have Netflix and a rainy day to kill, watch some documentaries like "Hungry for Change", "The Gerson Miracle", & "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". Some of the content focuses on weight loss/disease, but the juicing information is invaluable and worth sifting thru for.

Like I mentioned, some of it is a little crazy and people have died from taking it to the extreme (yes, really(. But from a common sense standpoint, it's concept just. makes. sense. There are some AWESOME vegetable juicing recipes that taste great and are super-healthy. And you could totally alter the recipes to keep high-acid fruits out of them.

I started juicing fruits and veggies because of a medical situation myself, albeit very different than your own.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Hmm, I'll give it a look, thanks. :)

jaykayelle1 karma

I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I also have achalasia (I am 22) fortunately I was able to have a laparoscopic surgery that opened up my esophageal sphincter and put a fold in the top of my esophagus. My issue has been that I have very little peristalsis in my esophagus, so every bite of food has to be chased into my stomach with a large amount of water.

Also, before my diagnosis, doctors accused me of being bulimic and told my parents get me a therapist as soon as possible because I was clearly just doing it for attention.

i_love_barqs3 karma

I usually have a bottle of water nearby to weigh down whatever I'm eating just in case it backs up. Now I treat flavored drinks like deserts.

And man, some doctors can be huge assholes.

AnimatedCadaver1 karma


i_love_barqs1 karma

Stupid me FINALLY just realized that it can turn into cancer. When I asked my mom about the possibility, she casually said "Yeah."

The funny thing is, she's a nurse. You'd think she'd tell me these things...

Minern1 karma

Where were you on Friday! I had a pathology exam that included GERD, NERD, esophagitis, and Barrett's esophagus. Do you have any associated oral health complications (enamel erosion, halitosis, mucosal ulcers...)?

i_love_barqs1 karma

Nope, nothing of the sort.

deltalitprof1 karma

I know someone who had been plagued for about 10 years with constant pain from reflux. He'd suffer pain every day similar to a heart attack because his rib, diaphragm and pectoral muscles would tighten up in response to the pain from the esophagus.

Right now he's on antidepressants. He takes 75 mg of effexor a day and 300 mg of trazodone at night. Most days he has no pain whatsoever but if he just skips one pill one day . . . augh!

He's been on this antidepressant regimen since 1998.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Ouch that sounds bad... I'm guessing he's used to it though right? I think it's amazing when people can cope with sometimes.

Set_the_Mighty1 karma

I have the same problem, also diagnosed when I was around 20. I've been taking 2 omeprazole every day for nearly 15 years now. 2 dilations were done to open my esophagus up. I've got the Eosinophilic esophagitis condition (not very pronounced) further complicating things.

My condition was brought about from taking too many ibuprophen during college for stress related headaches. That stuff just destroyed my les. My biggest complaint is that some foods set my problem off 100% of the time by agitating my stomach. Raw carrots, apple skin and even uncooked apple, most uncooked vegetables, even meatballs sometimes cause reflux issues. It's not like there is a ton of acid refluxing, just the bits of the food that absolutly won't digest.

Get used to it, unless you have a billionaires health insurance the standard practice for treating this is to tell the patient they are SOL and perscribe an acid pump inhibitor. I can't go off my 2 pills a day for very long before acid reflux becomes unbearable.

I sleep in a hammock and this greatly reduces night time reflux because the head is naturally much more elevated than you can comfortably do by raising the head of a matress. Avoid whatever sets you off and hope this problem becomes so big that medical companies decide it is profitable to treat.

i_love_barqs1 karma

I'm pretty used to it now actually. As for pills, I try to avoid because I can't swallow them without great effort (that usually fails, and ends up with me heaving either the pill, or the saliva that it's backing up)

Set_the_Mighty2 karma

This is extremely serious. You only have one digestive tract that has to last you the rest of your life. When you are young it is easy to power on through injuries but believe me they come back to haunt you as you age. Something like this is not going to get better in a few years.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Yeah, I've just started to realize this. Sounds like I'll have to be giving up the good stuff.

emberspark1 karma

Could you give me some tips?

I have the same issues. I've never met anyone else with them. Food feels like it gets stuck right above my stomach - it's excruciatingly painful until it passes, and sometimes it doesn't pass. If it doesn't, I end up throwing up. I have bad acid reflux, feel nauseous after every meal, have chest pains, and can only eat very small amounts of food throughout the day. I don't have the money for tests and surgeries. How do you cope?

i_love_barqs1 karma

Eat softer foods like mashed potatoes. Stay way from breads.

For me, as soon as I even SLIGHTLY feel pressure building in my throat, I take a big gulp of warm water and see if that give it the push it needs. If it's still not budging, I take another. Then one more. By that point it's too unbearably uncomfortable so I have to heave it up. Repeat until it passes.

I always use warm or room-temperature water, and nothing else. Don't go overboard with the "technique", you don't want to end up choking on your water (or god forbid your food).

Hope this gives you an idea, sorry if it's not something more pleasant :(

GosuBen1 karma

Since i was 18 (24 now), I've had IBS symptoms and while fat, suffered from a lot of GERD type symptoms. I've never had the GERD side of things diagnosed like I did with the IBS, but the odd occasion of waking up in the night with the taste of sick in my mouth was never fun. Also my teeth have suffered from a fair bit of erosion - my dental hygiene isn't amazing, but I've always wondered if it was anything to do with stomach acid. I never really had any issues with chest pain/heartburn though.

I'm a very slow eater, and I consequently favour mushy/wet easy to swallow foods because of it. Swallowing pills etc often feels like an impossibility. I go out of my way to avoid things like Steak - I would have to chew for a tiring amount of time to comfortably eat it. That said, I've never been sure if it is a mental thing or a physical barrier such as a narrowed esophagus.

I've lost a lot of weight since I was 22, and have further become far more active and pretty much every symptom has massively improved...

Worrying thing is, that genetically speaking, I win the worlds worst gastro-intestinal tract award... My father died of esophageal cancer at 47 (very heavy drinking/smoking related apparently), and my maternal grandfather and uncle suffered from Barretts aesophagus while the rest of my family are blighted with IBS type complaints.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Well let's not assume the worst case already! Even when talking genetics. Smoking already gives a higher risk, so that could have definitely been a factor. I think as long as you keep up what you're doing, you should be fine. :)

sunsetsong1 karma

If only you had done this AMA sooner! Last term at university I had to write an essay on oesophageal adenocarcinoma and covered Barrett's oesophagus and before that I wrote an essay on hiatus hernia.

Are the two related or the symptoms of one influence the other?

How does it effect your day to day life ? Would I be able to tell that you struggle to eat if I saw you in a restaurant ? Do you eat out much ?

I noticed someone else mentioned the higher incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma associated with Barrett's oesophagus and you said you only just found this out. I agree with what they said about the frequent check ups. It's all cool if you keep on top of it.

i_love_barqs1 karma

I think what happened was the GERD gave me Barrette's esophagus and that gave me the achalasia when the LES stopped working properly. As far as the hiatal hernia goes, I have hershbrones disease. I honestly think this was the initial cause of everything, but that's just my guess.

I still get as hungry as I did before, but now the problem is how much patience I have in digesting my food. It really becomes a chore, especially when eating out with other.

If you saw me in a restaurant and some food got stuck, you would see my face grow red and I tried to swallow water to force it down. If it doesn't work, you might see me start to gag before I run to the bathroom. Otherwise, you'll see me eat my food REALLY slow. Sometimes I'll just lose my own patience eating and give up.

Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous that I never realized it before. I was just laying down one night with my reflux irritating me before I realized it's only a matter of time before it gets worse if I don't do anything. As soon as I realized the worst case scenario was cancer, I became concerned.

dancing_pferret1 karma

I've had three esophageal dilations so far.

People: if you have bad heartburn, take Omeprazole a while before eating and before bed (it's cheap and available everywhere). Do this before you end up messily regurgitating food in a restaurant in front of your boss and strangers. This has happened to me, and I have run off to purge food stuck in my esophagus more times than I could ever recall.

It's not pretty and is fairly depressing to have to take so much care in eating, but it can be prevented.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Yeah. Eating in front of stranger was always a little awkward if I started showing signs...

HeyHeyRayTay1 karma

I've have a neurological disorder since about age 18 that's caused those issues along with some other stuff. Hang in there. I'm now about to turn 23. :) My tip to anyone with any kind of illness is to laugh a lot. Or smile. (Sometimes laughing too hard can make symptoms worse; you know all this.) You seem to have a good sense of humor, which I think is really important.

Also - do you think doing an IAmA was helpful for you? You might have already answered this. But do you think it helped you internally to get more information out there? Do you recommend it? I was an ambassador for one of my implanted devices for awhile (answering future patients' questions) and I used to blog about the primary disease. I kind of fell away from those things because of commitment and disease progression, but do you think the IAmA was helpful for YOU? The whole "should i do this to help others" thing is a constant battle. For example - there was an experimental and investigational treatment for one of my secondary issues that I battled with trying, because I knew that my participation would help others in the long run, even if it didn't help me.

i_love_barqs1 karma

Thanks! I'm a huge optimist and make it a point to appreciate everything good.

And for your second question: Surprisingly yes!

I actually started this AMA because I thought the diseases I had were a little uncanny interesting to learn about. I mean, it's not often you hear about someone who's food passage way just decided to give up on you. I just decided people would like to be informed. If they have these diseases, then I'm hoping I made them not feel so alone. If they don't have these diseases, I'm hoping that appreciate eating more.

I DO think this was VERY helpful for me! Mostly as reaffirmation that I seriously need to keep this under check unless I want to wait for the worst case. Also gives me the motivation I need to just tough out the process of taking pills with this condition.

And of course, I appreciate the good words given! It's always nice to see people care. Thanks everyone. :)

choixpeau1 karma

Do they (or can they) sedate you for the endoscopy and the balloon dilation? Can they at least do something to numb your gag reflex? I was diagnosed with GERD recently (fortunately meds have handled it so far) and I'm terrified of the prospect of having medical equipment stuck down my throat.

i_love_barqs2 karma

Nah, it was completely painless. They DO sedate you-- or at least they sedated me.

Funny story: After I came out of the operation I started chatting on Facebook still coming out of the anesthesia. When I was finally 100% conscious, I decided to tell my friends... who proceeded to tell me that I JUST told them this and that I was spouting gibberish. One of my closest friend's conversation was so ineligible that he ended up making fun of me as I spoke.

I took a screencap-- even I thought it was hilarious.

doubleflower1 karma

Thanks for sharing! I have GERD, a hiatal hernia and recovering from gastrits. I'm relatively young too (23) and I feel so weird because of it. Eating out at restaurants is the worst, so embarassing. I find ginger to be incredibly helpful. Sometimes I find ginger snaps (the real ones containing chuncks of fresh ginger) to be more helpful than Tums sometimes. I just wish my medication did have such nasty side effects!!!

i_love_barqs1 karma

No problem. :)

The worst part is having to explain yourself. Kinda embarrassing.

doubleflower1 karma

Omg so embarassing. Luckily my friends are pretty cool and I haven't come across any rude wiatstaff... yet.

i_love_barqs1 karma

I try and make a joke out of it if they see that I've only taken 3 bites out of my burger, have been sitting for a whole hour, and finally ask for a to-go box.

I just say, "I'm trying to savor every bite"

rpg1 karma


i_love_barqs1 karma

I took a couple Nexium years ago when I could manage a pill easier. I didn't use it often enough to actually notice a change... that was my fault though. :(

pogiface1 karma

Sounds miserable, i have terrible reflux myself and i can't imagine having to go through this. Maybe you could switch to a mostly liquid diet? Just take a bunch of veggies and fruits, blend them and drink?

i_love_barqs1 karma

Ironically enough, a lot of fruits act up my reflux so I try to eat them sparingly, ESPECIALLY citrus. Orange juice kills me immediately. Veggies on the other hand... not sure how fond of blended veggies I'd be.

I try to stick with softer foods instead, but eventually I just get sick of eating mashed potatoes all the time. So I just push myself to monitor my eating carefully and make sure I pace myself. It's been alright lately!

amyyoox1 karma

i just wanted to say i was diagnosed with Gerd at 10 years old, was able to keep it undercontrol for the most part, until 4 days ago where i ended up in the hospital. back then, i changed my diet to avoid acidic foods but i guess it decided to come back with a vengence. i havent had OJ, lemonade, a 'decent' amount of red sauce, or pineapple juice for 11 years. now i need to find out what is causing it to happen again and stop eating/drinking that. :/ the ER was concerned i had what you have but wrote it off as Gerd again so hearing about you makes me happy its just that(even though it's still miserable). Good luck with everything!

i_love_barqs1 karma

Bleh, I shuddered when you mentioned pineapple...

I'm glad you're taking care of it though! Maybe if I had done so earlier it wouldn't have progressed into what it did. But it's not cancer yet, so it's never too late to start dealing with it, I think.

IUsedToBeAPygmy0 karma


I'm so sorry...

i_love_barqs1 karma

Upvote just because me and my friends made this terrible joke last year and I laughed seeing it again :P