I remember having heartburn.
I remember having heartburn and having it not go away. At first, it was the odd day, then it became every day, every month, every year. It got to the point where it became somewhat consuming. Every day I would wake up and have pain. I was quite tired of eating Rolaids, Tums, Gaviscon and Zantac’s by the truckloads. One day I was playing golf with a friend of mine who is a Dr., I told him about the heartburn which I was convinced was now an ulcer. He told me I should get an H. pyloric test done. I went to a walk- in clinic and told them I would like this test. My results dictate that I go see a specialist.
The specialist sees me and books me in for a scope. The day arrives: I am the first he sees that day at the hospital. He tells me that he has many scopes to do today and if I don’t get the anesthetic it’ll be much faster. Being stupid, I accept his offer. They proceeded to insert a cord down my throat- breathing is difficult, gagging is very easy. They tell me to remain calm. The results came back: I didn’t have an ulcer – I was told that I had a very bad case of Acid Reflux. The fine Dr. told me that I would be put on Nexium and it will help greatly with my Reflux.
“For how long do I take it for?” I ask.
“For the rest of your life” he tells me. “If you had diabetes you would take insulin for the rest of your life wouldn’t you?” I have to answer yes, after all, he is a specialist and must have all the answers – it isn’t like a Dr. just gives people pills because they get a kick back from the drug companies.
$88 every month, a fun price to pay for the next 4 years(or some $4200). The heartburn was fading, but after a while, there were more symptoms that were showing up – specifically, every time I ate food, I seemed to vomit within an hour. I tried to go back to see the specialist but I needed a note from my Dr. As I initially went to a walk-in clinic, I had no Dr. to give me a note. One day I drove to his office and begged the receptionist if I could just talk to him and check me up again.
“Without a note from your Dr. it’s impossible to just see him” the overweight, bad haired receptionist told me. “I get sick every time I eat food, does this mean anything to you?” I ask her? Again, without a note from your Dr. there is nothing I can do. She was a great help.
I decide to see a naturopathic and a homeopathic Dr. all in one. I explain that every time I eat food I seem to get ill. He tells me that we need to get me off the Nexium, he explains that Nexium is used for treating Ulcers and Reflux, and that it is designed to work for a few months, but to stay on it for life is harmful and dangerous as there is little acid left in your stomach to digest the food. He then gives me licorice root, a pro-biotic yogurt drink, and a few other pills for good measure. At this time, I am now taking 13 pills for my stomach. Never once has any specialist or Dr. even thought of the fact that it could be celiac disease.
There were times when I did not take a Nexium pill for the day. The pain was serious, but the real fun happened at night: imagine running a marathon and then try to breathe through the tiniest straw you can find: like say the size of a toothpick. That was honestly the first time I thought I was going to die from not being able to breathe – i never had problems with say, breathing before. This happened again and again when I did not take my Nexium. I asked my pharmacist about this and if he has heard anything like this before. “Yes, quite frequently actually,” was his response.
13 pills for the rest of my life. Until I hear from a specialist or someone else of great schooling to take more pills. One day, my dear Linda was on the computer and realized that what I had is what pretty much everyone has: celiac disease. I stopped listening to the experts- I listened to my body. I changed the water I drank, I changed my diet and I am no longer on any pills for anything. I lost about 75 pounds. I no longer have heartburn, I am no longer sick from the food I eat.