Day 5 and they still don’t know I’m pretending….

that my stomach isn’t in knots and I feel perfectly fine!

Here I am on day 5 of my new job and so far things are going really well. I feel like I am settling in well and everyone seems really nice. But my stomach has been in a knot the whole time and I have had an upset stomach twice. Part of me feels like I am failing at thriving because of it but first of all, I shouldn’t be telling myself off, and 2, I am thriving because carrying on like nothing is wrong and “pretending” is part of the process of learning to thrive. Calling it “pretending” is not the best term. It is more about mind over matter and getting on with things despite felling rubbish.

I also mustn’t worry that I have gone backwards because I have felt a bit of panic from my tummy being in knots or that I have worried about being sick a few times. I’m not even sure it was a blip completely. The other night I woke up because my stomach hurt so much and I got a bit panicky. I did manage to stop a panic attack and actually fell back asleep. But the panic wasn’t that I was going to be sick because I was scared, it was that I was going to be sick and would then have to be off sick on my first week at work. I think that is quite a normal thought really.

I have felt a bit worried about my stomach being bad at work (will they be able to tell and make fun of the smell if I go to the loo), or will I be sick? So that is a bit of a blip but I am handling it and just feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I even just managed to use the bathroom for a ‘cough-cough number 2’ despite being worried what people will say.

I am challenging myself by changing jobs and I am processing it in an internal way. It is a good thing that I have exposed myself to this. I can tolerate it. The more I do, the quicker the churning stomach will go away!

My experience of the 96 hour Bravo PH test

After ten years of not really knowing what was wrong with me, I finally got a diagnosis that I have a hiatus hernia and that is most likely what causes my acid reflux. I was referred to a surgeon who said that I clearly have reflux so I don’t need to do the PH testing, I just needed a barium swallow to make sure I would be able to cope with the surgery. Annoyingly, when I had the barium swallow, I had no reflux whatsoever (typical!) so he decided that I did actually need the PH study.
I am on day three of my four day test right now and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.
Seven days before my test was to begin I had to come off my esomeprazole but was allowed to take ranitidine up until two days before. So I took my last nexium pill on the Wednesday morning before knowing that I couldn’t take it again until Sunday 7th February when the test would be over. I took the ranitidine and at first I thought that I was obviously ok but I didn’t seem to have very bad heartburn at all (or at least no worse than I did when I was on the pills) so I figured maybe I was wrong all this time. But on the infamous day five of being cold turkey off PPIs it all caught up with me. I felt sick as dog and my stomach was basically on fire. But I drank Almond milk and kept telling myself it was just for a week and then I would have some answers that may help me for the rest of my life.
My last Ranitidine tablet was on the Sunday night. I was anxious about not taking it but I just drank as much Gaviscon and took as many rennie as I needed. But the worst day was the Tuesday. You have to stop all OTC antacids and Gaviscon 24 hours before the test. I was going in on the Wednesday at 1pm so I figured I had until 1pm on the Tuesday to take Gaviscon etc. I was suffering quite bad that morning with acid as I wasn’t on medication so I gulped the gaviscon down. At lunch time I took the bottle of Gaviscon down to the lunch room with me, knowing that I wouldn’t be back upstairs until after 1pm and drank Gaviscon as my pudding! (Fortunately I have very understanding colleagues!). I struggled through the rest of the day having almond milk to sooth the burn and just kept telling myself it would be over soon.
On the Wednesday morning I was nervous but my stomach wasn’t burning that badly. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for six hours before the procedure so 7am was the last time I could eat. I decided not to have anything to eat as I find sometimes you are more hungry when you have a little something than if you don’t have anything at all. I did have some water and almond milk at 7am though. I found I wasn’t that hungry through the morning and I didn’t really suffer with reflux which was all good!
When I got to the hospital and was taken to a cubicle there were three of us who seemed really nervous. One lady said she had a bad gag reflex, I told them how I have had two failed endoscopies in the past and the third lady was just crying her eyes out (I have no idea if she went ahead with it or not). I was told that I would have three endoscopies (eek!) to fit the capsule. The first would be to make sure my oesophagus was ok to have it implanted, the second was to implant it and the third was to make sure it was in place. Fortunately I was asleep the whole time so I don’t remember any of it!! 🙂 But I was anxious when I was taken into the room to have it done. First of all they couldn’t find a vein to put the needle in for the thing they put the sedation fluid in (I don’t know what that is called). They tried both my elbows and both my hands! In my right hand he moved the needle round under the skin and  I have a huge bruise on my hand where it was done. Eventually it went in my left hand and I was told to lay down on the bed. They got my legs in the right position and then put a mouth guard in and tied it round the back of my head. This is when the panic kicked in. I suddenly couldn’t breathe and the nurse was really kind and helpful. Before I knew it there was something that washed over me and I fell asleep. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room and was really groggy. They gave me some water and when I was clearly more awake they let me go through to another room to sit in a reclining chair and have a sandwich. It felt nice to be eating but it was hard to eat as I could feel the capsule tugging on my oesophagus. I also had a sore throat from where the camera had been put down as they didn’t use the throat numbing spray. My husband came in to get me and we got the train home. I wasn’t as sleepy as I thought I would be (after past experiences of having sedation for endoscopies) so we had a quiet night in then went to bed at the normal time. I still found eating a little difficult due to the tugging but I hardly experienced any symptoms.
The little device you are given has five buttons on it. Three of them are for symptoms, one you have to press if you are eating and drinking and the other you have to press if you are laying down. The symptom buttons are marked as being heartburn, chest pain and regurgitation but they gave me the option of changing the meaning behind them. Mine were nausea, heartburn and regurgitation (as sadly I do that a lot!). Every time you experience a symptom you have to press the corresponding button. What they didn’t explain as that the device also shows the PH level of your oesophagus. It was quite interesting to see it going up and down when I was refluxing and when I was having food that neutralised it. But, as I always do, I became a little obsessed with it. I noticed that my reading was quite a high PH which means that the area was alkaline. I was told but fellow sufferers online that it probably meant it had slipped and was in my intestines as the oesophagus never had a PH above 7. Well my highest was 9.6. I began to worry that it had been a failure and I would need to do it again. This morning was day two (seeing as the day starts at lunch time for this test) and I had to go back to the hospital to have the data downloaded and the battery of the device recharged. I was told to take my medication with me and that I may be told I could take it from today (I was hoping so much that they would say I could). When I was in the waiting room they took the device off me and charged it. They later told me that I refluxed whilst I was in there so they must have been able to see what was going on. I asked them about the high PH levels and he said it was in place when I first got there and that the levels wouldn’t be going low at all if it was in my intestines. They told me I could take my Nexium (I was so excited) and then checked the device was synced up to me again and I was allowed to go, but had to come back on Monday to give the device back. Whilst I was in the waiting room I was able to speak to the lady who went after me and some other people who were on their second day of the test. One of them had the surgery done three years ago but it had come loose and was having to have it done again. She said the three years after the surgery were the best years of her life but she was unable to be sick and unable to burp. My surgeon promises me that if I do have the surgery he won’t do it tight enough to stop me being able to burp (especially as I get a lot of trapped wind with my IBS). It was so good to speak to people going through the same thing. Especially when the lady who had the surgery previously told me she had got depressed and suicidal as it was so bad for her and she couldn’t concentrate on anything but the symptoms as they were so bad. I told her that I was glad she said that and my husband had heard it as I often struggle to focus on anything else and it has caused some serious bouts of depression!
I am about to go to bed on day three and it is interesting what my medication has done already. I am refluxing but it clearly isn’t acid as it isn’t burning as much. Mind you, my PH level is still around 8 so maybe it has slipped?! I guess I will see when I get the results. I am told that if you have a fast system it can fall off quickly. Sometimes my system is really fast and other times it is really slow! I have eaten a fair amount of chocolate tonight which has caused a lump in my throat and reflux but they aren’t registering as acid. The real test would be to eat the same things I did on day one/two that caused me issues on day three/four and see if the medication stops the acid. The main thing was a Cadbury’s Cream Egg! That had me in so much pain from the burning and I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick. I am going to eat one tomorrow and see what happens!
I will end this here but not post it until the test has been finished and I can write about the second two days below.
I handed back the bravo recording device yesterday and I can say this experience was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.
On Saturday and Sunday my reflux episodes continued but they had a PH somewhere between 7.5 and 9.6 which means they were alkaline. The two days before it was going down as low at 1.5 so that was most definitely acid. I ended up having a stinking cold (which I am still recovering from) and I do wonder if that may have made the results slightly different as I spent a lot of time in bed and not eating as much as I normally would but I wrote that on the sheet to show I had been ill (you have to score if you have been able to have your normal days or not). I find my reflux is worse when I am up and about rather than laying down as I am eating. I am fine when I haven’t been eating! I spent the whole time worrying about why the PH was so high as I thought the device may have slipped but it hadn’t. It tugged when I swallowed (it was a bit painful) and now it has stopped so I know it has now fallen off). I also worried because the device said LI on it and I couldn’t find anything online to say what that meant but I guess I will wait and see.
 
The machine is meant to turn off automatically after 96 hours but mine didn’t! It was still going into day 5 and so I had to continue wearing it as it screamed when it wasn’t near me! (ok beeped but I like to call it screaming!). That meant I had to wear it to the office yesterday which was awkward as when I forgot to put it on when I went to the loo, it beeped and everyone wondered what on earth it was!
I had to wait a long time at the hospital as the computer was having trouble downloading someone else’s data. In the end it still wasn’t working so they took our machines and said they would copy us in on the report. They did tell me that because I had acid the first two days and was told to take my medication, it means that I have a definitive diagnosis of GORD (GERD) which is what I was told I had ten years ago. Although I haven’t heard this from the surgeon so I don’t want to accept that till I have it in writing. I will then find out if I am eligible for the surgery or not. I still reflux when I am on my medication and it still makes me uncomfortable so surely that means I am? I guess I need to stop worrying about it until I have spoken to the surgeon but it is hard not to. But that is another matter.
 
All in all I think it was worth having the Bravo test. It seems it has proved I have the condition it was suggested ten years ago that I have and there are probably options to fix it permanently. The debate now is whether to have children first or not?!

The House of Hypochondriacs

I saw the advert for this Channel 4 programme a week ago and didn’t really think anything bad about it and decided to watch it. Last night it was on and I was extremely disappointed in it. It portrayed people with heath anxiety or HA (the term hypochondriac is a bit derogatory I believe) as a burden on the health care system and basically just a nuisance. Rather than highlighting the condition to people who don’t suffer it, it just led to people bashing them and calling them ‘selfish’ on social media. Dr Christian said that these people ‘visit the GP when they are well’. How dare he say that. They aren’t well, they just aren’t physically ill. People will mental illness should be treated exactly the same as someone with a physical illness.

It was also to my surprise that there was an Emetophobia sufferer on there. Ok so I can see how they said Emetophobia was similar to  HA in that it is a fear of getting ill – just a specific illness, but other than that, it isn’t the same at all. If anything it is more like OCD than HA. The Emetophobia sufferer never went to the doctor’s even if she was ill due to a fear of catching something that would make her sick. She had lots of rituals to stop herself catching something (like using gloves to open packing. (I still take something from the back of the shelf to make sure it hasn’t been touched)) and clearly spent her life doing these compulsions to stop the obsessions. I know this for a fact as that is what I was like. I was diagnosed with OCD before the word even recognised Emetophobia.

I had to stop looking at social media as the comments I saw were awful. One suggested that the Emetophobic lady should see what the factories were like that her food came when it was shown that she used gloves to open the packaging. What is that meant to achieve? Do they think that it is a laughing matter and that seeing that will make her better? I guess they think she was just being stupid. In an age where mental health charities are working hard to get rid of the stigma of mental illness, this belittling programme just put the fight back a few years by making it something to be laughed at – even the music that accompanied the show had a comical tone to it.

Someone on No More Panic asked why someone with OCD (or Emetophobia as she actually had) would be on the same programme as those with HA. That is a very good question. That would be like putting on a programme all about recovering from heart attacks and then adding a person who suffers with acid reflux disease. They both cause chest pain but they aren’t the same thing! This was just bad researching by the programme makers. They read that Emetophobia was about a fear of vomiting and put two and two together and assumed it was the same as HA.

Speaking of acid reflux, that was another small part of the show that really got to me. They suggested that people also go to the GP to ‘waste’ their time on simple things like acid reflux and constipation and that they should just see the pharmacist about that. I have suffered with gastroesophagus reflux disease (GORD) for 10 years and I also have IBS. These are another two disorders that have charities etc. trying to get people to understand better and to take away the stigma that it is ‘all in their head’ but this programme once again took away the work that they have been doing. Of course you should go to the GP with acid reflux or constipation! They could be a sign of something serious going on from a hiatus hernia, stomach ulcer, bowel obstruction to cancer.

This programme by channel 4, along with other similar titles like Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, just adds to the stigma that people like me have to face each day. It is programmes like this that make me want to fight to get these real illnesses taken seriously and for sufferers to be given the same respect as those with physical illnesses.

Finally an answer!

So after 10 long years I have finally found out what is causing my stomach problems and it is not anxiety as I have been told my numerous doctors!

10 years ago I started feeling really sick every time I ate and had a really sore throat. At the time I tested positive for Glandular Fever (Mono) so they put it down to that. I was given pantoprazole to stop the production of stomach acid but it didn’t really help. I suffered like this for months and was finally given an endoscopy 6 months later. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me at the time and told me it was just my anxiety (like they always do!). In the meantime I meant by now husband and got on with life despite feeling sick all the time.

In 2008 it came back with a vengeance and I was really ill. I lost a so called best friend because of this as she could put up with me being ill all the time. Fortunately my now hubby put up with me! I went back for more tests in 2009 but failed two endoscopies. The first one I opted to not have the sedation (like I did the first time) but I was too scared and knew what was coming so I didn’t do it. The second time I had the sedation but apparently I kept moving the camera away from my mouth so the doctor stopped it for my safety. I eventually had a barium swallow which showed I had reflux and was told to take strong anti acid medications (which I was already on and didn’t really help) and that it was all caused by anxiety! This enraged me! I knew that anxiety made it worse but I also knew that it wasn’t caused by anxiety. I know my own body more than anyone else and I knew that I wasn’t making myself this sick. Now it is true that emets do make themselves feel sick a lot as part of the phobia but I knew this was something different. Mainly because it wasn’t always nausea that I was feeling, sometimes it was just like my food wouldn’t go down.

I wasn’t satisfied by this diagnosis so I asked for a second opinion. Unfortunately by this time I had changed jobs and no longer had my private medical cover so I needed to be seen on the NHS. I saw the gastro doc quite quickly and he wanted to do another endoscopy and colonoscopy (I have IBS). But I said I refused to do it unless I was under a general anesthetic. Because of this I ended up waiting another six months and didn’t have the tests until early 2010. Bare in mind that the symptoms started at the end of 2008 then you can see that this was a long time. By the time I had the tests my symptoms had died down a little and I wasn’t as bad. That meant that he didn’t find anything. Unfortunately I missed my follow up appointment but he just told the GP to keep me on the anti acid medication and that was that. So I was just told to live with the acid reflux and get on with my life!

I got bad again in 2012 but my GP refused to send me to a specialist again as I had seen them twice before and they had never found anything. I had just got married at the time and they told me it was probably down to anxiety (there’s that word again) and put me on stronger anti anxiety medication and again told me to get on with life! This happened again at the end of 2014! I was so ill then that I spent in total about a month off work. But again I was told it was my anxieties and was prescribed many different anti-anxiety medications. I kept telling them that this was real but they refused to believe me.

I left it for several months and then went back to the GP at the end of May to give them an update on my mental health (Thrive has nearly cured me) and asked some general advice about women’s things! I did this so they knew that I was no longer in a bad place mentally and they commented about how good I looked!

Then last week my hubby and I went to see the GP about my stomach. I told them that I was hungry all the time and that the acid really bothers me. He gave me advice on what to eat (yeah like that will help. This was gnawing hunger pains not real hunger) and said the acid was probably just something wrong with the way my body worked and to just ignore it. I was furious! I have been ignoring it for 10 years and it doesn’t make it go away. I can’t eat normally ever and I can’t remember the last time that my stomach felt ok!

My hubby and I talked and decided that I should just contact a private gastro doc which I did at the end of last week. I managed to get an appointment really quickly with one and saw him on Monday. He felt my stomach and said he wanted to do another endoscopy and colonoscopy (oh joy!). I had these yesterday. He came to see me when I was in recovery so I am questioning whether I actually heard him correctly but he told me everything looked normal apart from a small hiatus hernia. I spoke to the recovery nurse and she said that most people over 60 tend to have hernias there and that they only affect you if you are getting acid reflux. I felt relieved that there was actually a physical reason I am getting these symptoms but also a bit scared that there was actually something wrong with me.

I don’t get to see the specialist again until 2 weeks time but I have looked up a hiatus hernia and it certainly fits what is wrong with me. But my main question was how could they have been missed by all those other tests when I have had the same symptoms for 10 years? My Mum suggested that maybe I just had acid reflux before and that having that caused the hernia but according to all the literature that is on the internet (including the NHS site and Mayo Clinic) is is a hernia that causes reflux not the other way round. On those pages it talks about two types of hernia but the main one is called a sliding hernia that isn’t always there. Sometimes the stomach slides back under the diaphragm when there is less pressure on the stomach. So my only thought it perhaps this had happened when I had my tests before which would tie into the fact that my symptoms  weren’t as bad at that point. But obviously I don’t know if that is the case and I will ask the specialist when I see him in two weeks but I really do feel hard-done-by here y the GPs and other specialist for telling me for ages that I was creating these symptoms with my anxiety when I knew there was something physically wrong with me! I guess I will wait and see for when I talk to the specialist. The next question is, how so I get it fixed?….

P.S. Just had another thought. A hernia can be caused by excess pressure on your stomach from being overweight (I have been in the past and was in 2014), wearing tight clothing (my trousers are really tight when I get bloated), straining to use the loo (I do all the time and my reflux is worse after I go) and any other pressure to the stomach. I wonder if my emet trait of stopping myself being sick (which I did just after I got married in 2012 – before the previous flare up) actually put the pressure on my stomach and caused the hernia to go out again?

Remember the symptoms…

Feeling like throat is numb and stomach is numb
Stomach feels strained – usually when tired – feel like sleeping would help
Feeling like can’t swallow
Feel like something is trying to push its way up – wind?
Unsettled stomach whenever I eat – acid reflux
Feel like full to my neck
Slight panicky feeling because I feel like this
Feeling like need the loo or like cork in bum!
Acid reflux is worse when tired
Feeling like I can’t eat even due to anxiety (think I am too full for this so if I eat I will be sick)
Panic that have no appetite – probably just constipation but worry that it is because I am ill
Bloating
Wind pain that travels from upper to lower and then out
Lightheaded – most likely ME/CFS but could also be constipation or anxiety
Feel like stomach in a knot
Feel all spaced out
Temperature affects my anxiety – if it is hot or cold I start to feel weird and panic
The numb feeling in throat is like what you get before you yawn or burp. Like something needs to come up. Always said it was like my throat was opening up to be sick but know that it isn’t
Get empty burps that make my throat and stomach feel more numb
Nausea, lack of appetite, numb feeling all happens when I am constipated or need the loo
Lots of wind in stomach. When get the wind bubbling feels like really hungry. Then I burp and it feels better. Can feel it moving in stomach.
Seem to quickly move between feeling full to feeling really hungry. Guess that is the wind and air
So confused whether hungry or not so sticking to a schedule. Still get panicky that eating will make me sick even when I know that it won’t. I am just constipated and like that bag in the video (even though I am still going).
Wind also feels like burning. Can hear my whole stomach gurgling and can feel it moving
Really, really thirsty a lot. Don’t fancy dry food, want wet food

Numb throat and stomach makes me panic. I worry that because I am not hungry it means I am ill when it is likely just to be constipation

If I think about stomach it makes me get a sudden feeling of nausea and panic in my chest. But can stop it now

Remember there is no point going home as there is nothing to do there. It is better to be here doing work and socialising with people. You won’t be sick. It is just your anxiety flaring up because it is Thursday and you are tired

Anxiety is always worse on a Thursday for some reason

Maybe the reason I am numb and feel like my I really need the loo (but can’t go) is because of the red meat I ate working its way through?

The Bisodol that I had this morning really helped with the burning and unsettled feeling but not the numbness. Remember that.

Right now you just need to accept that the feelings you are getting are IBS and that you won’t be sick at all. Now get on with your work.

You have had all these symptoms millions of times before and it has never made you sick. It is IBS and that is what it does so stop it!

Gurgling stomach just makes you feel hungry all the time. That is why you struggle to diet as it just makes you feel off and then you worry about whether you should actually eat or not. Eating makes the feeling go away

That numb feeling in your throat when you eat or drink is not because you are going to be sick. That is part of the constipation IBS and you won’t be sick. So stop being silly. You would have had a temperature if you were going to be sick

Do not look up the symptoms of constipation as it will say being sick. But that is only if it is really bad and has been weeks. You won’t be sick. Nausea is a normal side effect but you won’t be sick.

I remember often feeling like this before with my IBS. It is normal. You just let the phobia get the best of you that is all. Because you were concentrating on food through dieting and then you were concentrating on what your body was doing through trying for a baby. That is why you felt sick the whole time. Yes you have fatigue and have done for a long time but the focusing on the IBS made it worse. Stop it, you won’t be sick.

You also know that the flare up and the symptoms don’t last forever. It will get better. I have noticed in the past that my anxiety gets worse when I am in a constipation phase of my IBS and I think this is true. Back in 2012 I remember feeling very ill before my period and someone asked me if I was constipated and I was so that made me feel sick. Same thing happened this time and back in the summer when I was trying for a baby. So basically I get constipated (although I am going a little) and then get acid reflux and my stomach feels off. This then makes me panic that I am going to be sick when I should know that I won’t be as it doesn’t do that. That might be why I felt less sick with my period this time because I had an upset stomach the night before I started and so was empty and not all blocked up. Have been told by my parents the whole time that I am that bag from the advert and that it is just my IBS but my anxiety was clouding my judgement. I think I felt sick before my period when I was off the pill due to my constipation. However, because I thought it might be a sign that I was pregnant, I then got anxious and made myself feel more sick. I also convinced myself that it was morning sickness and therefore made myself feel sick!

Thought diary…

I actually went back to work on Monday and did a whole day! Currently on my lunch break of my second whole day and still struggling a bit. I found it helpful on Monday just to write down how I was feeling and this was the result (sorry if it is a bit of a ramble!):

I basically just can’t tolerate uncomfortable feelings. That is what this is about really isn’t it. The most uncomfortable feeling is being sick as well as feeling sick so that is why I am scared of it so much. I feel uncomfortable at work for one reason or another and so I just want to go home. But then I feel uncomfortable at home as well as I know I should be at work. It’s catch 22 really. I do find that journaling helps though. Just writing down what is in my head seems to really help me.

I think I am uncomfortable at work as I kind of feel like I am not important or not needed. Really the company could continue without me. In fact it has when I was off sick. There is no satisfaction in my work, no reward. I don’t have any targets to meet and don’t have a team to work with. I know that is not the only problem going on (I don’t really have anything to strive for at home either) but it is a big part of it I think. How can I thrive when I feel so repressed at work? But I can’t move to another job until this stupid anxiety has done one really.

I keep asking myself whether or not I feel sick which is ridiculous. Obviously if I have to ask myself that it means I don’t! The feeling in my throat and head is anxiety and my stomach is IBS and acid reflux. All I want is for them to go. But I just have to accept that they won’t go. I have to learn to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings. People get on with their lives when they have chemo or much worse things. People continue to go to work with depression, eating disorders etc. Some even continue to work with flu or even stomach bugs! Yet I can’t even tolerate the uncomfortable feelings of my period! I don’t even seem to be able to stand the feeling of being tired which is ridiculous! I think everyone feels rubbish at some point in the day. Whether it is when they first wake up or when they are ready to go to bed etc. I know that before all this I used to feel off at least once in the day but it didn’t scare me like it does now. I’m not even sure why it scares me. Even if I tell myself it won’t make me sick I still get scared. I think it’s my perfectionist thinking that does it. I think my mind tells me I have to feel perfect every day but I don’t think anybody feels perfect every day. I wish there was some way I could do a survey of people to find out how often they felt something wrong with them and then how often they just got on with things. There is no point me doing it on the emet forum as they are all people who think the same way as me.

This is why it doesn’t really matter if I am at work or at home as I feel anxious in the morning everywhere. I get anxious about whether or not I will feel ill and anxious that day and then that creates the anxiety.

All I think about at the moment is how I feel. I try and concentrate on other things but all I can think about is how I feel. Do I feel sick? Does my stomach feel off? Am I hungry? Do I have acid reflux? I get like this after a stomach bug all the time. This time I haven’t had a stomach bug but I felt very ill for a long time due to my hormones and it has left me this anxious mess.

Ok so it is definitely acid reflux that gives me that weird throat feeling and then the anxiety makes it worse. That is why I panic when it comes to eating which is just stupid really! Now my throat feels off and my stomach a little bit churning and I hesitate to eat. But eating will help me. Why am I so afraid to eat? It is stupid! I just need to accept that it is acid reflux and IBS and that it isn’t going to make me sick. I need to accept that I will feel like this most mornings and that eating will help it. I have lived with it for years so why does it suddenly scare me so much? I think it might be because it got so bad when I was off the pill and my hormones were free to wreak havoc on my body! If I could just realise that eating will actually make the acid reflux die down and the wind die down then I will feel better, Also need to sort out my black and white thinking regarding my acid reflux and IBS as well. I need to tell myself that it isn’t here to stay and that it does get better. For some reason in my mind I have decided that I am going to have it every day for the rest of my life. When in actual fact it is just worse around my period. I also need to remind myself that the burning feeling I get along with the desire to burp (which happened just this minute) does not mean that I am going to be sick. If I could somehow disassociate acid reflux and IBS with being sick then it would help. But I also need to accept that it won’t be there all the time. Besides I’m not sure the burning feeling I get is due to acid reflux anyway. If it was then surely the medication would sort it and it doesn’t. I think really I should be referred back to a gastro doc for a review but I know they won’t do that as they think of me as a hypochondriac. You know what? I have had the burning feeling and burping for some time now. I think I have always had it and managed to get on with life. It is obviously just part of my IBS. It’s not behind my breast bone which is where indigestion is, it is on the right hand side and in my bowels. Yet I do still get that feeling in my throat of what emet people call throat nausea. It is like a gaggy feeling. Or like something is trying to push its way up (which I believe is wind or a burp). If I could just stop concentrating on it and realise that it won’t do me any harm. It is definitely a burp trying to force its way up and getting stuck (think I read another emet describe it as that and how it makes her panic). I get this burning in my chest and then I have to burp or fart. That then relieves the burning temporarily. I think it is anxiety induced acid reflux. I have felt it hundreds of times before but why is it sometimes I just can’t handle it? Is it because it gets worse and makes me feel more sick? Or is it because it is combined with other things going on (such as the nausea from my hormones) that makes me eat less and makes my acid reflux worse? Why can’t I just accept that I have acid reflux and that nothing can change that and it won’t make me sick? Guess it is my desire for control going crazy like normal. My period makes me very gassy and I think that is what makes me burp more, not necessarily acid reflux. Surely if it was that I would feel the burning behind my breast bone? Plus I get the burning feeling in my bottom as well! Wow I really am going round in circles here. This is what goes round and round my brain all the bloody time. It never settles in the morning. I can’t seem to find anything to settle my stomach. I was ok after my breakfast but now I have had a cuppa and some biscuits my stomach feels off. It’s all churning and burning

I guess it is acid reflux and the more I think about it the worse it gets. I always burp after having a cup of tea and I am sure that is due to acid reflux. I just feel like there is so much air in my stomach is won’t come out and it just burns and pulls on my throat. But why don’t the PPI’s work if that is the case? Why is it that someone with emet has to suffer these digestive issues? But you know it won’t actually make you sick Jen. You know it won’t. It is just an uncomfortable feeling that you need to put up with and get on with your life. The medical world obviously can’t do anything about it otherwise they would have done already. Lots of people have said the cause of it is stress and your hormones so you know that is what is causing it. It might make you burp a lot and make you throat and chest feel funny and off but it won’t make you sick and you can cope with the feeling. Nothing is going to happen to you at all. It is just IBS and acid reflux. Why is it that even though I have written that several times I still don’t believe it? At the same time I get the burning I also get the desire to go for a poo so maybe it is related to that as well? It just makes my stomach feel off and makes my back and ribs hurt. The doctor told me that was just IBS not acid reflux and that IBS can make you feel that way. Oh for goodness sake, time to stop thinking about it now. At the beginning of this diary you were fairly positive now all you are talking about is how off your stomach feels and that is probably because you are worrying about having lunch!

Damn acid reflux

My acid reflux has flared up and I can’t stop obsessing about it. I know that obsessing about it and not eating is making it worse but I can’t stop myself.

I’m told that obsessing about it makes the acid reflux worse. But can it really? Some people say it can be the sole cause of it and that the tummy meds didn’t work and it only went away when they took an antidepressant. But I take an antidepressant and it doesn’t help.

I’m so fed up of feeling like this all the time. How can I break the cycle? If the stress is causing the acid reflux but the acid reflux is causing the stress. It’s all my damn desire for control!!