Health Drama II

So much for working out.

Oct 19, 2014 – Doc phoned with the results. The verdict is acute gastritis. I’ve also tested positive for H-Pylori. Doc initially phone in one medication, but insurance wouldn’t pay for it and it was $800. He substituted 3 three other medications.

METRONIDAZOLE 500 MG TABLET
CLARITHROMYCIN 500 MG TABLET
AMOXICILLIN 500 MG CAPSULE (initially skipped because it gives me a skin rash).

I also got a medication to control the gastritis symptoms.

OMEPRAZOLE DR 20 MG CAPSULE

NOV 24, 2014 – Had to leave work early. It turns out I have the flu. Took the remaining amoxillins to combat it.

Dec 1, 2014 – Over the flu but I’ve developed some very bad and frequent diarrhea. I am also still having to spit constantly.

Dec 16, 2014 – Diarrhea is over. Finally. I was starting to wonder if this was my new normal.

Jan 2, 2015 – Gastric issues seem to be resolved with occassional flare ups. The needing to spit has not stopped however. In fact, it has grown worse. I can feel fluid draining to the back of my throat (I couldn’t before the gastritis calmed down). I have to spit at least four times an hour. I have to keep a dinner napkin with me at all times or I’d spend all my time in the work restroom spitting into the sink. I’ve looked online and the closest thing I can find to my experience is “post nasal drip”. Except in my case the “drip” is more like a running faucet. I’ve tried taking a claritin to dry me out so I won’t have so much fluid to spit, but that hasn’t worked. I don’t know if it’s an infection since I had to spit the whole time I was on an the various antibiotics I’ve taken since August. Falling asleep is hard because I have to stop spitting long enough. I’m using my acid reflux pillow to stay elevated, but then it just drains to my throat and I end up racing to the bathroom, coughing and spitting. Eating and drinking are any more than absolutely necessary is out because again, I have to stop spitting long enough. While I can stand to lose some weight (I’ve lost 35 so far), I’m completely wiped out and having difficulty focusing at work. Brushing my teeth has become a nightmare because when I wake up, there’s this wade of crap in the back of my throat that I can’t quite cough up right away. It mixes with the toothpaste and I spend at least 15 extra minutes each morning coughing and choking.

Jan 5, 2015 – Phoned to see if Dr. Ehrling referred all his patients to someone else. Was directed to the WashU exchange and I have an appointment for next Tuesday.

Jan 13, 2015 – Saw new doc and had exam. He couldn’t find any signs of infection or problem with my sinuses. Serious post nasal drip can be caused by allergies however, so I got a new prescription to combat it.  It supposed to take a few days before this crap kicks in. I’ll try to hang in until then.

STANLEY THAWLEY MD
ENT DEPARTMENT
CENTER FOR ADVANCED MEDICINE
4921 PARKVIEW
11TH FLOOR, SUITE A

NASONEX

Jan 27, 2015 – I’ve given this medication two weeks to damp down the symptoms with no results. If anything, the spitting has gotten worse. Whatever this is that I have to spit and cough up has gone from being mildly irritating to out and out burning. The OMEPRAZOLE no longer seems effective. I only have a burn in my stomach every once in awhile. The burn concentrates in my mouth and throat. This time, the lips haven’t just swollen, but the skin around my mouth is extremely irritated. I definitely think there’s some sort of acid reaction going on and something needs to be done before it gets worse.

The most disturbing thing, aside from the physical discomfort, is the lack of appetite. I can go 2-2 1/2 days before my stomach even growls. Even when it does growl, it seems “distant”, like it’s happening to someone else. I’ve lost over 45 pounds since August. That’s okay while I’m overweight, but if this goes long enough, my rapid weight loss may become an additional problem.

Feb 1, 2015 – I’ve been desperately searching the internet as my symptoms get a little worse everyday. I have to get up 2-3 times a nights to spit and rinse my mouth for 20 minutes. I spend every morning spitting and coughing acidic mucous. My tongue hurts because I’ve developed what looks like surface fissures. I suppose that’s a result of acid sitting on my tongue while I sleep. My gums are very irritated and I’m worried my teeth will loosen. The skin around my mouth is irritated and scabbed. I picked up some aloe vera gel just to calm down the burn.

I stumbled across a couple of articles and came across something called “Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (Silent Reflux)”. The symptoms fit almost exactly what I’m experiencing rather than GERD. I have my follow up to the endoscopy appointment on Feb 11. I’ll present my idea to the doctor then and see what he has to say.

Feb 11, 2015 – The doctor seemed skeptical about me having silent reflux. I brought a print out on the information from WebMD and to his credit, he at least read through it. He was still doubtful. I pointed out that I’ve lost 50 pounds (at this point) because I can’t eat or drink more than a cup of . I insisted he take a look at my mouth and examine the skin around it more closely and he seemed to change his attitude. He said he had never seen anyone with this much acid damage in their mouth before. He scheduled me for PH test on Feb 18 (one of the test mentioned in the WebMD article). I am hopeful for the first time in weeks.

Feb 18, 2015 – It turns out that I was having two procedures, an ESOPHAGEAL MANOMETRY MOTILITY STUDY ESOPHAGEAL FUNCTION TESTING and IMPEDANCE/pH AMBULATORY TESTING WITH ESOPHAGEAL MANOMETRY. The first test was not painful, but definitely uncomfortable and I wouldn’t want to go through it again. The second test was not painful, but it took me about two hours before I stopped feeling the presence of the probe.  I was told that I would get my results by that Friday which did not happen.

Mar 1, 2015 – Woke up with a burning in my mouth that was off the scale. I couldn’t take it anymore and had DeMarcus take me to urgent care.

Dr. MOLLIE SPIRE
Total Access Urgent Care
6900 Chippewa Street
St. Louis, MO 314-961-2255

It turns out I had three issues going on. 1) The OMEPRAZOLE DR 20 MG CAPSULE just weren’t cutting it. I explained that I actually have two prescriptions for OMEPRAZOLE, but the 40 MG were not up renewal. The 20 MG prescription was for once a day, but she recommended three times a day to keep the burn at bay until I found out what the cause was. The doctor had an EMT mix up some mylanta and lidocaine to calm the current burn in my throat. This was the first time I hadn’t felt the burn since last fall. Too bad there’s no lidocaine spray. 2) I have a thrush infection which frankly I didn’t even notice. I assumed the coating on my tongue was due to the acid reflux. The doctor seemed a little shocked to see thrush in an adult (mostly babies get it). I got a script mouth wash for that. 3) The thrush was also on outside on my mouth which explained the scabbing on my chin and lips. That required a script creme ointment.

NYSTATIN 100,000 UNITS/ML SUSP
CLOTRIMAZOLE-BETAMETHASONE CRM

March 7, 2015 – I had no intention of having another Sunday like the previous week. After harrassing Dr. Cline incessantly about my results, he contacted St. Mary’s who said I wouldn’t get results until next Friday. Two more Fridays went by before I finally got the results. The PH test didn’t show anything, but the the motility showed something called esophageal spasm. It’s Dr. Cline’s theory this is a side effect of my current high blood pressure medication (BISOPROLOL-HCTZ 5-6.25 MG TAB). I did a little homework and it seems that it does happen. I’m worried because I’ve been on that medication for some time. Dr. Cline thinks that switching my high blood pressure medication should alleviate the spasming. I wonder how long that will take? It took a couple of days for Dr. Cline to get a hold of Dr. Mosley for the blood pressure medication change. There was also a mix up at the pharmacy because the medication Dr. Cline called in was one I already had a prescription for. The pharmacy called me to let me know I wasn’t eligible for a refill until for for 2 weeks. Initially I thought Dr. Cline hadn’t called in the right medication. I ended up calling him on his emergency line because my symptoms were kicking my ass. He called it in again and it turned out the “new” high blood pressure medication was something I already had a prescription for, but didn’t take due to foot swelling (AMLODIPINE BESYLATE 10 MG TAB).  Sorry Dr. Cline.  Plus the spitting still wouldn’t stop. I’ll keep taking my meds and talk to him about at my supposed “follow up” appointment. For me it’s just another episode in my ingoing medical drama.

Mar 14, 2015 – Ahhhhh! The cream I got prescribed for the external thrush worked great. The mouth rinse worked very slowly. When the thrush looked about 80% done, it started making a comeback and I am almost out of Nystatin! Went back to the same urgent care facility. This time got advised to gargle salt water for sore throat as needed. Also they recommended changing my toothbrush every 3-4 days to avoid re-infection (Doh!). Advised the doc (this time Dr. JAMES MCADAM), that I may not have been holding the Nystatin in my mouth long enough due to the painful acid burns. He recommended Gly-Oxide which seems to be a kind of hydrogen peroxide for your mouth. This may allow me to take the medicine with less discomfort. Got a refill on my Nystatin.

Mar 20, 2015 – This was a bad week for the acid and I’m really feeling the effects of not eating very much. I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything at work or at home. DeMarcus noticed how listless I’ve been and had me drink an Ensure. An hour later I vomited up what I’m pretty sure was every last drop of that bottle. Normally people feel better after they throw up, but that lasted all of about 5 minutes before I had to throw up again. This time it was a thick, white-ish mucous that came up in huge globs. I’ve had drunk-vomits (from back in my 20’s) that weren’t as violent. My adominal muscles hurt for two days afterwards.

Mar 25, 2015 – So I see Dr. Cline and let him know that I’m still not eating, my chest, throat and mouth still burns and I still have to spit constantly. Surprising, he agreed to double to current dose of OMEPRAZOLE DR 40 MG to twice a day. As for the spitting, he is certain this has nothing to do with my gastrointestinal issues. He wants me to see a pulmonary specialist. He has to contact Dr. Mosley to a referral and that’s what I’m waiting on now. Sigh. A new round of test with yet another doctor.

Mar 30, 2015 – Of all the days for this to happen, it had to be a Monday when I know there was a problem with a server over the weekend. A good friend was kind enough to let me have her nutribullet and I’ve been drinking shakes all week. Normally with the way I’ve been eating, I only have to go once a week. Well it seems everything wanted to come out this morning. It was gross. It was painful. Seriously. If I thought crying would have helped I would have. I will speak no more of this event online. The details are too horrible and I’m still traumatized.

I’m going to try blogging in a more regular fashion so I can keep up better.  Oh and I’m down 60 pounds now.  People keep saying things like “Don’t you feel wonderful with all that weight gone?”.  No I don’t feel wonderful.

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