Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I'm sure that's what my esophagus said when it got its picture taken today.

For at least 20 years I've had problems swallowing. I've mentioned it here before... Anyway, Ifinally decided to see a GI about it and I ended up having a scope done today. The worst part was getting and IV and having to gargle Lidocaine. Yummy.

Anyway, it turns out I have a Hiatal Hernia, which means:

the upper portion of the stomach protrudes into the chest cavity through an opening of the diaphragm called the esophageal hiatus. This opening usually is large enough to accommodate the esophagus alone. With weakening and enlargement however, the opening (or herniation) can allow upward passage or even entrapment of the upper stomach above the diaphragm. (Thank you Emedicine Health for the definition!)

So this causes acid reflux and acid reflux left untreated can cause narrowing of the esophagus. That's what ended up happening so the surgeon stretched my esophagus to keep me from having trouble swallowing & getting food and WATER stuck in my throat all the time. Basically the treatment for now is to start taking Prilosec(and continue to take Prilosec for quite a few more decades) to keep the reflux from damaging my esophagus again. If the Prilosec doesn't help then there are other options but let's pretend there's no chance of that and that the meds will help because while having yet another person in our family have to take drugs daily is annoying it's much better than a Nissen Fundoplication which is basically a long word for tying your stomach in a knot to prevent reflux.

My throat and stomach have been burning all day but it's not been too bad and it will all be worth it if I can get through meals without having to excuse myself to vomit! Yippee!


ben and erin said...

i can't even imagine how they would tie your stomach into a knot!

hope the prilosec helps!

and btw, i'm gonna be at my parents until the 26th. will you be in the area at all?

MJ said...

That is what I have, welcome to the club. I have found that nexium works really well, although right now I am on the generic prilosec and if I take 40mg a day it works as well as the 20mg nexium did. It is a pain to take the pill everyday, but it was way more of a pain to have the constant burning.

Jess(ica) said...

Hey there. I totally remember you having swollowing problems... ever since I knew you! Glad to hear you may have found exactly what you needed to correct (or alleviate) the problem! =)

Nicole said...

Do you have the hernia too? Cliff said he doesn't and it's weird that we'd all have the same problem but with different causes.

So far the stretching hasn't seemed to help but I'll give it some time. The Prilosec must take a while to kick in b/c right now I'm having way more heartburn than usual. I suppose I feel it more from the irritation.

See, it wasn't in my head! LOL I don't know that anyone ever believed I really had trouble swallowing!

MJ said...

Yes I have a hernia, I don't think I have had it all my life though. I was in a car accident and it was after that that I started having problems or at least that is my best guess of how I got it.

Do you take your pills in the morning on an empty stomach? The OTC prilosec is just 20mg so if it isn't working for you maybe you should up it to 40mg. When I first started taking PPI's, I was taking 60mg a day. But they all seems to work best if taken first thing, on an empty stomach and then you wait at least half an hour before eating. Right now I take 40mg a day of the generic prilosec and when I have tried to get by on 20mg, I have a lot of reflux.

Nicole said...

That's good to know. He didn't say when to take them so I've been taking them at night but I forgot last night and took one this morning so I'll try that instead.

The first couple days I had reflux constantly. I think I could just feel it more b/c my throat was so irritated.

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