Prior to my VSG, I suffered from pretty constant gastroesophageal reflux (and, consequently, had GERD). I took Prilosec and that seemed to control the reflux pretty well, though I still had frequent heartburn. At least I didn’t have too many problems with the reflux irritating my esophagus. As it turned out, I had a hiatal hernia my surgeon repaired during my sleeve surgery. Post surgery I had some minor issues with reflux and heartburn like many VSG patients seem to do. Upping my Prilosec to twice a day and occasionally supplementing with Zantac, plus raising the head of my bead slightly seemed to keep it under control. I don’t eat a minimum of 90 minutes before going to bed (but try to keep that closer to three hours). My surgeon also put me on Reglan once a day. I had occasional heartburn but not much reflux to report at all. Until recently.

At least four times during the past two weeks, I have woken up literally gasping for breath (like I would sometimes do when my sleep apnea was the worst). Only, instead of it being apnea, I would be literally choking on stomach bile. It would literally taste like I had just vomited and I would be coughing/spitting up bright, almost neon, yellow ‘stuff’. It would also leave me with a very raw throat (again as if I had vomited) and lingering pain in my breastbone from heartburn.

After my most recent bout with this, I called my surgeon’s office. I was hoping they would put me on a different PPI since maybe the Prilosec was not working for me any longer. I talked with my surgeon’s PA since he was in surgery and she wants me to come in Thursday, when the surgeon is in the office, for an upper GI.  Her thoughts were I should not be still having problems with reflux at this stage and maybe they should check for a stricture.  I don’t think I have any symptoms beyond the admittedly occasional reflux (unless 4 times in two weeks is counted as more than occasional) but, I don’t mind being checked.

More than anything, I’m looking for relief from the reflux. It’s a horrible way to wake up and I’ve been paranoid about sleeping now because of it. The excess acid has been bad, too, because it makes me feel like I’m hungry even when I’m not. Stomach acid mimics the symptoms of hunger and I’m so RARELY ever hungry these days. The problem with this acid issue is I am constantly starving now (which is so not normal and makes me wonder how much of my crushing hunger/starvation pre-surgery was due to out of control stomach acid) and feel like I’m constantly eating, which is putting me over my calorie count for the day, if not my carb count. Hopefully, they’ll have a solution for me on Thursday.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheila
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 16:23:56

    Oh that sounds awful. I’m glad you are getting in to be seen and hopefully there is a PPI out there that will do the trick.


  2. Michele
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 18:46:48

    That sucks!! I hope you will be feeling better soon. I too suffer from reflux. I am having VSG on 1/24 (also have a HH that will be repaired during surgery hopefully) and hope all of this combined, my gerd will go away totally.


  3. Kathy
    Jan 05, 2011 @ 22:56:40

    GERD sucks! I’m so sorry you’re going thru this. Two things that you might find helpful. If I stick to protein-only eating, and if I avoid eating AT LEAST three hours before bedtime, I don’t get the GERD. But if I eat carbs of any sort, no matter WHEN I go to sleep I’m likely to get some acid coming up. Even when I sleep sitting up. Ugh!


  4. Deborah H
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 06:17:07

    Looking forward to hearing about your progress. Sorry you’re going through this!


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