Thursday, October 22, 2009

How Do I Stop the Fire?

This wasn't going to be my topic today.  I wanted to tell you about the trip we took last weekend to Cincinnati to visit family and all the activities.  That will have to wait.   I have to tell you about my night last night because it was one of the worst I ever had.  No, my house didn't burn down.  I know that's what you're thinking.  It was much worse!  I had a bout of acid reflux, or GERD, that was so bad I was awake until 5:00 this morning and then got about 2-1/2 hours of sleep.
 I'm talking about this fire in my throat that I felt was burning through the roof of my mouth and into my sinuses.  I've never felt anything like that before.  OMG!  I could hardly swallow and my jaws and temples even hurt.  Raise your hands -- who all has had this before and understand what I'm talking about?
Now I've always had a very sensitive stomach and my stomach hurts after I eat very often, and I "gurgle" a lot, as I call it.  I just never associated any of this with acid reflux.  But since I was in so much pain, the thought came to me.  My mother has this and is on medication and so is my cousin. 
In thinking back through the day, I know what didn't help today.  I went to lunch with a girlfriend and had a meat and cheese panini.  It was very good but it was grilled in a lot of butter.  This came with potato chips, which I ate.  And to drink I had a fairly large frozen cappucino with caramel and whipped cream.  It was delicious, but I had already had 3 cups of coffee that morning.  Then I didn't move for three hours.  We sat and talked until 3 in the afternoon.  Doesn't sound like any big deal, but for me it was suicide.  But I hate doctors and medication so now I'm on a mission.  I never want to experience last night again.  Since I couldn't sleep, I spent from 3 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. researching on the computer.  I found several good sites that were very helpful.  The best one was: -
Another good one was  This one gave a whole list of foods that need to be avoided and which ones are good.  And the six steps to follow are:  1) eat 5-6 small meals a day  2)avoid caffeine, this includes chocolate (Oh No!!)
3) avoid acidic fruits  4) avoid fatty foods  5) avoid alcohol  6) eat an early supper - at least 2 hours before bed.   #'s 2, 4, & 5 are going to be hard for me.
 I love my coffee in the morning.  But this morning I made a pot of decaf. green tea and it was actually very good.

 And I love to have a glass of wine in the evening while I prepare dinner.

 I'm not sure what I'm going to substitue there yet.  Another tip I read was to drink 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1/2 glass of water with your last meal.  Mmm! Sounds so good. I guess that will become my new "wine".  Fatty foods I can easily avoid, its just that I like them a lot.  These are basically good healthy eating habits anyway and certainly can only be good for you no matter what. 
The articles also say you should exercise to get everything moving in the right direction.  Gravity is a good thing.  Sitting at this computer as much as I am is not the best.  I need to get back to my walking on good days and yoga every morning at 8:30.  (I just got back from a 1/2 hour walk with the dogs).
The final major natural remedy is to avoid stress.  Well, I don't believe you can avoid it, but it can certainly be handled and managed.
So there, I'm motivated by not ever wanting to feel like that again and not wanting to end up in the hospital or on medication.  And you know, my Bob and I are really very healthy people and have always enjoyed good eating and physical fitness.  I have to admit, though, and now I've been hit over the head about it, I have strayed lately.  So it's back to a healthier lifestyle for me.  As an added bonus, I should probably have no trouble losing that extra five pounds I've wanted to get rid of. 
The menu for dinner is: lean steak, rice and mixed vegetables.  All on my good list of foods.
I hope none of you experience any of these problems, but if you do I hope my experience and research helps a little.
Here's To Your Health!


Theresa said...

Hi Grandma:) I also have GERD, I like the sound of acid reflux better... anyway whatever you call it IS NOT fun. I take an OTC Zantac 150 every morning after I eat breakfast. It seems to keep it under control. Occasionally I will have to take one at night. Not to scare you but if you have any more serious attacks like this last one... best get your hiney to the doctor. Sometimes there can be other things causing it. OK, you have probably heard that from others too. Hope it is all better and have a blessed day!

Twyla and Lindsey said...

I went through a similar experience earlier this year. After going through a series of Very unpleasant tests from dr's, the best they could come up with was acid reflux. I am guessing this is what you are experiencing. What helped me the most was taking one round of Prilosec (which is for 14 days) and Mylanta to soothe the burn. I am fine now. Good luck to you! Twyla

Rae said...

That is a frequent side effect of coffee for sure but I thought it was the acid in the coffee not the caffeine. I had to cut down my coffee to one cup a day. If you find out a solution I would be interested in knowing about it. You are so right about it being miserable.

DJan said...

Hi Nina, no I have never experienced anything like this. When I was young and pregnant, I had heartburn in the later stages of pregnancy, but nothing since, so I'm probably not a good person to ask. But I do have a glass of wine every night (red), and I have a cup of coffee (actually a latte) every morning. I think I would have suffered too from the description of that meal and not moving for along time afterwards. I also try to finish eating anything I'm going to eat by 6:00 at the latest, so I am a little bit hungry, or at least not full, before I hit the sack.

Hope this helps, and let me know what you find out!

Lillian Robinson said...

Good luck with the GERD. Do try the acidophilus. It really works. And if you can, raise the head of your bed 6". I can still eat chocolate, have a glass of wine and have my coffee. An after-dinner walk helps everything!

Laura said...

My daughter and I just talked about this this afternoon.
Could it be the wine?

That's what my daughter said bothers her.

I have gotten myself so out of shape with blogging that I am starting daily exercise tomorrow.

Maybe that will help too.


Cottage Rose said...

Hi Nina; OH my you poor thing,, I have not even come close to what you are going through, but my Sister does.. so she has to eat like you.. it seems to help her,, which is a good thing... I hope and Pray that you are feeling better and will stay that way.... have a good weekend.

Grandma Lizzie's House said...

I'm sorry about your burning throat. I hope we can still hear about your fun family weekend.

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

I feel your misery! Wine means certain heartburn for me. I don't have acid reflux disease but I sometimes have heartburn. I was having one of those all night episodes (like a knife through your back) and nothing helped. As a last resort I swallowed about a tablespoon of vinegar within 5 minutes the heartburn was gone. This may not work for everyone, but it has certainly been a godsend for me.
I wish you well and hope you can find relief!

SANDY said...

Before you alter your diet so drastically, please see your doctor. That's not the only problem it might be. My mother experienced much of what you described. She had a hiatus hernia, the problems left unattended will only worsen. Hope you get some rest today to make up for last night.

Popped over after seeing your note regarding helping the homeless. We'd love (when you're feeling better), for you to join our group. Folks send hats, scarves, and mittens from all over. About this time last year, I had a gentlemen from Scotland send me money to buy socks. There's a picture of them on the blog. Please look around and see how fabulous people are.

Take care

Snooty Primadona said...

I have acid reflux too. However, it gets multiplied in intensity because I also have IBS and I hate it. You feel like you have food poisoning at times, but it's just the good ole IBS. I've been on Prilosec for many years but I refuse to take the medication for IBS. So, I guess I shouldn't complain...

Oh and ditto on someone saying take acidopholus. It's amazing what wonders it can work with your digestive system.


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