Desperate times are well…desperate

Having bad reflux that is unexplainable makes for some pretty miserable conditions at night. It is bad during the day, but nighttime is the worst. Sleeping sitting up is hardly sleeping in the quality sense. I have found that over the past year, the body has a natural tendency to want to lay flat when it sleeps. It has been extremely frustrating due the the consequences of such actions.

Here has what the reflux has resulted to for me…(be sure to count)…

A stack of five pillows. Yes, I sleep with five pillows. I have to arrange them just so for them to be comfortable and to get the right angle. Fortunately, I am a back sleeper most of the time so it does help with the comfort level. Even still, I have found myself in the recliner even more upright because I just cannot get the pillows just right to get comfortable enough to sleep because the upward flow is just too much to handle.

I have tried the medicines. They do not work. I have had lots and lots and lots of tests run on me. They do not know why I have it and why it does not register outside of the “normal range.” The fact is that I have a failed and relaxed lower esophageal sphincter so even without the reflux issues, my sphincter still does not work properly. According to one test that I had done, 80% of my swallows partially fail. So I have problems emptying my esophagus 80% of the time and then I have stuff coming back up. Yes, I am a mess.

I have had a sore throat since my hysterectomy on January 14, 2011. It never went away. It has been varying degrees of soreness since then. A lot of that is because you just learn to live with it and you become immune to the level of pain. The reflux really flared up a couple of weeks after my surgery. It never calmed down. Then the stomach pains started. Then the abdominal pains. Then on and on and on.

The real problem is that I am not convinced that they know how what exactly the problem is almost a year later. We have managed to find “results” but we have not necessarily managed to find “causes” of these “results.” It has become very frustrating. I have even seen a surgeon for the LES and potential reflux surgery. He will not fix it until we manage to get him some “reflux” tests that come back positive. Essentially we have to find him indications of the “cause” so he knows how to fix it properly. I agree with him in that we need to fix it properly, but when I saw him I will admit to leaving his office in tears and crying all the way home (hour drive) because he crushed what hope of relief I had left. He just put it under his boot and smashed it into the ground. All I want is for it all to stop. I am tired of it all. I have been doing this for a year. I am tired and uncomfortable and I just want to lay down in bed like a normal person and go to sleep.

I digress…my stack of pillows while it does help, it is not a perfect solution and it is not even near ideal.

One of the problems that I have is that this stuff flares up my asthma. It flares it up pretty bad.

I also reflux all the way to my sinus cavities so I get sinus infections very quickly and very easy if I sleep one night a little too flat. It is not fun. Two nights ago, was one of those nights where I woke up the morning after and knew it was not going to be good a couple of days later. Today I woke up not feeling so hot. Last night I had a bloody nose before bed that was pretty nasty. This morning just not feeling too hot.

So I have been researching and reading reviews and researching and researching since the end of November on other ways to possibly help my problem.

I have a surgeon who won’t do a surgery until he knows what caused the LES destruction.
I have a gastroenterologist who says that I need the surgery but does not think that I am a candidate and sends me for a second opinion.
I have another GI doctor tell me I am not a candidate and not to do the surgery or I will have worse problems.
I have a primary care doctor who is baffled and sends me in for a sleep study based on reading a study that yields even more interesting findings and frankly will not clear me for surgery until we figure out what we are fixing.
I have an ENT who wants to remove my tonsils and adenoids still (9 months later).
I have a neurologist injecting nerve blocks in my head and increasing migraine medicines.


So I researched some more…my primary care doctor finally just tells me to take some time away from all the doctor’s visits and tests and enjoy the holidays. I did just that. I did a couple more tests and saw my neurologist for a follow-up, but outside of that I have enjoyed a little time off for a little while. It certainly has not gotten me relief or made it easier to find relief, but she told me just focus on other things and we would “start over after the first of the year” searching for whatever is wrong with me.

After the night I had two nights ago, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I knew what I would be like this morning before it ever happened. So I grabbed my coupon and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and I bought one of these…

A Comfort Supreme Bed Wedge foam pillow thing. It was not cheap. I did not care. I did have a 20% off coupon, so that did take some of the sting out of the purchase.

My biggest concern is that none of them are very tall. None of them have amazing reviews. None of them appear to have great comfort reviews when it really comes down to it.

I was hesitating as a skeptic all this time…Today, I just could not take it any more and splurged on a potentially better night’s sleep.

It goes in the bed like this…

There really are no details on how to use it. I am sure that is part of the comfort problem, to be honest with you.

It appears to be a memory foam thing. I am not a huge fan of the stuff, personally. It has its place, but not under my head or as a primary ingredient in my bed. I personally thing that it is overly hard and excessively hot.

It did come with a nice attractive pillow case on it. I did see in BB&B that you can purchase replacement covers for it.

This is how I plan on sleeping with mine…

That has reduced my pile of pillows down to three and it appears that the level is about the same if not higher than before. I might be able to reduce the number of pillows some more. The problem with the stacked/piled pillows was that it was just unstable and the pillows shifted and slid around and if I moved just right I would end up on just one pillow a bit more flat than I needed to be. So if anything it appears that this will help with that stability issue.

My concern is the comfort issue. I am sitting here with my back on it while I am typing this up and it is hard even through the pillows. I am sure that is the memory foam stuff still being fresh out of the packaging and it does take time to break it in, but this is a bit more firm than I expected. It could just be the angle I am sitting at, it is different than what I am used to.

I just hope that it helps. I really do not want to go back into the doctor again for yet another sinus infection that was not caused by “sinus problems.” This is not very much fun at all.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.