Cutting to the chase. I've finished reducing my Mirtazapine after a week, and now I am on no medications. None whatsoever. This is exactly how I want to remain, but if I do that I probably risk having these awful symptoms every day for the rest of my life.
I've posted here frequently about my struggles with symptoms of GERD and LPR. It's been 14 months now, and it still hasn't gone away. None of my meds every truly stopped it, and I've tried PPIs, H2 Blockers, Gaviscon Advance, digestive supplements, various antidepressants and so on. I've also tried diet and lifestyle changes like raising the bed and strict diets. Still no good. If anything things have gotten a lot worse in just a few days.
I get the following, long list of symptoms, most of which arise as soon as I belch, but some are constant. I've marked the constant ones with a * symbol:
- Constant burping *
- Short of breath
- Lump in throat, doesn't go away with hot drinks/relaxation techniques
- Hard to swallow
- Lost appetite *
- Nausea *
- Bringing up liquid when I burp *
- Excess mucus in throat/Throat clearing *
- Burning esophagus. Like a hellfire.
- Sore throat, on and off.
I'm anxious about these all day, but burping is the trigger that causes most symptoms to appear, probably because burping is bringing up all the stomach pepsin. I tried following the whole "anxiety causes excess acid" thing, but that apparently was disproven years ago and is still disproven today. Reflux is not caused by excess acid. End of story.
What's more is I'm now starting to feel these symptoms at night when I never used to. Things are as bad as they were 14 months ago, if not worse! Occasionally I have gone back to the Gaviscon Advance as a last resort, but it's not helping. As soon as I burp it all comes back.
You know, the one good thing about my recent symptoms surge is that I don't feel like ending it all every 10 minutes. Now it's roughly every 2nd day, so still not much better is it? How can anyone live like this every day? I'm sorry to have to say this, but I've seen papers saying the quality of life in people with LPR is lower than that of cancer survivors. Horrid to say, but proven. I want to eat anything I like again, run and exercise as I used to, and not wake up wondering what my next mouthful of bread and water is going to do to me. I work in a sweet shop, and I can't touch anything that all other normal people practically binge on. I keep getting invited to restaurants, and have to turn it down because most foods at most places will make me worse. And even if I follow the diets, I'm not actually curing the reflux. Even surgery only has a 25% chance of 100% relief.
This is the worst possible thing for me. I'm a hypochondriac with the one thing I fear - a lifelong condition that can't even be properly controlled. I don't want to be on drugs for life, especially not ones that don't remove my symptoms completely. I hate being told it's "all in my head" and to "just eat anything I want." If either of these statements were true I would have laughed it all out of myself by now. Life currently has no meaning for me thanks to LPR. I've lost friends, family respect, jobs, beliefs. I can't even pursue my dream career in animal education, because I can only just speak to the public like this.
What should I do? What can I do about this torture? Do I have any chance at all of returning to my old, healthy self, without having to be on sickening drugs and diets forever? I take back anything I said was wrong in my life when I was 21 and younger, and I wish I knew what started my symptoms so I could prevent it all.
Rant over, sorry, this is pretty much what goes through my mind every day at the moment though. Thank you for your patience...