Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Reflux Journey

Oh reflux, reflux, aren't you sick of me yet?  I have been dealing with you for 10 yrs and am really sick of you!  You may have read one of my previoius posts about my reflux, so I just wanted to update and share in case it would help anyone else dealing with this horrible problem. 
As of February of this year I had been on a proton pump inhibiting pill (actually 2) everyday for over a year.  I had gone from 1 pill to 2 after I had recieved an EGD (Scoped down the esophogus to the stomach, don't worry, they put you out) and it was determined that I had mild esophogitis.  I guarantee you, there was nothing mild feeling about it!   I could barely eat or drink anything and constantly felt like I had a lump in my throat.  Anyway, a year after switching to 2 pills, it was not helping.  I had even given up chocolate, coffee, spicy foods, basically most of the things I love.  I was then refered to a doctor in our little town who by chance was one of the few in the country that  was trained in a new procedure/surgery that would fix my reflux woes. 
Dr. Rodney McCalla assured me he could help, after performing another EGD to determine if I was a good canidate.  Apparently where your esophogus and stomach meet, there is suppose to be a valve that allows food to pass through to the stomach, but then closes so the stomach acid and food do not come back up.  Well, apparently I didn't have a valve anymore.  It was completely gone, flat, non-existent.  Well no wonder I was having so many problems.  Everything was just washing back up including stomach acid.  Not only that but he also found stomach polyps from taking the reflux meds for so long.  Fun times right?
He explained this new procedure called the TIF.  It has only been in the states for about 3-4 yrs, brought over from Europe.  If you suffer from reflux horribly and have looked into surgery, you know how archaeic and brutal reflux surgery can be. 
Well, this procedure might be the answer to your problems......With this procedure, there are no incisions.  They go down the esophogus much like an EGD.  They use a tool specifically made for this procedure.  Read the following link if you want  more detail on the procedure, there is even a cool video that shows you how the procedure is done.
  TIF procedure
Anyways, it been not quite 3 months, and I'm doing better but truely won't know for 2 yrs.  Some patients are able to be off their meds after being on them for 3 weeks after the surgery.  I am not one of those lucky people.  We tried taking me off the PPI's as scheduled but having issues.  So, back on them I go for a possiblility of up to 2 yrs.  Beat's a lifetime of suffering and meds with a possibility of esophogial cancer though right?  Hope this helps someone suffering from this debilatating disease.  If you have any questions, just comment below and I'll try to help. 
Have a blessed Wednesday!


  1. Wow! I hope this helps you. I have dealt with reflux with several of my kids, but never to that extent. Does it ever cause chest pain that goes up into the throat? My 16 year old is going to the GI dr. later this month because of the pain that will keep her awake at night.

  2. oh my! Hopefully that medicine will start working a little more quickly and you can get off of it for good! Following you through e-mail! :)


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