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This is long ... I thought I'd best be fulsome ... but you might just want to skip down to the section marked QUESTIONS if you prefer ... and refer above if you wish later. No matter which and in ALL, THANKS.
This is my first time posting on this board which I am delighted to find. Warning: You will probably laugh at my particular tale of cautionary woe, but that in and of itself may not be a bad thing. Often I’m told it can be a restorative.
ON GETTING A PPI / NEXIM (ESOMEPRAZOLE)
I have a circuitous route towards to attaining a PPI. It will, I’m certain, seem strange to you. Certainly it was to me. In ANY event: On 14 February I awoke with a strange sensation of pressure in the back left quadrant in my head. The only thing I could think that might have immediately caused it was that for the first time in my life – and I am 58 years old – I’d experienced a sensation of so called ‘heartburn’ the day before while eating a luncheon of brown rice, pot barely and tomatoes. A few days later (with the head sensation continuing) I called my GP surgery and a doctor said it was a tension headache and prescribed Amitriptyline 10 mg. I took one tablet of that before going to bed as advised and awoke feeling like a zombie with the sensation of pressure remaining in place. ‘No’, I thought. Knowing from a cervical spine MRI a year and a half before that I had some severe foraminal stenosis I had a friend recommend me for a second MRI privately. Perhaps it had got distressed. I got the results of that returned and they were – with relief – very similar to the previous findings. Little if any change. Still the sensation of pressure continued. I was in Milan for business and my left ear suddenly took forever to come back down to earth from the flight. When I was at my dentist’s she said that I might have an inner ear infection and gave me a round of 500 mg Amoxcillin. Still the pressure continued. At a later appointment with my dentist (which had been previously scheduled) she noticed an incipient wisdom tooth growing through on the left side of my upper gum. ‘That’s IT’, I thought. A few days later I had it out – no swelling, no pain but, sadly, the head pressure remained in stubborn place. The oral surgeon gave me another round of Amoxcillin 500 mg as well as Metronidzole 200 mg. These all in the scope of less than a month. About a week later I awoke with the sensation of phlegm in my mouth. I went to the bathroom and spat it out. It was rife with yellowed gunk but there was also a streak of blood. Proverbially freaking I dashed to my local walk-in centre. The nurse was most kind and checked me over. ‘I was fine’ she said apart from what she believed to be a rather low heart rate (in the late 50’s). Some days later the morning congestion happily cleared – but the head sensation remained. It was now over two months of disturbance. Patience, I find, can sometimes be a rather trying virtue. What could I do? With my options seeming somewhat limited I called a friend from University (low those many decades ago) who now is head of an internal medicine training unit at Harvard University. Kindly he returned my call. He said that – as it might have started with a gastric turn – which, he said, could perhaps explain the sensation of non-moving head pressure – that I should get an appointment for a clinical examination with my GP he said. He said that if that was warranted then ’40 mg of Nexim for two week might well do the trick’. I called the surgery the next day and a doctor called back. I didn’t win an appointment out of his lottery but he was willing to prescribe the Nexium. (‘Ah,’ I hear you say, ‘Now we got there’.) I filled the prescription – but only ever took half the dosage. (I’d really never had a problem with my stomach.) I took it for four days. My stomach felt like it was doing a summersault. That after just four tablets!! The head pressure remains.
ON STOPPING A PPI / NEXIM (ESOMEPRAZOLE)
Suddenly on stopping the Nexium / Esomeprazole I found I did NOW have gas. While I don’t belch – it’s more a lady like affair as my mother would once have said – I do feel swallowed air coming back on me. I have read this is the resulting sudden acid reflux and that it is natural for my body to experience such after having been medically surpressed from its otherwise natural course. Strange thing is that I’d never had ANY previous stomach complaints. I thought I would tough it out. It’s a week now. I’ve started taking apple cider vinegar tables, stomach enzymes, DGL liquorice, Sea kelp, yogurt and probiotics to help support my stomach back to its natural good health.
This past Sunday – Easter Sunday as it was – I suddenly felt a tight and – fleetingly painful – pressure in my chest. Was I preparing for a heart attack? I let it go … but then my mind went into overdrive. I took myself to a local hospital. I have to say they were MOST kind; a truly wonderful service. They gave me blood tests, an ECG and a chest x-ray. My heart, it turned out, was pristine. The lovely lady doctor gave me yet another round of Amoxcillin because she said there was some ‘fullness’ in the chest x-ray and that one of the blood levels – (I’m assuming CRP) – was ‘slightly elevated’. I’m not surprised given the overdose of antibiotics my system’s ingested and, most specifically, the dreaded Nexium effect. She said she thought I would be fine and sent me away, telling me that I should have a follow-up x-ray in a month or so ‘just to be sure’ I was all clear.
I have two questions I would like to ask: I wonder if there is someone out there for anyone who has actually STOPPED Nexium/ Esomeprazole. (i) Did you experience anything similar to what I describe in the previous paragraph? MOST potently in this regard I wondered how long it took for you to return to a fairly normal state? I have searched the internet but haven’t found a time frame for recovery for my limited ingestion – or indeed any other scale – yet. (ii) I am fearing I may have incited my risk for oesophagus cancer. I find myself ‘test swallowing’ as I walk along the street. How do you KNOW if you are having trouble swallowing if you are not bringing food back up or experiencing actual pain. I can swallow big tablets with water but even still part of my mind thinks I may have forgotten what normal – an oh, so recent condition for me – may really felt like. Are there any definitive markers in that particular sensation of difficutly?
(I should perhaps add that the lovely doctor in the hospital did say that the head sensation was most likely to be as a result of the foraminal stenosis – as I originally thought – and I have now been elevated to see a physiotherapist. THAT … after ALL THIS. She said it was very common and that her own father had just such a complaint and physiotherapy worked for him. Well, still in ALL, I’m grateful to have finally got there.)
I am SO appreciative for your time and kind consideration. Bless you for ALL.
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