The last few months of my university year, I began getting severe sore throats. At first I immediately thought it was the common cold, then it continued on from March to April. Taking into consideration the timeframe, I assumed it could have simply been the stress of finals.
I then moved away with my boyfriend to Fort McMurray, Alberta. Thinking the change of scenery would make things better, and the sore throat go away. But it continued to paralyze my social interactions and life in general. I began thinking the worst, researching, and pinning every illness possible onto myself.
I went from a happy go lucky, free, excitable, smiling, cheerful, positive spirit. To an angry, negative, pessimistic house rat. The only relief I could get was through being mad at the pain I felt and everyone around me who didn't understand or get to feel my agony.
Coming from Ontario I still had Ontario healthcare and was unable to switch over to Alberta- until I have remained here for 3 months (I have another month to go). I went to the local hospital- as I still could under Ontario Healthcare. However, each and every time- I was quickly rushed out with a different, yet false explanation.
I explained to the doctors my symptoms. Mainly being chronic sore throat, linked with coughing. Which was worse in the morning and night. Ear ache/pain. The sensation of my throat can be described as a dry/scratchy feeling to a burning sensation. Also, I find myself constantly clearing mucus out of my throat (sometimes it gives me a little relief). Asthma-like symptoms as well, which was atypical of me seeing as I was a gymnast and cheerleader.
The first time I went to the hospital I was given antibiotics for strep- incorrect. The second time I was said to have diabetes/or thyroid problems- incorrect. The third time- I was said to have a virus, I was instructed to sleep and take Advil, you'll feel better in a few days. The fourth time- I was told I'm not sure what this can be, so rest up, here is some codeine for the pain and ketorolac for swelling and inflammation.
The fifth time I went back to the hospital- I wanted it to be my last. So before going I did a bunch of research, and I came across LPR. I read numerous postings on this message board, and got the facts straight. All my symptoms matched perfectly with an LPR sufferer. I demanded I was prescribed Nexium 40mg. It was urgent that I began immediately for two pressing reasons.
One: I had finished my schooling and therefore would no longer be covered under my parents benefits. Nexium is roughly $80/box. Too expensive for a new grad to be able to afford, considering all the debt I had accumulated from school.
Second: I managed to get a position with the Federal Government. However, a casual term, meaning I needed to be on my best performance always if I expected to keep my job. Not being able to talk just isn't an excuse.
Currently, I'm still in severe pain and have self-diagnosed myself with LPR. Since there is no ENT specialist in Fort Mcmurray, Alberta, I have to wait until July 28th to see the ENT that comes up here once a month. I get a 15-minute visit. So hopefully things can be confirmed and I can get some good advice.
My degree of study is health sciences, in saying so I have been very proactive in researching and changing my lifestyle and diet- as I know those are very important factors when it comes to health.
My new diet:
Exrta lean ground beef
Bran or oatmeal cereal
Cornbread (who would have thought)
Itís funny because I never thought I'd experience my youth again- especially not through this. But at times it feels like I'm eight again. Sitting at the table dreading over the food mom had cooked for me. But as I got older, I eventually grew to love those same foods. I guess itís the same now- I'm preparing myself for "old age." When I actually have to be selective for my health, eat bland foods, with little to no choice. I mean this morning for breakfast I had a cooked egg white with beef and green beans on top. NO SEASONING. It actually wasnít too bad. My boyfriend told me to view food as fuel. I have always been big on fine dining- but I mean what would life be without challenges?
Additionally: The Nexium is said to take calcium out of bones and teeth, some people have even needed dentures after treatment. So I'm going to be taking a calcium supplement along with the Nexium. Also, digestive enzymes, seeing as digestion will be worse with a less acidic stomach environment. Gaviscon gives me relief also, just as an extra to take throughout the day. Licorice root extract is said to help with the pain of sore throats, I have not tried it yet but will in the next few days.
The worst thing about this experience so far, has been how it has made me treat the people around me that I love, especially my boyfriend. The pain has made me pity myself and take more out on him. Donít let that happen. My boyfriend recently reminded me to live everyday as if its my last, then Iíll be able to appreciate the small things. We are not the only ones who are suffering pain daily.
Lastly, I have been on Nexium for three days now, and do not anticipate any changes for the next month or so, however, I WILL be following my diet and supplement intake to a ďTĒ- along with the Nexium- one in the morning and one at night. I will be posting on this board regularly, to let others know of my progress and if these changes work. Wish me luck- and if you have any advice for me, please, post I need as much advice possible- its greatly appreciated. This is a terrible disease but knowing that there are others out there that understand and have fought through this makes it much easier to deal with.