Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Boston, MA.
| | LPR: How To Deal, Explained
Dear Fellow LPR Victims,
I am writing this post because was I was first diagnosed with LPR, I was an emotional basketcase. I was receiving a lot of contradictory advice from everyone (including my doctors), and my life would have been a lot easier had I heard someone who had come out the other end explain their experiences. I hope that by writing this post I will save someone some of the angst that I went through. What I am writing is based on my personal experience with LPR, and I do understand that LPR comes in many different forms. If you are feeling lost, confused, anxious, frustrated, and in pain, however, there is a commonality between us. I've been there.
I am a healthy college student. I am a healthy weight, I do not smoke or drink. For me, what probably triggered the LPR is that I am a singer, although this is only a theory and we do not really know what caused it. My main and most debilitating symptom was a sore throat that would not go away and major post-nasal drip. The pain I experienced ranged from a 1 on the pain scale to an 8, and it NEVER WENT AWAY. It would wax and wane, but it persisted for a solid 6 months, and took away most of my joy in life during that time. While I am normally a very bubbly, optimistic, and energetic person, LPR transformed me into a weepy, self-pitying, anxious homebody. My social life was shot and doing simple office work during my summer vacation (a job that would normally be a breeze for me) was extremely trying.
After a mis-diagnosis of a dust mite allergy, I finally saw an ENT who recognized me as having LPR. She ordered that I cut out all acidic foods (coffee, tea, spicy foods, soda, dairy, chocolate, sweets, etc). Of course I did this right away and - of course - no relief. It was then that I was put on 40 mg prilosec a day. A week later - no relief, symptoms worsening. I saw another ENT who put me in zegerid and pepsid, and assured me that my throat would take weeks or even months to heal totally. He told me that "if [you] are not getting worse, you are getting better."
Three weeks later, I am feeling improvement. I take zegerid in the morning on an empty stomach about 1 hour before breakfast and at night one hour before dinner. I take pepsid about 30 minutes before lunch. I also take Mucinex, because the post-nasal drip was irritating my throat as well.
What I want to communicate here is that this is a slow process, and you must be diligent and patient throughout your treatment. Trust that you are, indeed, suffering from LPR, and that this disease can be managed and controlled. You WILL have your life back. This is just a minor block in the road. The dietary modifications suck (I love coffee, indian food, wine, cheese, and tomato sauce as much as the next guy). But feeling sick sucks more. People suffer from a lot more serious and life-shattering illnesses. Throw the coffee out the window and let your body do the natural thing: heal. In truth, most of the dietary modifications are good for you, anyway. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies, eat smaller portions, graze. Learn how to relax without alcohol and perk up without coffee. It is a beautiful thing.
As per the damage done to your throat: be patient. I know it is much easier said than done, but increased anxiety and hysteria is not going to make you heal any faster. Take this as a time of introspection and relaxation. Confide in those around you who really care about you, and let the others fade away. Manage the disease, control it. You have the power, and you are already on your way to being yourself again.
I hope this helped.