Nobody said it was easy


So ever since my VAD and stroke years ago I ended up going down the road of many other symptoms and then you are told “here – take this”.  I did that for a bit and managed to stop all.  Except one.

I would have raging heartburn.  All day.  Nothing I did helped.  I talked to my doctor.  Suggestions of various over the counter medication.  I did some but got little relief.  Then I found “the purple pill” Nexium.   It finally helped.  I could go on with my life again!  Yeah.

So for 4 years now I would take it at bedtime.   Just what my routine was.  When I tried to stop taking it, even for a day, the heartburn would return.  I tried cold turkey again back in early April.   As I started investigating more though I found that coming off drugs like this is very hard.  Don’t do it cold turkey.

So I started doing every other day.  Then go longer.  Examining my diet and making my food bigger at lunch and very light at dinner.  I also started seeing that the pain I was having wasn’t really at my chest or heartburn.  Instead it is a sharp stabbing pain  just underneath the ribs.   I have known about the helpful effects of apple cider vinegar but couldn’t think about taking it.   So I found tablets.  I often take these at night.

However in trying to stop, I found the pain to be really bad one day and I remembered learning that mustard helps in a pinch because it has vinegar.  So I got a spoon and swallowed the mustard.  Ugh!  But wait – in about 10 seconds the pain was gone.

Then I got some organic apple cider vinegar.  Now when the pain happens I take that.  Straight up.  I know that many suggest put it in water but I just prefer to get it over and then sip water after.  5 weeks later and I went the longest day without Nexium the other day.  However the pain still happens.   Especially teaching I’ve had to be careful – going upside down is sometimes something that triggers it.

I wish more of us and especially doctors knew about it.  Instead of just suggesting the medicine there should be a time limit and help from the medical field at coming off.  From what I am learning my body has grown used to this drug and the effects I’m having has more to do with coming off it than the heartburn I had coming onto it.

I definitely know I’m still in charge and responsible but I do with more people out there knew more about it.  Facebook groups I’m on for my VAD condition show that many have the same problem.  So many asking the same question – what may help?

From what I have been reading this could still take me months of pain and doing the natural remedies to help before I can see a difference.  So far though I do see some small changes.  So I wanted to post this to just inform others.  The heartburn medication was never meant to be a long term solution.

I am doing other things too.  Diet change – knowing what triggers it – which is almost everything!  Kiefer probiotic.   Ginger tea (love).

Thanks to so many who I have shared this with already.  Times where the pain has been so bad and I couldn’t teach.   I wasn’t ready to go public with this but now I am ready.  I’ll post more on the progress.