Help Me Solve My Mysterious Ilness

In February of 2016, I woke up one morning with the unusual taste of stomach juices. More alarmingly, there was this feeling of something stuck in my throat. Over the next few days things worsened as I started to burp several times a day and became hoarse and at moments lost my ability to speak. I checked into a hospital about a week later, where they examined my throat and assured me that there was no tumor and told me it’s likely only reflux and told me to take heartburn medication to resolve it. After trying courses of several medications, my symptoms didn’t improve. In fact, everything spiraled out of control.

I began to burp the moment I opened my eyes in the morning. There were times where the whole day was taken up by the constant urge to burp and releasing it didn’t relieve the urge. Sometimes the unbearable tension in my throat would intensify and yet I was unable to release it, something they call the stuck burp. My throat feels tight and constricted, and at moments feels like I’m being strangled. It’s to the point where I can’t recall when my throat didn’t feel this way. Along the way, I started to get ear crackling every time I swallow and get frequent flare ups of severe throat pain throughout the day. Eating, even sipping broth, was especially torturous as it caused so much throat pressure and burping, it’s as if I’m about to explode. Basically, I’m always feeling miserable in one way or another no matter what I do except during moments when I’m able to close my eyes and fall asleep for at least a few hours.

At last count, I’ve been to somewhere around 40 specialists, including ENTs, gastroenterologists, neurologists. I’ve gone through several rounds of testing. I’ve been to the Stanford, the Mayo Clinic and more top experts at UC Davis. None of the results were consistent, although some indicators suggest I had a less common form of reflux called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease. However, doctors were at a lost at how to treat it since all the medications I tried didn’t work. I also tried several different diets and other interventions. I even meditated and prayed. It all just seems hopeless. An invasive surgery was possible, but was considered a last report because of the nasty complications.

After two years of life being nothing but a succession of pain and discomfort, I was desperate and went through with the surgery to tighten up my stomach valve. Unfortunately, even drastically slicing up, contorting and rearranging my anatomy didn’t make so much as a dent in the symptoms. I burped the moment I woke up from the operation and am now burping now more than ever. The difference is now it hurts to burp, my throat pressure is worse because my swallowing has been severely weakened by the surgery, along with numerous complications from the surgery. It’s quite maddening and demoralizing. The surgeon swears that my symptoms are due to something else since apparently his operation definitely should have stopped the reflux. Feels like I’m back at square one despite all my efforts.

The problem I face now is I’ve nearly gone broke with all the medical expenses and have not been able to work much. But I haven’t given up the fight to get my life back. How can I? I’m still fairly young. There’s still more experts and specialists to see, more treatments to try. I’ve even reached out to more doctors in other states and countries who offer their own procedures, some experimental, though there’s no certainty any of it will work. I am staying positive that my miracle is somewhere out there and if  am able to keep trying I will find it. I’m hoping some of you can help me by contributing whatever you can. Thank you and GOD Speed!

Donations

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  • Manj Virdi  
    • 100 $ 
    • 19 mos
  • Manj Virdi  
    • 210 $ 
    • 19 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 90 $ 
    • 31 mos
  • Vickie Dang 
    • 50 $ 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 20 $ 
    • 36 mos
See all

Organizer

Tuan Chau Nguyen 
Organizer
Milpitas, CA
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