I Wasn’t Expecting That

First of all, thanks to all of you who have cheerfully read my posts where I whined about being ill.

I was getting concerned. Even if you are not a hypochondriac, it’s not out of the realm of reasonable worry to get concerned by being ill for most of two months.

My family doctor prescribed 5 different antibiotics and steroids. I felt good around 10 days total for the first two months of the year. I had definitely reached the point where I had to admit that my family doctor’s method of treatment of throwing antibiotics at me was not doing the trick.

I contacted an Ears, Nose and Throat specialist and got in to see him last Friday.

Y’all, he did disturbing things to me. A camera was involved.

Also, he was extremely arrogant. It was like he couldn’t wait for me to speak so he could smirk and tell me why I was wrong.

When he first got there, he paged through my records before speaking to me.

Arrogant doctor who looks like Rick Moranis: How do you feel?

Me: Well, I’ve had sinus infections over and over and..

Arrogant doctor who really looks more like he ate Rick Moranis: No. You don’t feel that way. That is a diagnosis. I asked you how you feel.

Me, feeling annoyed: I feel like shit.

That’s a lie. I thought about saying that but instead I yammered on about sinus pain and aches and fevers and coughing. 

I had a reaction to one of the antibiotics my family doctor gave me. He referred to it as an anaphylactic reaction so I referred to it as an anaphylactic reaction.

Arrogant doctor who took smirking to a new place: Okay, you did not have an anaphylactic reaction. That would have been much worse. You had an allergic reaction.

Me: My eyes swelled up.

Dickhead doctor: allergic reaction.

Then he shot this stuff up my nostrils with a machine that sounds like those machines at the 10 minute oil change places. He did this to numb them. There isn’t enough Jiffy Lube to make what he did next comfortable.

You guys, he stuck a camera up my nose and down my throat via my nostril. Then he did it again on the other side.

Arrogant doctor: You aren’t going to accept what I’m going to say next because it won’t make any sense to you, but you have to trust me because I know what I’m talking about.

Me: Okay

Arrogant doctor: You haven’t had any sinus infections at all. What you have is severe acid reflux. I can see the damage. It’s bad enough and rising enough to irritate your mucus membranes and that is causing your sinus cavities to fill up. It mimics all the signs of sinus infection but it’s not. Has your voice changed?

Me: No. It hasn’t changed. I mean, it’s a little hoarse from being sick.

Doctor: Yeah (smirk) that’s what I meant by your voice changing. It’s possible it will stay that way or could take a long time to heal.

Me: But I don’t have bad heartburn or anything. I do sometimes, but not often.

Arrogant doctor holding up his hand: This has nothing to do with that. You can have what is called ‘silent’ acid reflux. That means you don’t usually feel anything.

Silent Acid Reflux. One of you needs to start a band and call it that.

I haven’t been suffering through ear aches and sinus infections at all. I never would have guessed this in a million years.

Then he told what not to eat and drink.

We’ll just say that everything on the list are my favorite things.

Booze is on the list.

Plus side, at least I’m not dying from a rare form of sinus cancer. I was pretty sure that’s what it was.

Also, I wondered, but didn’t dare ask…if I have acid reflux that bad, does that mean I have acid spit? Could I spit on someone and melt their face off? Because that would be cool.


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  • Ugh. . .I’ve had that fun nose camera thing before and you are right—they need to use more lube. I had sinus infection after sinus infection and finally found out I have sleep apnea, which was agitating my throat and sinuses (the constant snoring and lack of sleep) and lower my immune system. But I didn’t discover this until 2 years of antibiotics, so you are off to a good start. I’m not a doctor and am not diagnosing you and don’t know your medical history, but silent acid reflux sounds hocus pocus to me! Might want to consider it as an option. . .and who wants to give up booze?

    • Oh trust me, I looked it up..it really is a thing. I DO get heartburn somewhat frequently, but no where near you would think to cause the kind of damage he is seeing…

      I’m just glad it’s something that doesn’t require more antibiotics..

  • I do love smug consultants….. I do hope it turns out that the cause is the opposite of what he thinks.
    1) So you can have the satisfaction of telling him so and
    2) So you can still enjoy the things you like

  • My co worker has that. She was diagnosed originally with hand foot and mouth. ENT doc told her acid reflux

  • Silent Acid Reflux is my Jimi Hendrix tribute band.

    I’m glad to hear it’s not anything that serious. For best results, follow the diet.

  • What IS it with the ear, nose, throat docs and their ATTITUDES? We’ve been to three different ones and they were all dicks. But I’m glad you found out what was wrong with ya. Use your acid spit power for good, not evil.

  • Acid reflux can be serious! You should talk to your primary about doing something to get it under control. A GI specialist might be useful in this case. That continuous irritation of the esophagus can cause major problems down the road.

    I also immediately go to The Bad Place when anything medical is going on, and I have thought in the past that I had some rare form of cancer that had not yet been discovered. Turned out to be something completely innocuous, of course.

    • I go back in a month. I’m taking prylosec twice a day and changing my diet..he also wants me to start using a humidifier. Hopefully, this is all it will take to clear it up…

  • What a fucking dick! I would’ve kicked him in his nut sack while my legs swung on the table and claimed it was an accident. Then given him a titty twister while he shoved a camera up my nose. Anyway, I’m glad you know what’s wrong now and hope you start feeling better!

  • Glad you are doing better! And if you find out that acid spit is a thing, we should talk. I have an excellent use for it. And I promise it would be good…only good. Bwahahahahaha!

  • I was wondering if they put you on Prilosec or something. I’ve never heard of anything like this either (the silent acid reflux thing — not the asshole of a doctor thing — I’ve seen a LOT of those).

    I hope the new meds and diet work for you!

    • Yes, Prilosec, just over the counter. I’ve been misspelling it. apparently, I buy the more fancy prylosec. haha.

      He also wanted me to get a humidifier.

  • Poor thing! So sorry to hear you’ve been getting the runaround. I have had those examinations by an ENT and they’re uncomfortable. I feel for you and hope you get some relief.

    • Thank you!! I guess it’s going to take a little time..I can say that this morning I don’t feel like I’m in the throes of a sinus infection.

  • That would explain why the antibiotics didn’t work. Dealing with doctors when you’re already aggravated can make them seem even more dickish than they already are… I do want to say that the doctors and therapists and staff at the hospital and the acute rehab facility where I recovered from my stroke were first-rate and I owe them my life, but there were a couple of issues that took me a while to figure out what their program was and cooperate with it. While it was happening, it felt to me like they were being assholes about it, but as soon as I grokked how to make things better, they got a lot better really fast.
    Here’s hoping a similar (or better) outcome for your health issues.
    Or if the doctor is really just a jerk, that you find someone competent to help you get better.

  • Well. That sucks. I hate dealing with douchebags, especially when ill. I guess listen to the jerkwad and see if it helps…and hopefully it will. Hopefully he’s arrogant because he’s really that good.

    Did he at least tell you how long it would be until you started feeling better?

    • He really didn’t but I didn’t ask. I’m terrible about asking questions. Especially when dealing with someone like him. I see him again early next month.

  • I’ve never heard it called silent reflux, but I understand why your doctor used that term. Pay close attention to reflux guidelines–not just the dietary changes. The lifestyle changes are as important: elevate the head of your bed at night, take your nightly dose of Prilosec thirty minutes before you eat your evening meal; and most importantly, stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed. When you do go to bed start out sleeping on your left side. (Did your ENT explain what happens with reflux? Your lower esophageal sphincter loosens and allows stomach acid to flow back up your esophagus. The acid reaches your throat. The throat can’t protect against stomach acid. It becomes inflamed and makes more mucous. Droplets of acid can touch your vocal cords, which can affect your voice.) (By the way, I’m a speech-language pathologist who does the “camera thingie” and that’s why I know a bit about this!)

    • Your bedside manner is MUCH better. Thank you. He did mention behavioral changes, but in a mostly offhand manner so this is really good information to have!

  • I forgot to add that it’s called “silent” because you don’t have heartburn. About 20% of people of with reflux don’t notice anything except coughing/hoarseness. And yes, ongoing irritation of the esophagus can lead to something called Barrett’s esophagus, and there is a (teeny tiny teeny) chance that Barrett’s esophagus can become cancerous.

    • I actually do get heartburn, but it’s not all the time, like once every three weeks or so, but since I’ve been ill, I’ve been having it more often..maybe once a week. Had no idea that was making me ill, though.

      I really do appreciate this information. Much less scary than my usual course of action which is to scour websites reading about the worst outcome and then worrying over it.

    • HAHAHA…I’d rather NOT have acid spit because I’m tired of feeling bad…but if I HAVE to have it..well then…people at work better be a little bit nicer to me…

  • I have a friend who kept getting sinus infections. She underwent an operation where they roto-rooted her sinus cavities.
    You WILL notice I neglected to tell you about this previous to this latest diagnosis of yours.
    You’re welcome.

  • I’m against anything that involves cameras that aren’t *out*side my body, and dickish doctors, and condescending people in general, so I wouldn’t have done well there.

    Glad you got a diagnosis, and that you will only use your acid spit for good–Like for burning holes in his iphone screen when he leaves the room next time.

    I’d be shopping for a new doctor, too… any doctor who thinks it’s OK to treat people like that deserves to sit there alone, wondering why their parking lot is EMPTY.

  • It’s great you don’t have sinus cancer, but what you do have sounds like it’s hardly better. Is avoiding certain foods the only thing that can be done. I wish I was a magically intelligent throat/nose/sinus doctor so I could give you an awesome cure. I’d make sure it came with a daily prescription of beer.

    • I also have to take over the counter prilosec twice a day. I’m hoping that once I get it under control that I’ll be able to re-introduce some things and see how I do. I go back to the doc next month. I guess I’ll ask him and see if I can get a good answer between smirks.

  • A) That doctor sounds like an asshole. B) I’ve had the acid reflux diagnosis too. Although I didn’t get the fun sinus-like symptoms or the camera up my nose. Sometimes it sucks. But mainly I’ve just figured out how much of what I can eat without making myself sick. If I’ve been good for a few days, I know I can cheat it a little.

    • Yeah, he was a real douche twizzle.

      I never really had symptoms until the beginning of the year and it didn’t seem like acid reflux at all. I’ve had sinus infections plenty of times and that is what it felt like.

      I’m hoping that once I get it under control I will be able to occasionally cheat a little..but for now…just trying to NOT feel like shit all the time.

  • I HAVE THAT! The severe acid reflux. Not the camera up the nose thing. And luckily, I didn’t have the arrogant doctor. They gave me Protonix, told me to sleep on a wedge pillow, and not eat those several foods that cause problems together. So, I can still eat those foods, and do. But i don’t make a meal out of all dangerous foods. It works for me.
    Strangely, a nice friendly doctor gave my husband a different med, said nothing about the wedge pillow, and told him to not eat/drink any of those foods. He still has horrible acid reflux. He won’t try “my way.” For a smart guy, sometimes he isn’t. Good luck, Michelle.

    • They are annoying sometimes, aren’t they?

      Okay, a wedge pillow…I am looking into that as soon as I type this. and thank you for this! I tried stacking some pillows to sleep elevated and it was terribly uncomfortable.

  • I’ve actually always feared conditions like acid reflux. All my favorite foods and drinks are the ones that bite back – tomatoes, mustard, peppers, soy sauce, sausage, ranch dressing, coffee, beer…

    May God have mercy on your soul.

      • It’s the worst that so many good foods can make us feel like crap. Moderation and timing of the foods can help alleviate some of the problems with your stomach. For example, drink coffee after eating or in other words don’t drink on an empty stomach.

        Also, exercise has a wonderful effect on getting our internal pH systems back in balance.

By Michelle


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