I saw Dr. G, my gastroenterologist, about the reflux problem. Here's the plan:
1. Switched my meds from twice-daily Prilosec to twice-daily Zegerid, which has twice the dosage of omeprazole plus bicarbonate of soda. So far the only thing that has helped me actually feel better is the every-4-hours Mylanta, but that had other side effects.
2. Scheduled an EDG (upper endoscopy, I've had one before) for the end of this month; he's concerned about the swallowing problems. (Me, too.) He doesn't think I have a hiatal hernia, though, because the last EDG didn't show any herniation. I'm thinking anything can happen with the way things work for me, so I won't be suprised either way.
3. I will be scheduled for an emptying study, to see if my problem is caused by food leaving my stomach too slowly (gastroparesis). Considering I've had a "rapid transit" problem for years now (ameliorated somewhat by the cholestyramine I've been taking for the past year or so), the idea that food is transitting any part of my digestive system too slowly is pretty funny. [Interesting aside: the gastroparesis link above says that cholinergic drugs can cause it...cholestyramine is a cholinergic drug.]
4. Back to his office in mid-December for the recap on everything, to find out what is to be done. I hope the Zegerid works better than it has today, otherwise it's going to be a very long month.
(Meanwhile, I'm having another video stroboscopy study the week before, so we'll be able to get a good look at how my vocal folds are functioning, and see how well they're holding up to the constant acid washing.)
I tried Protonix once before and it made me very sick, that's why I'm hoping I'm broken in a way that's physically fixable. This is ridiculous, here I am wanting to go under the knife again! Sheesh.