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Acid Reflux

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by chickenbone, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I would like to bring up the topic of acid reflux again and ask for some advice. I have always suspected that this is one of my TMS symptoms. The reason is that I have had recent, on and off bouts with it. I have been to doctors many times for it, but would never consent to medications which I think are dangerous. I don't get heartburn, but rather acid in my throat, sinuses and ears. When I have it, I often have a sore throat, plugged sinuses, lots of mucous, and constant tickling in my ears. It can drive me to distraction. I recently visited a ENT doctor who does think my problems are psychological and says my throat is ok. I do have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but my thyroid is fine. Also, at times when I don't have GERD, I can eat almost anything I want and not have problems. At other times I have to avoid dairy and gluten and other food items. This just does not make sense. Now I have had on and off bouts with it for the last 4 months. Recently, I became over medicated on Synthroid and became hyperthyroid for several months, which can really make one crazy, but now have the dose adjusted.

    There is something that I think may have triggered it. As an aside, my mind is really weird. I can do something that I am perfectly ok with consciously, like scheduling a trip (more on that in a moment), but I can feel my unconscious in the background just seething with anger and flipping out about it. This takes some time, but I will eventually start to get physically sick. This sickness is telling me emphatically NOT to do what I am planning. Case in point: I have horrific travel phobia. My parents eventually stopped taking me on vacations because I would cry and scream that I did not want to go and if they made me, I would always get very sick on the trip. I never got over this. I have no idea about what bothers me about travel, except to say that I dread it, hate it wherever I go, and count the days until I get home and almost always get sick. Even if I don't get sick, I am in an extremely anxious mood the whole time. Funny thing though, I enjoy the memory of a trip, in hindsight. I have no ability to enjoy traveling in real time. And yet, the idea of enjoying a vacation appeals to me. However, that is never the reality of it for me. So I planned 2 trips. one to Phoenix, AZ (I live in Panama), and another one in August to 3 destinations in the US. I did not want to go to 2 of them and my husband did not want to go to 1 of them. But it was cost effective to plan them together. So we compromised on that one, but I would be going to Phoenix alone, which really terrifies me. For about 2 weeks after planning these trips, I was pretty much ok as long as I avoided thinking about the trips. But I could tell that the explosion was building inside. I got worsening back pain and gastric reflux, my worst TMS symptoms. I followed the usual routine of seeing the doctor, but I think they have me pegged as a hypochondriac. They did order some tests which were unremarkable. My husband is always annoyed when I want to go to the doctor for one of my recurrent TMS symptoms, because he doesn't think that medical attention is warranted for these. He is a doctor. I agree with him, but am always tempted to think that maybe this time there is really something wrong. Anyway, I think that suppressing my real feelings about going on these trips has caused the symptoms, but if I acknowledge my fear and anger about the situation, I will probably never go anywhere again. It is funny because as I write this, expressing my real feelings of extreme fear and anger, I can feel my symptoms subsiding.

    Looking back and I know this is a terrible thing to say, but it was probably never that I hated vacations, what I hated was the dysfunctional dynamics in my family situation. The idea of being stuck with them in cramped quarters on vacation was more than I could take, so I got sick so that I could stay with my grandparents or neighbors who I loved. At home, I had many more opportunities to get away from them. I guess my unconscious still associates negative emotions with vacations. Of course, now, this coping mechanism is interfering with my enjoyment of life.

    Anyway, my original question is how do people cope with GERD when it is TMS related? I know that going on meds will just cause me more problems down the road. Diet restrictions will help in the short term, but are difficult when traveling. Is tissue damage a real worry. I am pretty good at ignoring back pain, but GERD is another story. I am tempted to cancel the first trip, Any ideas??
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, chickenbone. You know I'm not a doctor so I can't tell you not to take any medication for your GERD.
    But your acid reflux sure sounds like is a symptom from TMS repressed emotions.
    You seem to know why... those early years of your parents forcing you to go along on trips which gave you stress
    because you didn't want to be in close quarters with them.
    I suggest you do some serious journaling about your childhood with your parents, especially traveling with them.

    Your new travel plans apparently triggered those earlier travel anxieties.

    It's up to you if you feel emotionally strong enough to take either trip. But I've learned that the more we put off
    or cancel plans, the more the anxiety stays with us.

    If some medication to relieve your anxiety about the trip or trips, some mild tranquilizer, could help, Dr. Sarno
    always says it's okay to use something to calm the pain and, in your case, the anxiety.

    Like I said, I'm not a doctor and don't prescribe medication, but in the past I have found Kava Kava helpful in
    relieving anxiety, especially regarding travel. It's a natural herb and not habit-forming. You can read about it on the

    Try positive thinking. I use the mantra "I can do this. It's a piece of cake."
    Kira likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  4. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    You have to have some reconsolidation work done to eliminate this fear. Dr. Alexander should be able to help you here.

    Its good that you can feel the emotions , have you ever practiced focusing?

    You still don't have a handle over this fear of trips - again the only scientific based real way to rid fears like this is with reconsolidation that Dr. Alexander talks about so much.

    Have you ever practiced focusing, it should be of good benefit to you here

    You loose the gerd the same way you do all the other tms imperatives, with love and control over your fears and a complete thought line of only psychological thoughts and so much more like mindfulness .

    Wisihing you the BEST. I really Know Dr. Alexander could help you eliminate that fear of trips you have because he understands something special called reconsolidation that was proved to be the most effective treatment for any trauma their is on the market. And it works fast too, bless you chickenbone - hope you have a great day
    Kira likes this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Chickenbone,
    I'm sorry to hear that you going through all of this. I can relate a little to your issues with travel, as I travel a lot, but it always stresses me out right before and to some during the travel. However, I love it and can't wait to go somewhere new when I've been home awhile. But when I'm on the road, I'm usually looking forward to getting home. For me it's a case of wanting to be where I'm not :) I'm working on learning to be more present wherever I am.

    But it does sound like you may have an actual phobia to travel as you state. And as Herbie suggests above, having a therapist help with this is probably the best course. But I know from your previous posts that you are in location where access to a therapist, even over Skype is difficult. But it seems to me that you would benefit from getting your fears and symptoms better under control before you embark on some serious travelling. I would start small. Like trying to have a positive experience with a short trip first, and then build up to longer trips once you've had a positive experience. You may be pushing yourself too hard and creating impossible expectations.

    It sounds like you have good insight into the source of your travel fears. I would continue to journal on those issues and the dysfunctional family experiences. That's usually fertile ground for all of us.

    I don't know much about GERD, so can't help too much there. It does sound like TMS. I've seen others who've had it say they thought it was related to psychologically "not being able to swallow something". Does that seem relevant?

    Wishing you the best, Chickenbone.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I was just reading about GERD, the notion being "your body is burning to tell you something and you'd better listen". This fits with chickenbone's analysis of her GERD as TMS: "I think that suppressing my real feelings about going on these trips has caused the symptoms, but if I acknowledge my fear and anger about the situation, I will probably never go anywhere again. It is funny because as I write this, expressing my real feelings of extreme fear and anger, I can feel my symptoms subsiding."

    (sigh) I hate to bring it up but this is where a few sessions of parts therapy could make a huge difference. Listening to the "Exile" (the wounded inner child who is screaming at you from your subconscious) and its loyal Protector parts may be exactly what needs to happen and is unlikely to cause what you fear. Even if it did, you could gradually overcome that resistance by loving that disowned child and giving it the security it needs to be open to new ways of functioning.

    I truly hope you don't mind my saying this! Tomorrow, at 1;30 ET is the regular Saturday IFS call, if anyone would care to talk further.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank You Ellen, you always have very wise advise and Njoy is so right on. Chicken bone I called in to a session -- they have the reconsolidation process going strong. I had a huge part in me from a child that was released and It helped me tremendously. Hope you call if you can to her IFS group. Those guys are a super 10 in my book.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  8. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Thanks so much everyone for the great advice. It gave me a lot of good ideas on how to deal with this. I am definitely leaning toward going on the trip. If all goes ok, then maybe the next trip could be for some therapy. I do have people I could stay with for long periods of time. Maybe this trip I do some research on therapists. Or perhaps I could get to a therapist for the initial 2 or 3 visits and then do phone support after that. The phone support could be difficult to arrange, but I could manage it. I do agree with you, Herbie, that I need some sort of re-consolidation to occur, but there are many ways to accomplish that. And, njoy, the parts therapy sounds good. That is what I feel like is happening - some parts of me want to go very badly and some others do not. It is like I have a mob inside of my head, all arguing with each other - and the constant conflict is making me sick. So although I understand it pretty well, I don't get any peace from it. I will try to set up something for the IFS group. Is this every Saturday? I am unable today will try for next Saturday.

    Thanks so much everyone.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Chickenbone. Glad to see you're "leaning toward going on the trip."
    Maybe think of it this way: You could be in pain at home, and maybe not on the trip.
    If you are in pain on the trip, practice the TMS techniques for healing that work for you.
    Dr. Sarno and Steve say we can't hurt ourselves in the techniques.
    Maybe try to think one hour that yes, I will go on the trip. Then keep that affirmation longer
    until you convince yourself you will.

    When I am anxious about doing something, I think, "I can do this. It's a piece of cake.
    I can do anything I set my mind to."
    Make that a mantra like in self-hypnosis. You
    convince yourself.
  10. sybilla

    sybilla Peer Supporter

    Hi Chickenbone
    I am experiencing the same problem when planning a trip. When I was young I did a lot of travelling and I still would like to but it gives me not the same pleasure as it used to. Months before the journey the worrying and stress starts and when we finally arrive at the travelling date all pleasure or looking forward has gone. I know I should just take things as they come and enjoy every minute but it seems I get more and more incapable of doing so. When I think about the last 4-5 trips I had stomach trouble every time where I could literally not eat anything for 10 days (it stopped the minute we came home). This was not much fun for my husband having to eat alone and not knowing what was wrong with me. I know it is anxiety but what was I afraid of? It was not a very stressfull trip. We saw a lot and everything went fine. Most of the time however I really was absent minded and concentrated on my condition, afraid it would be getting worse. Strangely enough I had a lot of good memories from the trip (afterwards). I know forcing myself to go on trips is not the solution. It is myself who puts me in a state where I don't seem to be able to escape. The more episodes of anxiety I had on these trips the more afraid I get of course that it might happen again and again.

    Whenever I read your posts I think would it not be convenient to have a husband who is a doctor. He could then examine me and advise me whether I should go to my own doctor for tests or not (considering that it is anxiety).
    Maybe I am all wrong and it is not such a good thing.
    My family considers me a hypocondriac and I know I have health anxiety. Therefore I have stopped altogether to talk to them about any symptoms. This is why I go on this forum because I have to know that there are other people out there with similar problems. I have digestive problems at the moment which I think might be GERD. I have had so many symptoms over the years (IBS being one of them) and I am terrified of the tests (had a few of them also over the years). It is probably TMS but as we get older there is this doubt that it could be something else. I have no advice regarding GERD apart from staying away from medicine which you already do and try to cope with the anxiety.
    All the best
  11. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Njoy, I don't mean to switch the subject here but I'm curious about the parts therapy. I wandered around the site some but just felt overwhelmed. I don't want to go chasing after more information and I think I just get overloaded in my quest to be free of TMS. One of my issues is that I'm always chasing after the next book…you know, the ONE that will REALLY fix my life. And then…sigh…it doesn't. (Except for a few books which I listen to over and over again….Dr. Sarno's and Steve's book.)

    Can you give me a very simple explanation of it and the modalities used?

    Chickenbone, I've dealt with GERD…still get it once in awhile. I see dietary connections (which I still consider TMS) and if I avoid wheat….no GERD. (Or, as I prefer to think about it…the heartburn from hell.) I figure the whole thing will go by the wayside when my healing is complete. But for right now, I've got other dragons to slay.

    We just watched a nature documentary on Panama and I was thinking about you. We hope to take a trip there in the next year or so. :)
  12. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    wish I could visit Panama and you, too, North Star. Too much winter here in Chicago. Snow every day and tonight -5 and tomorrow -20 .
  13. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's just gray and bleak here. Even the snow is more gray. I can hardly wait to move south. :happy:
  14. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    Sybilla, OH Boy, you are just like me. I could have written what you wrote, it sounded so much like me. It is really good to share experiences with someone like you because I realize that others have the same type of problems. On most of our trips, I am completely captivated by my symptoms, convinced of the worst, and thinking that, if I only survive this time, I will never do this again. But I know there will always be "a next time". That is because LIFE, Higher Power, or whatever you want to call it will always keep on knocking on our door with the experiences that we have not yet come to terms with - I keep thinking maybe I will get over this in my next life. But seriously, I am so sick of this routine with the issue of traveling. I can't make a firm decision because, the day of, if I am having a really bad day, I may just chicken out. And, like you, I have had so many bad symptoms on many trips. The TMS picks the worst for this which is my GERD. I call it GERD because most people are familiar with that term, but it is really something called LPR, where the acid supposedly gets into your throat, sinuses and ears. I get tickling and fluid in my ears that drives me crazy, terrible stuffed up nose constantly, and the sore throat from hell. Not to mention a hacking cough. Within a few days of getting home, it goes away. I have had bouts of it once in a while at home. Today, it is pretty much gone (I put myself on a strict diet), but yesterday, the sore throat was awful. On a good day, I intend to go and the next day it is awful with symptoms. It is like there is 2 people in my head fighting all the time.

    Also, this LPR is really mysterious. They don't know if it is GERD or not, the medical community does not know much about it. It could be related to airway distress. Most of the trouble starts overnight. My husband thinks it is TMS in my case. Having a doctor for a husband is not a help - he is retired and wants nothing to do with medicine anymore.

    If anyone wants to come here, I would LOVE to see you!!
    Kira likes this.
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chickenbone, what part of Panama are you in? We've looked into a small little community, Boquette, (sp?) that sounds quite charming. My sister and her hubby spent some time there and just loved it.

    Right now we're still in the dreaming phase but it would be so totally awesome to meet you!

    PS Regarding the LPR….I'm wondering if one of my older family members is dealing with something like that. But with her, she ends up with these gagging and choking episodes. It's horrible to witness. Her throat is hamburger from the acid but she's treating only medically (which isn't effective at all). Emotionally and stress wise, she's a basket case.

    You've come such a long way, Chickenbone and it's my suspicion that the ole TMS knows its time on the throne is coming to an end. I was reading some of your older posts on an older thread so I can see the progress. You will get through this!
  16. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    North Star, Boquete is nice. We lived there for about 2 years. My husband liked the beach better, so we bought some land in Asuero on the Pacific. Most of the people are really nice here and they are very accepting of Americans. There are some things I don't like here, but that is true anywhere you go. Please let me know if you decide to visit. I could help with an itinerary for you. We could also drive up to Boquete if you visit there. You are right about the LPR. The whole thing doesn't make sense medically and I understand most meds for GERD don't work. What you describe is probably the most common manifestation, the coughing spells. I have had some coughing too. Mine is here one day and gone the next. I actually had it for several years without knowing it. When we would take trips, I would get terrible sinus congestion, to the point of not being able to swallow. It would be gone in a day or two after returning home. Now it has morphed into the sore throats, which I am more inclined to worry about. Boy, TMS is sure smart, but I am beginning to get the inkling that it has overplayed it's hand this time. You see, this is probably the only symptom that would temp me to cancel the trip. Back pain doesn't scare me anymore (and since I have had these symptoms, I have not had any back pain), nor do headaches or sleeplessness. So when the general anxiety didn't work, it came up with this. I may have enough of a jump on it to do some somatic experiencing which may just work.

    Herbie, can you give me the call in info for both those groups, or let me know where on this site to find them? I am really stalled right now with this LPR and sort of like a deer in headlights. I used to think that childhood issues were my problem, now I think it's phobias, but the 2 may be related.
    Kira and North Star like this.
  17. Kira

    Kira New Member

    Chicken bone- how are you doing with LPR TMS symptoms these days?

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