Monday, October 13, 2008

If You Have Acid Reflux Like I Have Acid Reflux...

…You will definitely appreciate this video I stumbled across yesterday:

And YES, I've tried all the diet, water, acid vs. alkaline, cleanse, exercise, sleep, de-stressing, whole-foods, over-the-counter, herbal, and homeopathic remedies you could possibly think of to make it better... trust me on this. I've had a horrible case of it for five years and it hasn't magically gone away as a result of any of these.

When I saw this video I laughed and wanted to cry too, because I felt like I had brothers and sisters out there who are from the same long-lost family. I knew they understood what I've been dealing with all this time. Even our lovely trip to Gatlinburg for our anniversary last week (the first trip we've had away together as a couple in seven years) wasn't immune to the onslaught of Reflux. I had an awful attack the second night.

The man in the third video that talks about "vurps" understands me completely, save for the fact that he forgot to mention the "surp." That is the infamous sulphur burp I get right before I have one of the bad attacks that keep me awake all night throwing up my toenails for hours on end. (Hope no one was eating when they read that!)

The worst attacks end up with me in the hospital, after hours of being sick, hooked up to an IV so that I can be rehydrated. With milder attacks I'm toast for a day or two afterward, and can hardly eat anything because my throat and chest are so sore (that is the type I had in Gatlinburg - it only kept me up two thirds of the night, and I threw up for only three and a half hours).

It is not my intention to gross either one of my readers out. ;) Rather, my intention here is to help you understand that this is a real disease that real people deal with on a very real daily basis. Sometimes we can do things to curb the attacks, other times we can't.

Go ahead, watch all of the videos on this site; it will enlighten you as to the very real struggle those of us with Reflux endure.

Thankfully, I have Jesus. He is in control of all things. And, because I am a believer, I can rest assured knowing that even in this, my "thorn in the flesh," as Paul put it so eloquently, will all work out to my good according to His purposes for me. This, this one most important of all things is what was missing from these videos. All they did was inform.

Apart from Christ there is no hope that all we endure in this world is for our own good and for His greater glory. Can I understand why He chose to allow me to suffer this? No, apart from knowing that I am a terrible sinner and only deserve death. In light of that, what's a little Reflux? In light of His mercy towards me, all I can do is be thankful that in suffering with Reflux, I understand a little better what it means to die to self (You know, by NEVER eating chocolate again for the rest of my life!).

If that brings me closer to Jesus, if that gives me a glimpse of how much He loves me, then it's all mercy, grace, and triumph. I have nothing to fear. It is mine, instead, to praise, to worship, to trust Him with all of my broken being. It is for Him to pick up the pieces and give me that perfect body I so long for, and one day will have, in Heaven.

What's your "thorn in the flesh?" How has it brought you closer to Him?

Love to you all,


P.S. Stay tuned… My next post will have LOTS of pics from Gatlinburg! It will be soon!


Lisa Winton said...

Wow, Amy, I will pray for you. I have some thorns in the flesh, too, but I'm not willing to share about them here. ;o) Looking forward to the pictures from Gaitlinburg. I've always wanted to go there around Christmastime...I've heard it's beautiful.

Margaret in VA said...

Oh Amy! I prayed that you would have a refreshing time on your trip. I'm sorry that the nasty reflux bothered you again during such a special time.
Do you find that it rears its ugly head when you are stressed or too busy? Not that that's much help for a wife and mother of little ones! Sheesh!

Amy Howard said...


Yes, Gatlinburg will be gorgeous at Christmas time. They were already getting a bunch of the decorations up while we were there. We've even talked about making a return trp to go ice skating at that time, but boy, is it expensive!


Do you remember when I got sick last year when we stayed at your house for the Jamestown celebration? That was a Reflux attack. I think I told you that then, but I sure could have used your hubby's prayer over me again last Thursday evening ("the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" James 5:16!).

I do find that the stress that travel puts on my body can set it off along with irregular schedule, eating times, etc.. Think Colicky baby. Anything the slightest bit off-kilter can send a body with Reflux into a tailspin.

MSG hidden in foods can really set off a bad attack also. That was one item not mentioned in the videos.

I do try to manage my stress well, but sometimes there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. That's when it is really hard.

But, like I said, God is in control and is working it all to my good. I may never be free of it. I pray for healing everyday. But if He never chooses to heal me of it, I know that I can rest in His perfect will for me.

And maybe I can help someone else who is suffering through it see that it can be used for His glory and their good. For me, it all boils down to trust.

Margaret in VA said...

Yes, I was remembering that very episode!
As far as thorns in my flesh...the Lord has just recently healed me of chronic migraines that I've had since I was 14.
Now it's the arthritis in my feet and ankles...sigh.
I would not say that the arthiritis is as troublesome as gurd is to you, though.

Praying for God to heal you!

Kim Brenneman said...

Hi Amy,

I'm so sorry for you! You seem to handle it very gracefully.
I'll keep you in my prayers!

Kim Brenneman