The pain woke me. I sat up in bed thinking, “when will this pain end”. For the last couple of weeks, I have been going through pains that feel like hunger pangs. I had ulcer years ago but it disappeared after some time. So I always had milk by my bedside. This time I didn’t have milk, I had chocolates. I took a bite from the the bar and chewed a tablet of antacids and settled back in bed. Early in the week, I had tweeted @theonlyfbk and he had suggested that having my back propped could help with the pains. I did that, shut my eyes and decided to count sheep.
An hour later, the pain was getting more severe. I stood and started pacing and at the same time I decided to Google possible causes of upper abdominal pain. I had been to the hospital a few days before and had been placed on cinetadine, buscopan and gestid. I found something called GERD. And started reading up on it. All the while pacing the room. I made some amazing discoveries. Foremost among which is that I could have set myself up for the pain.
Earlier in the day, I had visited my elder sister. I offered myself a muffin and she offered me creamy chocolate. On my way home, I bought fried rice, between 7 and 8pm I took all these and went to bed by 9pm.
I could have sworn my heart stopped beating. I felt as if an elephant had just sat on my chest. The crushing weight made it almost impossible for me to breathe. On top of that, felt like someone was calming rubbng pepper on a sore below my breast. I have a problem with my blood pressure so it was easy to assume I was having a heart attack.
“Calm down Abigail, you can’t be sure”
Again with shaky hands I googled and saw I was having almost all symptoms of a heart attack.
“Don’t panic Abigail. If indeed you are having a heart attack, panic won’t help you”
My step mum was woken and she showed up at about 3am and took my BP it was slightly high but not high enough for a heart attack. She took me with her to observe me till morning.
I had 3 more of those attacks during the night. Each one accompanied by vomitting. Each time I thought, “surely, its killing me this time”
At the crack of dawn, I arrived at the hospital. The doctors said I have severe peptic ulcer. Many people like me have turned up at the hospitals believing they were havng a heart attack but it was a peptic ulcer attack or more appropriately GERD. I think this stands for Gastro Enteritis Reflux Disorder.
I was admitted and placed on treatment.
Right now, I feel a lot better but the doctors have said I have to make some lifestyle changes.
Thinking back, over the past month I had been setting myself up for this, ignoring symptoms.
Another sufferer told me she started feeling pangs of hunger, like if she doesnt eat at that moment, she would die. If you have been following me on Twitter, you would have noticed how often I complain of hunger.
Another thing is I have been going through some depressing moments in my life and had turned to more and more to comfort foods: chocolates, cakes and coke. All these are absolute no no for GERD sufferers.
I have learnt from this experience never to ignore symptoms. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably ain’t right. And of course, in case of emergency, don’t panic, keep a clear head and think.
I remember jokingly asking @Dr_Ayokunle if a heart attack was painful. Now, I can only LOL.
On this hospital bed, I’m thinking of how I am going to live with peptic ulcer. I know I have to break my romance with chocolate. That sucks especially since I had tweeted architecture all Friday partly because of a chocolate cake. Yeah I know, I can’t have my cake and eat it.
I also need to lose weight. So #fitfam here I come.
One thing I can say for sure though: Thank GERD, it wasn’t a heart attack:)