There comes a point where you forget what it's like to live without pain.
Since September of last year I've been dealing with acid reflux, and at its worst, even water would flare it up into my throat.
I cut as much out of my diet as I could: milk, cheese, coffee - coffee - chocolate, anything spicy, caffeine, citrus. And until recently nothing seemed to make a difference.
The first week of February I went to a GI specialist to have a scope of my stomach and esophagus. My wife and I were happy to find out that I didn't have the early signs of cancer - if you have prolonged reflux, the cells in your esophagus may change and cancer is possible. However, the only other thing the scope revealed is what I already knew: my stomach and esophagus were messed up because of the acid bubbling up into it.
After the scope, I was put on a round of antibiotics plus a coating agent (the biggest culprit of acid reflux: stomach infection). And although the intensity of the acid decreased, and the pump inhibitor did seem to help too, the acid remained.
Each morning I would wake up to mild discomfort that would flare up when I took my meds. Even an empty stomach didn't like me.
Months passed. Frustration ensued. Some other things I tired along the way: ginger root, garlic, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, raw milk - yes, I tried everything!
Relief - finally!
Just in the last couple weeks I've found some relief. I took yet another round of antibiotics, for a nasty congestion in my chest, and the acid has seemed to subside. I'm now taking a somewhat large amount of zinc and plan to try colloidal silver if the remaining discomfort persists.
What else I've learned
Throughout the last eight months I've prayed much, mostly to ask what this pain could be about. I realize that we live in a broken world, and that we get sick as a result. However, I also believe that God uses pain to communicate with us when we aren't paying attention as we should. He set this quote from L'Engle in my lap and I was humbled:
"...It is chastening to realize that those who have no physical flaw, who move through life in step with their peers, who are bright and beautiful, seldom become artists. The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain...Pain is not always creative; received wrongly, it can lead to alcoholism and madness and suicide. Nevertheless, without it we do not grow."
And so, with this in mind, that God does work through pain, through illness - even to get us to listen more deeply - I will attempt to allow him to move me to wholeness.