This morning, I made my way over to the east side once again for my ENT doctor visit. I have only ever had one ENT doctor visit, and that was almost six years ago after I lost my voice during a Hamilton Island/New Zealand trip and got another bad virus that also felt like it was going to kill me. I decided to go back to the same ENT since he already had my history, and I remember enjoying meeting with him. I thought he was quite friendly and smart, so why try someone new?
Somehow, after six years, this doctor still remembered me. He said he remembered my symptoms, voice, and face (how sweet). We talked through what’s been happening in the last six years, and once again, we did the dreaded laryngoscopy: he sprayed my nostrils with numbing spray and got me ready to thread yet another camera down my freaking throat. It lasted about 15 seconds, and somehow, it wasn’t as awful as I remember. After the exam, he told me I still had evidence of silent reflux. It may just be that I had always had it but was asymptomatic, and whatever virus I picked up six years ago just triggered it in me and drove me over the edge. He suggested that I try the following for the next three months (!!): Prilosec at least an hour before dinner; famotidine/Tums or Pepsid Complete before bed, and to elevate my head so that my throat was above my stomach at bed time. Somehow, being diligent this way had cured many of his other patients with the same recurring coughing fits when they had colds. And maybe, he said, I could be one of the lucky ones this works for. He insisted I do this for three months straight and be consistent about it; I had nothing to lose… other than all the money I’d have to spend on freaking Prilosec – NOT a cheap OTC medication!
I may just be more genetically inclined for this. I guess it makes sense: my maternal grandpa did die from choking on his own mucus when my mom was six. My mom gets mucus constantly.