Friday, July 4, 2008

All Choked Up

I had a bad night last night. About an hour after we had gone to bed, I was having this dream that I was underwater, couldn't breathe, was choking, and drowning.

Then it got worse. I realized that I wasn't dreaming, I was choking. I couldn't breathe and felt as if there was fluid in my throat, awful burning fluid.

This has happened three times in the past two weeks. The first time, I figured that I swallowed a bug or something. The second time, I wondered if perhaps I was just breathing differently as Little Man took over more lung space. Last night, I finally figured it out: I am choking on my own stomach acid. Sorry, it's a bit TMI, but there you have it.

It takes about fifteen minutes for me to clear the acid from my vocal chords and lungs and get to breathing normally, but it's a scary fifteen minutes. I have to remind myself that I can breathe and just try to relax.

I chugged some Maa.lox and managed to get back to sleep - only to have it happen again barely twenty minutes later. It's such a scary feeling to wake up choking and feeling as if I can't breathe. So, then I was kind of afraid to fall asleep again, because I wonder what happens if I don't wake up? Of coures, logically I know that won't happen, but I still was worried about it and then couldn't get back to sleep. I went downstairs and watched t.v. for awhile, had more Maa.lox, some milk, and a popsicle, because my throat was so irritated from the acid and the coughing.

I was awake for about three hours, then fell asleep on the couch, and it happened again. This time, I woke myself up before it got as bad, and then I went back upstairs and finally fell asleep with a mountain of pillows propping me up. I think it was about 4:30 AM. Then, my silly little dog woke us up at 6:15 AM. He never does that. Ever. He had to go to the bathroom, so I went back downstairs, fed, watered, and let the dogs out, then it was back upstairs to try and get more sleep.

I don't want to add up the sleep that I got last night, because it wouldn't be enough. I am glad that today is not a work day for me, but we have people coming over for a BBQ tonight and the house is not guest-ready. Nor have I done the grocery shopping. Luckily, I did not plan a complicated menu, but I still doubt that I will have time for a nap.

I know this is a whiny post, and for that I apologize. The true purpose of this post is to find out if anybody else out there has had this, and if so, what did you do about it? I am going to call the on-call doctor and find out if they have any other suggestions, but as I am already taking antacids and propping myself up, I doubt there is anything else that can be done, so I am all for your advice and home remedies.

15 comments:

K @ ourboxofrain said...

Oh, Katie. That just sucks. I wish I had advice -- that sounds miserable :( I hope someone else has useful suggestions for you.

gracechild said...

that's not whiny at all, it's absolutely scary. Must feel awful. Do you think docs can recommend some stronger antacid? I wish I had some good assvice but nothing comes to mind. Take care of your girl & happy 4th

Fertilized said...

I wish i had suggestions. Take it easy - be the needy pregnant woman - ask for help tonight so you can get a break and a cat nap or 2

Sugar&Ice said...

Acid reflux is not fun. I have it too; it started about a month ago or me. I woke up twice with the choking and realized I had to do something. I am taking four Tums Ultra per day, making sure that I take one of them seconds before I go to bed at night. Tums Ultra seem to be the only antacid that actually works.

Kim said...

I have it, too. It sucks! But for me, it's not acid.. I don't think. I'm pretty sure it's food/liquid/whatever. I can only eat VERY small portions. Like, a few bites. And I can't eat within 3-4 hours of bed, at all. I can't even drink water, or it sits right at the bottom of my throat and I feel like I'm suffocating if I lay down. Yuck.

Try not eating or drinking within a few hours of bed.. TUMS.. sleeping at an incline or maybe even in a recliner if it's not getting better. I wonder if there's anything stronger you can take. I would have asked myself, but most of the time - mine is still "stomach contents" and not acid (though it is sometimes). Anyway, ya, rambling. I hope it stops!

Samantha said...

No advice, but that sounds terrible! I hope some of the other advice and the doctor on call may be able to help.

Jen said...

Oh, yuck, how awful! The only thing I could think of is to try and sleep as propped up as you can. I hope it resolves soon.

Adriane said...

Ugh, that sounds terrible and scary! I do not have any suggestions, unfortunately. I would have done the same things you've done - maalox, prop up, call the Doctor. I really hope they have some better suggestions that work. Hope your 4th is good and your BBQ is fun! Get some sleept tonight!

Geohde said...

Yep, I've got some pretty hideous reflux, too. Doesn't matter if it's acid or not, it just floats up.

Makes the sleep time all the harder..

J

Melissa said...

When I was pregnant with my twins, I had horrible acid reflux and choking problems, and TUMS wasn't strong enough. My doctor told me that Zantac was safe after the first trimester. Maybe you can ask you doctor if he/she feels that it is safe for you. Of course, do not take anything until you ask your own doctor!!

I also had to sleeping sitting straight up toward the end of my pregnancy (I only made it to 32 weeks, but with the twins, I was measuring full term and was ENORMOUS) in order to be comfortable.

Good luck! Naps and lots of rest are so important....sleep just at night is not going to be enough over the next few weeks. Please try to get as much sleep as you can now, both because you and your baby need the rest right now, and because you won't be getting anywhere near enough after the baby comes!

Joy said...

Oh no!!! That is really scary and I hope a remedy you find will work!!!

La La said...

I have a medical condition which has caused me to have similar symptoms my whole life. The best thing for it is to prop yourself up when you sleep (do NOT lay down flat). GL hun!

cass said...

Zantac 150 mg 2x day -- the only thing that helped for me. Ask your doc, it took care of it within a couple of days for me. Have to keep taking it--if you stop it comes back.

Searching said...

Ick, I have pretty severe reflux and know exactly the feeling you are talking about. I'm so sorry- it is an awful feeling.

Def do the propping up, try not to drink/eat alot within a few hours of bedtime (although I munch a cracker-ish snack to help soak up the acid shortly before I lay down), tums or something stronger your doc prescribes, see if avoiding citrus/acidic/tomato products before sleeping helps, hmmm, sleeping in a recliner if you have one... Also if you get up and feel the urge to brush your teeth, don't. Swish around good with some water first. Brushing right after the acid gets in your mouth only scrubs it into your teeth and ruins the enamel.

It's a "common" pregnancy thing so hopefully your doc will be able to help you out. Hope you get some rest this weekend!!

Anonymous said...

hi. i've had acid reflux disease for years, and when i was pregnant, it was really really bad. towards the end, i was also choking on the acid. it just happens sometimes. prop yourself up all the time, dont eat anything that can irritate the stomach acid, see if you are up to taking the prescriptions (i was on prevacid), and dont eat too close to bed time. i know your tummy is all squished upwards, so its best not to have much food/water in there when you sleep.
hope you feel better soon!