Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Case of the Rumbling Burps

Not an elderly trumpet - stomach lining

This is meant to sound a bit Sherlock Holmes-ish as my husband has had a puzzling complaint for the last two months, which at times can be quite embarrassing (not to say off-putting in the kissing department).  One Saturday evening, we were sitting watching TV and suddenly there was an eruption of noisy and quite startling burps from my husband's side of the couch, which continued - I kid you not - on and off for the next two hours, briefly interrupted by sleep, but which continued on the next day. Monday morning saw us at the local doctor (husband by now deeply worried that he was dying or having a heart attack) as his stomach area was by now quite swollen and sore. He was also out of breath a lot of the time. The doc suggested he have a pretty urgent gastroscopy and gave him some 'calming medicine' for his stomach to take before eating. The result of this was a diagnosis of 'gastritis' of some form and anti-biotics were prescribed for two weeks. At the end of this period, he felt a lot better but the symptoms returned almost immediately. (NB the burps hadn't ceased during this time). Last week, after monitoring the symptoms for about four weeks, hubby declared this was nonsense as he didn't even seem to be improving; so back to the doctor and he was booked in for a colonoscopy which depressed him quite a lot as we have a family member recently diagnosed with colon cancer. At the same time he had an X-ray and a sonar. Everything came back clear, nothing sinister. So a great relief but still the pain. His surgeon recommended he see his Physician friend before we went home as there was also the question of the continuing breathlessness which was uncharacteristic and bothered my husband a lot as he is pretty active. I have to say I was deeply impressed with the passionate dedication of this specialist - a lovely young chap ( he was in his 40s), who looked physically more as if he spent hours daily studying the Talmud rather than doctoring. He spent nearly an hour ( 5 - 6 pm after his normal consulting hours) cross-questioning and examining the patient.  The conclusion so far is that the Beta blocker medicine newly prescribed (dosage upped) two months ago was causing R's heart rate to be too low, so that when extra oxygen was required - e.g. going upstairs - it could not be supplied. Remedy: different medication.
Secondly, after palpating my husband's stomach, he thought perhaps he had actually torn a muscle which was a real light-bulb moment for us as my DIY partner has been doing much building of walls/humping around of packets of cement/tiles lately. 
Two days into the new meds - R feels like a new man and is back to his smiling and positive self. The burps continue however somewhat less: apparently, it can take three months for the stomach lining to heal itself after an infection. I mention all this just in case anything rings any bells? I couldn't find much on Dr Google about the burps. I would appreciate any advice or shared experiences. 

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