Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Could It Just Be Indigestion?

I posted yesterday's post to my website yesterday and I got the nicest comment from someone who suggested that Thomas's chest pressure could be indigestion or GERD (Gastro Esphogeal Reflux Disease--I think that's what it's called). She left me a lot to think about. She also worried that I hadn't done enough tests to rule out other things and pointed me in the direction of some websites to check out. She really wanted me to be able to relax and not worry that this is a schizophrenia thing. Then I got on here today and I saw comments from a few of you that mentioned the same thing. Indigestion. You all couldn't be more right but let me tell you something.

During Thomas's original doctor's appointment Christie pressed on Thomas's sternum and he reported pain. He also had pain in his stomach. She immediately jumped on some kind of acid reflux issue and she gave him a prescription dose of Zantac to help it. That remedy made the most sense at that point in time. Thomas has been taking the Zantac for a month now and while his sternum pain and stomach pain have disappeared, he still had the chest pressure. Christie felt certain that she had made a good call on that one as far as the reflux goes and she thinks that he might have had a small ulcer that the Zantac healed. So, yes, he did have acid reflux or some stomach related issue but that has been resolved now and he still has the pressure. On top of that they did enough heart tests to know that he has an extremely healthy heart (thank God) so it's not a cardiac issue at work here.

So, now I must speak to my unrest about his chest pressure and my feeling that it might be a somatic hallucination of some sort. After feeling like I needed answers I went ahead and looked up somatic hallucinations and read many accounts from many websites. What I did discover that made me sad is that a couple sites actually mentioned chest pressure as a sign of a somatic hallucination. I didn't actually think I'd find such a direct correlate between the chest pressure and the possibility that it is a hallucination. Since then, I have been feeling kind of sick and a lot anxious. The thing is, Thomas has had this pressure for a long time. He had even built a delusion around it believing that he had a demon inside of him pushing from the inside trying to get out of him. Somehow Dr. K. and I managed to fix that belief really quickly and as far as I know now, he does not believe he has a demon inside of him. But what about the pressure?!?!?

I spent part of the day with Thomas yesterday driving around running errands and being in the car together is usually the time I am able to talk to him about his symptoms. This time I just didn't have the heart to bring it up. I thought about all of the times we had sat in that car and he had revealed to me some delusion or hallucination that he had and I had to gently tell him that it was his illness that was creating those and that they just weren't true. Those talks have always been so hard because I feel like, in a weird way, I am taking a piece of him away, like I am breaking his heart. For him to believe these things with all of his being and to have to tell him that they're not true has become one of the hardest conversations to have with him. So yesterday I just couldn't do it. I couldn't tell him that the pressure might not be real, that it could be his illness. What he feels is so real to him and I think discounting it to something like a hallucination is almost cruel. It is his physical being after all and we all know that when we hurt or are sick that the first thing we want is for someone to believe that what we feel is real and we deserve compassion.

So, I left it alone and plan to for now. I did email Dr. K. about it and basically put it in his hands. I haven't heard back from him so I don't know what he thinks about it. Just this one time I don't want to be the one to break any news to Thomas that might indicate to him that what he feels and thinks isn't real. He is disturbed by the feeling of pressure and what he needs right now is support and love. I tried to think to myself about it that "what harm does it do to just leave it alone?" but I also think that if there's a solution to the problem and if the solution is finding a new way to view the pressure (that it is in fact just a hallucination) then I want to resolve it for him.

For now, though, I am leaving it alone and I will keep my beliefs to myself about this. I don't think that I'll necessarily be able to relax per se but I think giving it some more time is worthwhile. I just want Thomas to have as normal a life as possible and he has been having that pretty decently lately. I may write here about my thoughts and feelings about this issue but for Thomas I will keep my mouth shut for the time being and just let him be his healthiest self that he's been for weeks now.

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