Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Chronic Nausea Stuff

Here are some more sites with info on chronic nausea and/or GERD.  It sounds like many people who haven't responded to Prilosec respond nicely to Nexium. 

NY Times article about the mechanics of GERD:

Good blog with good advice from folks with bad symptoms:

Also, some changes I've made in addition to taking the Prilosec include the following:

- Cut out caffeine, particularly coffee.  I'm trying to keep it to half a cup a day in the morning and no colas or anything in the day
- No "red foods" : tomatos, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, red peppers, etc.
- Cut out chocolate
- Nothing spicy
- Decrease sugar intake (this is a constant struggle for me:))
- Try to eat rice at least once a day
- Tons of water 
- Lemon in water, or a teaspoon of lemon juice in the morning
- A multivitamin.  Any pervasive symptom takes a toll on your immune functioning.   Also, a daily vitamin is a nice way of making up for any nutrients you might be losing on account of diet changes, etc.
- Do not eat anything within 3 hours of going to bed
- Always have something in your stomach.  Shoot for 5 small meals instead of 3 larger ones

I also take two calcium Tum tablets after I eat anything.  Again, these changes are an attempt to treat chronic nausea, not necessarily heart burn, although my understanding is that the same suggestions apply.  

GERD and Chronic Nausea

If you've talked to me at all in the last few months you know I've been suffering from chronic nausea (it tends to come up in conversation, particuarly when one always looks green and has their hand over their mouth).  I had every type of scopy and squeeze test possible and everything was showing up normal.  Moreover, nausea has been my ONLY symptom.  I didn't have so much as a sniffle to direct us towards a possible diagnosis.  That all changed when I went to see the movie Milk starring Sean Penn.  This movie was influential for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that it led me to google "involuntary gagging".  See, while watching Milk at the Carolina Theater, I was overwhelmed with just about the worst episode of nausea I've had this year (which is saying a lot considering nausea is just about the only constant my life permits).  During the movie, I noticed that I was repeatedly having this uncontrollable gag reflex in which my esophagus contracted as though I were going to throw up.  I knew I wouldn't vomit, as I've never vomited on account of this persistent nausea, but I was extremely self-conscious about the act that I kept involuntarily looking like was going to hurl all over the people sitting next to me.  Over the next few days, I started paying close attention to this gag reflex and realized that I was doing it upwards of 30 times a day.  Each time I'd get the taste of alkaline and stomach acid in my mouth.  Believe it or not, I'd gotten so used to this reaction that I hadn't really realized how aberrant or pervasive it was.    I immediately googled "involuntary gagging" along with "chronic nausea" and came up with several links to recent studies on people with GERD whose only symptom was chronic nausea.  I had been treated with acid reducing medications in the summer with no relief from the nausea.  However, after reading several blog posts from folks who reported having tried the medications several times before getting a response, I decided to try them again.  I began taking Prilosec (20mgs).  Within four days the nausea had evaporated.  Completely!!!!  This is incredible news for me as I was beginning to think that I would feel nauseous for the rest of my life!  The only problem with Prilosec is that it sometimes causes a splitting headache.  However, I read two studies reporting that exercise can alleviate the migranes caused by Prilosec.  I've also found that they respond nicely to over the counter Motrin.  I'm including info from a link below in case any of you or the people you know suffer from this insufferable symptom:

"Chronic Nausea Could Be Gerd

NEW YORK, April 30 (Reuters) -- Are you suffering from chronic, unexplainable nausea? Ask your doctor to check for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. While heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, a condition in which stinging stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, other symptoms can include angina-like chest pain, coughing, wheezing, hoarseness, shortness of breath -- and now chronic nausea, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

"In patients with unexplained nausea, gastroesophageal reflux disease should, therefore, be considered if results on standard tests are normal," reported authors Drs. Ronald Brzana and Kenneth Koch, of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The good news is that GERD-related nausea is treatable, with most patients showing improvement after taking medication such as ranitidine or omeprazole, drugs that block acid secretion, or cisapride, a drug that speeds up the passage of food through the stomach.

Brzana and Koch looked at 10 patients who had chronic nausea for periods ranging between three months and six years; six of the patients also vomited two to eight times per week. The cause of the problem was unknown and the patients had not responded to treatment with a variety of drugs. After a series of tests, the researchers found that all 10 patients had gastroesophageal reflux disease.

"After we extensively evaluated a group of patients with chronic intractable nausea, gastroesophageal reflux disease was the only abnormality we could find," the authors wrote.

While the study is limited because it only involved a handful of patients, doctors should still consider GERD after ruling out ulcers, stomach cancer, an obstruction, or pancreas or gallbladder problems as a cause of nausea, they concluded.

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine (1997;126:704-706)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hangin with my Homies

That bed is AMAZING.  

Don't ever let a group of people try and convince you that WOLF requires 8 people

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Kat and Junior looking suspicious...
Cafe Iberico
Close lipped smiling
Jordana and her HUSBAND!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's been soooo long since I've posted anything

So I figured I better document some of the most momentous events...


2.  Baby computer arrived and is the envy of all who lay eyes on it

3. Colin and Mat took their relationship to the next level, over episodes of Dexter naturally...

Monday, November 3, 2008

WE WON!!!!!

I am thrilled to report that IAR WON the grand prize of $10,000!  Thanks so much to all of you who made this happen.  Check out the link below for more details on the contest:

Important New York Times Article:

In One Section of Beth Israel Hospital, Some Patients Are Saying ‘Om,’ Not ‘Ah’

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Mat was freakishly natural while in costume
This coincidence made the night! That is an ACTUAL tattoo of Skeletor next to Mat/Skeletor

Me and Kat in costume
Lara Croft for two dollars thanks to some luggage straps and the dollar store:)
This costume was years in the making - literally - and totally worth it

Yoga Photos

I had the pleasure of working with Steve Clarke- yoga photographer extraordinaire - last week thanks to Blue Point. I had grave reservations about doing the shoot, but, not surprisingly, I really took to the experience. It seems my years of reading celebrity magazines were not a complete waste - I can now, apparently, strike a pose on cue, while simultaneously portraying that vague, distant look celebrities resort to when trying to secure red-carpet attention. I must admit, it was pretty fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dominance of the Cat Condo

Elms is convinced that the cat condo we got for our birthday is for her... only! I mean, the dimensions of the attachment so resemble her own that it's hard to believe that anyone else was really meant to sit in it. That said, Minds and Ceebring continue to assert themselves on to Elms' territory; as such, Elmo has taken to sitting on any "intruders" as though they weren't there.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fur Free Juicy

Excerpt from PETA:

PETA has had a cooperative relationship with Liz Claiborne Inc. for many years. Through our work together, the company has made—and continues to make—many great strides to reduce the suffering of animals who are used and abused in the clothing industry. We would like to share an exciting development that has resulted from our discussions with Liz Claiborne Inc.: Juicy Couture—a high-end clothing company owned by Liz Claiborne Inc.—has now adopted a permanent fur-free policy. While Juicy Couture is still selling some fur items that were stocked before this policy was adopted, it has assured us that no new fur items will be procured and that as soon as the current stock of items has gone, the company will be completely fur-free.

Lara Croft

With less than two weeks to prepare I am frantically trying to pull together my Lara Croft costume for Halloween. I've got the shorts and boots covered, now if I could only get my hands on some leg holsters...

Awaiting New Acer...

Just ordered my new baby computer! I say baby because it weighs two pounds and is only $350! This sounds too good to be true, despite what the reviews suggest.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vote in a box

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Elms has some peculiar reactions to traveling...

Drinks @ XO in HH

My plan worked!

I have been employing my most sophisticated methods of sneakery in order to always be "borrowing" Mat's Nintendo DS whenever he might otherwise be using it. As of Oct 11th, 2008 I have my own Nintendo DS, equipped with Mario Kart and all! Also, I was so excited to learn that you can play with another person who has a DS such that you can both work on the same NY Times crossword at the same time! Yes, even in my video gaming I manage to be a total nerd:(

Space Ice Cream

For me, the world comes down to two types of people: those who recognize the delicacy that is "space ice cream" and those who don't. Actually, there's a third group that I shutter to even mention - those that confuse "space ice cream" with the equally as satisfying, albeit far less amazing, "ice cream of the future" or "dipping dots" if you will. I, clearly, am a card holding member of the first group - those who would go to great lengths (i.e. space) to get space ice cream. As such, I was overwhelmed with tears/proclamations of disbelief when I was given the pictured treat for my birthday.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Please support IAR

The cats and dogs of Durham could really use your help! Please take a quick second to support our local Independent Animal Rescue by clicking on the below link and voting for IAR -


My piece "Sleepless Dreaming" appears in Voices this month. Info on the magazine follows -

About VOICES -

VOICES, published by the Women’s Center, shares characteristics of both a literary magazine and a journalistic publication. We publish documentary writing, personal essays, and researched articles on specific topics as well as poetry, short fiction, drama, photography, and art. The magazine addresses issues relating to women and gender, but such a broad category allows for many different publication options. VOICES seeks to stimulate our readers’ perceptions of issues including sexuality, family, relationships, health and the body, coming of age, aging, cultural differences, race relations, creativity, athleticism, international issues, violence, government, legal issues, campus life, and many more. Gender is the common thread binding all the issues addressed in our pieces into a coherent and substantive publication.

I swore I wouldn't be one of those people to blog about their cats...

but this is their idea of inspiration! I agreed to stay inside on account of illness this past weekend with the understanding that I would get substantial work done on my MAP. Suffice it to say I was not supported in my efforts.


Kat and Mat got manis while Palin winked away our despair about the economy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My motivation and my muse -

Colin is DETERMINED to finish his MAP this semester

Baby Minds, meanwhile, attempts to provide all of the necessary inspiration for manuscript writing...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For the Fall -

What Goes Around Comes Around scarf - SOLD OUT @ Singer22 - price $98.00

Another blurry picture of Caroline in a 'familiar' looking scarf - price $9.99

Ashram chic @ ashram prices

Above: Sir Alistair Rai Blueberry Raj Karma Scarf ($122.00) as seen on Drew Barrymore

Above: Blurry version of a scarf I got at Marshalls on Friday night ($11.99)

Seriously, $11.99!

French Toast @ Foster's

As good as it looks:)