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Sleeping on two pillows now!


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#1 fancyface

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 12:47 PM

Hi friends,

I have a question. For about a month now, I start coughing badly while asleep. I can still half way sleep thru the coughing but now the coughing leads to vomiting while in bed!! Does anyone else have this problem? This is very scary! What if some night, I don't wake up and wind up aspirating in my sleep? So I am trying sleeping on two pillows to see if this helps. My rheumatologist has now put me on Reglan 4 times a day but so far not helping the vomiting.
Anyone?

Sincerely,
Mel

PS.
I am currently on short term disability from work and am going to try to get regular disability! Please wish me luck and if anyone has advice on this also, I need all of it!!!!!!!!

#2 janey

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 04:49 PM

Mel,
I'm not a doctor so I'm only speaking from personal experience, but it sounds like your suffering from nighttime reflux. That's been a problem for many of us, including me. I know use a wedge pillow and 3 additional pillows on a regular basis. Sometimes I have to add a couple more which I keep beside the bed. The best thing is to elevate the head of the bed, but if you can't do that make sure that the pillows elevate your body ideally from the hips up. Also, try to sleep on your left side only. The way our stomachs are positioned, gravity helps to keep down reflux when you're on your left side.

Here's a link to reflux prevention which might help. Also here is a link to an earlier thread on severe reflux. You'll find lots of great ideas there.

You really need to try to prevent this because not only is it one of the most unpleasant things we have to deal with, but it can be damaging in so many ways.

Big Hugs,


Janey Willis
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#3 truman

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 05:16 PM

Funnyface:

Certain blood pressure medications can cause coughing. Are you vomiting because of the coughing or is the vomiting a separate issue.

I applied for permanent disability in December 07, and was told I would get an answer in May. May has come and gone, and I called after recently getting out of the hospital to find out the status. Fortunately, I have a very nice caseworker and he told me my answer would be coming soon. I explained that I was concerned and that he obviously knew the answer and would he tell me. His answer was that I have nothing to worry about; I hope that is considered a yes, so I can stop worrying.
Tru

It is what it is...........

#4 jefa

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 10:09 PM

I believe Janey has hit the nail on the head with this one, though of course with anything new, you should be talking with your doctor. Have you seen a GI doctor? I have exactly the same set up as Janey down to the spare pillows ont he floor. I have also added a rolled up pillow at my feet to keep me sliding down the bed at night. I find it quite comforting to squish my toes into.

I tried elevating the bad, but it just wasn't working properly - it kept shifting as my husband is quite a mobile sleeper.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#5 Karenlee

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:27 AM

Fancyface,

Good luck on getting the regular disability. Have you applied for it yet? It can be a tedious process but well worth it, as financially it's a necessity if you are having trouble functioning at work. I went thru the process last year so if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Linda,

Sounds like you got approved! That's great. Congradulations to you. I bet that helps you sleep better at night. :)

Karen

#6 Peggy

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:26 AM

I have the same problem as you do and my husband built a frame where our bed is not elevated quite a bit. It has helped and now when I have an actual attack where I have to take a GI cocktail then I sleep in the recliner. If this keeps up you should see a gastroenterologist who can give you meds to take before you go to bed that will settle things down so you don't have them come up and cause your vomitting. There is a liquid that I take a teaspoon of before bed that coats my esophagus. I also take aciphex which is really good for acid reflux problems. They tried Reglan for me but I had a terrible allergic reaction and has to quit taking it right away. With regard to your disability hopefully being you were able to get termporary disability it should make it that much easier to get permanent. I applied last November and was approved in a month and the disability started in January. It was such a huge relief not having to worry about working as the way I am right now there is no way I could work if I wanted to.

Tru - your news sounds like you were approved. I sure hope so and your worrying will be over with.

Warm hugs,

Peggy

#7 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:57 AM

Hi Mel,

I'm sorry to hear what you are experiencing. Please keep in mind that I'm not a doctor (none of us are) and see your primary doctor and/or gastro doctor about this asap.

Nobody should be vomiting during sleep. Perhaps the Reglan isn't agreeing with you or there is an additional problem besides reflux. Adequately treated reflux really -- which includes both medication *and* lifestyle changes -- should not be causing vomiting, and that cough sounds worrisome to me.

Also, as I understand it, even though many people resort to them, pillows do not help reflux; they actually add pressure to the stomach and thus encourage the contents to move up instead of down.

That is why they recommend elevating the head of the bed by 6 to 9 inches. For more tips see our sclero.org site and also the Mayo Clinic.

Avoid eating or drinking anything at least four hours before bedtime. Check all your medications with your pharmacist to see if heartburn or vomiting is a known side effect of them. (When my heartburn was at its worst, it turned out my blood pressure medication was largely to blame for it.)

Avoid taking any meds at bedtime (if at all possible, that is; check with your doctor first!) as it doesn't help to avoid eating and then take strong meds on an empty stomach.

In short, it seems to me that this shouldn't be happening to this extent, and you really need to have some prompt and appropriate medical care to get to the bottom of it.


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#8 jefa

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:37 AM

Shelley gives excellent advice as usual and you should talk to your doctor about this. It was my understanding that it was the coughing itself that led to the vomiting, not that you were vomiting in your sleep. Until I got my sleeping, eating and medication sorted out, I would very often wake up coughing to such an extent that I would retch and eventually have to vomit, even with nothing in my stomach. I now keep a bottle of water next to the bed, some liquid antacid and some soft cough pastilles for those (now fairly rare) occasions. If I get a tickle, I immediately sit upright, have a sip of water and whatever else is needed, remaining upright until it has settled. Even as Peggy suggested, going into the living room for awhile.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#9 Gidget

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:28 AM

Mel,
Just a comment -- you indicate that your doctor has put you on Reglan 4 times a day.
It is my understanding that Reglan is not a medication to help with acid reflux -- it is to help with moving food from your stomach into your digestive track. The normal person can digest food in 15 min. while someone with diffuse sclero may need up to 4 hours to digest the same food. As such, the reglan is given to hurry the digestive process along. What you are describing as occuring at night is bad acid reflux which will require medication other than Reglan. I take Nexium during the day along with a couple of Tums at night. Also, no eating after 7PM and stay away from spicey food. As a side note, make sure you understand the side effects of Reglan -- especially as you are on 4 pills a day. good luck. Gidget