Lately, I'm feeling some nagging discomfort in my throat. It has been three days since this started. And as it stay present in my body, the more I worry. What concerns me most is that it's more serious that I think. But since I'm on a vacation, I don't want my relative, any of my relatives to worry and overreact. I just want to finish my time here in vacation-land before I face what needs to be faced. So since I don't want to tell anyone, but want to share to someone, I'll just write it down here.

For the past days, I've had difficulty swallowing. Whenever I try to swallow, may it be food or drink, I get  a pinching pain in my throat, mostly at the right side. Aside from that, there is an accompanying ear pain on that side. At first I didn't give it much attention because it happened to me just a month ago. Before, it was just the same symptoms, pain upon swallowing with ear pain or itch. Eventually, it went a away all by itself. I didn't see a doctor nor take any medications. I self medicated. I avoided eating too much as to not trigger the pain and I chose to drink lukewarm water instead of cold drinks. That's what I usually do whenever I had tonsillitis then.

But since the symptoms returned, I tried to look for an explanation. I wondered why it was happening and why it returned. At first I thought I really had tonsillitis. So to put my mind at was, I Googled my symptoms. And I found out that it was associated with a long standing condition that I had - GERD (Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease). It's a condition where in digestive juices, which are mostly acids, flows back up your food pipe (esophagus) and irritates its lining which causes the symptoms. Common symptoms include: heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, dry cough, sore throat, regurgitation of food, and feeling of lump in the throat. Bingo! All my symptoms are there. I was partially relieved to find an explanation to the present condition of my body. And like when it previously happened, I would just like to self-treat and hope it will eventually goes away on its on.

So when I shared what I felt with my aunt, I became bothered more than ever. She said she has the same thing, GERD. And here doctor gave her some medicines to stop the acids from going up her esophagus. What alarmed me, which I could hardly believe at first, was that her doctor said that GERD could lead to death. I was really skeptic, I never knew anyone who died from regurgitation, because I have parents who have occasional regurgitation themselves and they are both fine. And honestly, I thought she was a bit exaggerating. Coming from the medical field, it taught me to be a little more discerning until I could see facts and credible references, not just anecdotes. So, I turned to Google again. The biggest shocker came from a Facebook note of the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF), entitled 'Heartburn Can be Fatal' by Chris Lomon.

According to the article, heartburns could ultimately lead to esophageal cancer if not treated and managed. Long-term GERD could lead to Barrett's Esophagus, which is characterized by damage in the esophageal cell lining caused by repeated exposure to acid reflux. Having this condition, puts greater risk to having esophageal cancer. Consulting the doctor would be the best move to take upon feeling its early signs.

So what does someone who just found out the he has a potentially life threatening undiagnosed disease feel? Well, I would be lying if I say that it doesn't bother me one bit. Of course, I am worried. I'm scared. Scared of finding out that I have cancer, that I only have 9 months to live, and I'll spend the rest of my time in chemo or radiation therapy. I have seen relatives go through hardships caused by cancer. Also I have seen my relatives' hardships taking care of a relative with cancer. What is my next move? As I have said earlier, I am on my vacation. No disease or symptom can ruin that for me. What I would do is go to a specialist when I get back home. Whatever I find out there, I'll just keep that to my self. For now, I'll live my live as if I am at the best shape and health of my life. I still pray that nothing's wrong. But I am preparing for the worst.

I know there is nothing gay about this entry but this is one thing that I am keeping in my closet, I guess for the mean time.

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