You Can Be Your Own Expert

A couple years ago, I was diagnosed with an esophageal diverticulum.

What is Zenker’s Diverticulum?

Zenker’s Diverticulum is an esophageal pouch that develops in the upper esophagus that causes debilitating dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and regurgitation of food. It is named after Friedrich Albert von Zenker (1825-1898) who in 1877 published a series of patients with this disorder and described its anatomic pathophysiology.


Prior to the diagnosis, for almost a year, I had acid reflux. The acid burned my throat terribly. To someone who sings, this is a nightmare. Another problem was that when I swallowed, I could feel the food scratching the “pouch” and caused a pitching sensation.  I told the doctor that I wanted to make sure the valve between the stomach and esophagus is open and closed properly.

The doctor prescribed videofluoroscopic swallow study. The was the most difficult test I had ever taken. My throat was not numbed. A tube with a video camera was put through my throat into my esophagus, almost touch my stomach. I made a swallow, then hold my breath and my throat movement until the fluid went all the way to my stomach. The nurses and I could watch it on the video monitor. If I breath, or move my throat muscle, that swallow wouldn’t count. I had to do 10 swallow. In retrospect, I had to congratulate myself as a trooper, I tolerated it with only messing it up by one count.

As a result, the doctor said I was fine. The diverticulum was small enough that didn’t require surgery. He prescribed prilosec to reduce the acid in my stomach.

I am not keen on taking medication. I would do anything to avoid taking medication. So I started doing research on alkaline/acid balance diet. I discovered all the pretty charts! I printed out one and taped it on the inside door of my pantry as my daily diet consultant. I follow it religiously and stay on the alkaline rich diet as much as possible.

Alkaline.Acid Balance Food

It has been two years now. I think my “pouch” is gone. I have no more acid reflux. I am not taking Prilosec. I just stay on the alkaline rich diet. In that sense, I am my own Expert!

– Chart from Google images

Daily Prompt: Expert


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