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Not Very Ladylike

At the age of 15 (I think) I was diagnosed with acid reflux. But I think I've had stomach problems just about all my life. Anyway when I let out a burp, they can be so loud that it echoes in the room. I can't help it! But the amount of negativity that gets thrown at me, it's unreal. I mean even the Queen has to relieve herself!

I remember going for a meal once with my Mum, Dad and little sister and I let out a good burp. A family at another table turned around and looked at my Dad. I was trying so hard not to laugh. Joking aside, I've even had family members (who I've thankfully cut ties with) scold me for it. The amount of times that "Don't do that in there" and "It's not very ladylike" has been said to me by that family member, when they know fully I can't help it. It just riled me up.

Once on a school trip to Flamingo Land (A theme park and zoo in Yorkshire) I think it was a wee bit before I was diagnosed, I let out a huge burp and I said "better out than in" (if you thought of Shrek, then you're awesome!) and one of the teachers said "no not really" and I replied with "would you rather I let it out and felt better, or keep it in then puke everywhere?" Yeah I was surprised when I said that to a teacher. But it's true! I've read articles about how people have been hospitalised for keeping in burps and farts, it's something that happens naturally! But those of us with reflux can't help it!

In college, I let the other students and teachers in my classes know that I had reflux, and every time I let a burp out, I'd say "reflux" as a way to show I wasn't being disrespectful. But then everyone would say it and I felt slightly insecure as I wasn't sure if they were ridiculing me.

I'm on medication to help with the reflux but it doesn't seem to be helping. It's around nine years since I've been on the medication. I'm also on Peptac to help with coughing fits (the stuff is disgusting). But even sometimes I feel pain in my chest when I do burp.

How do I cope with living with acid reflux? I just take my medication each day like Jack Nicholson in the Cuckoo's Nest. And if I let out a burp in public and get a scold or nasty look from someone, I just reply that I can't help it. What more can I do?

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