Monday, July 14, 2003

The Fire Down Below

A bit of advice from your Uncle Bubby... If you have acid reflux and get the sudden urge to stop taking your medication "to see what happens" - don't.

I didn't take my evening medicines until 2am Sat/Sun. As such, I figured "Why take the acid medicine - I haven't had any problems all night." Fast forward to Sunday evening. "I haven't had problems all day. I wonder what would happen if I stopped taking this? Maybe I don't need it anymore."

Oh, was I SO wrong.

I did fine this morning. A ham, egg and cheese bagel from McDonald's and two cups of decaf. Typical meal and a typical tummy reaction - yummy.

At lunch I was feeling quite hungry and the Mexican (oh, yes, I did) leftovers in the fridge sounded filling. I split them with my wife, Shelly, and proceeded to chow down.

Those of you with chronic heartburn know it's like getting kicked in the nuts. The pain is not immediate. I enjoyed my lunch and revelled in the spicyness of the enchilada and fajita steak. At the appointed time, we returned to work.

Sitting at my desk about 2pm, I began to feel the initial heat rising up my esophagus like a slow simmer at the top of my stomach. The fuse had been lit. Wanting to stave off the flaming belches that were sure to come later, I asked my office partner if he had any antacids... he did not. Damn.

I sat and suffered through the rest of the afternoon, drinking water periodically to dilute the acid. Nothing too tragic but it's been over a year since I experienced REAL heartburn. I decided to go by the house and take my medicine before going out for our normal Monday evening dinner. Joseppi's has All-You-Can-Eat spaghetti and meatballs for $5 every Monday. I can usually only hold one bowl but it's still cheap. Thinking I had taken my medicine and would be fine, we proceeded to the restaurant.

Italian spices are milder than Mexican spices but have similar effect on reflux. Garlic is not your friend. Every bite was fire. Between the heat of the noodles and the spices in the sauce, I had to fight every bite down and could only stomach half a bowl.

I haven't taken an antacid in six months... Today, I've taken around 6 (and counting). That's one spicy meatball!

I'm off to bed before I scorch the letters off my keycaps. [burp]

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