Tuesday, December 29, 2015


My gastrointestinal system and I have a long history of having vastly different goals. I think we should work towards things like "function" and "digestion" and "happiness" but it tends toward "pain" and "stabbyness" and "noncompliance."

As a result, I have been poked, prodded, probed, pushed, photographed, pricked, scanned, surveyed, and studied. If you have never had issues with your digestive system, you probably don't appreciate how very, very lucky you are because, let me tell you, NONE -- and I mean NONE -- of the tests for said system are awesome. They are all:

a) slightly ouchy
c) did I mention the ouchy and gross?

At any rate, usually an issue would be found, and a solution would be determined, and then I would feel better for a while, and then ... not so much. So tests, medicine, blah blah blah, better and then ... not so much. As a result, I can tell you which antacids work the best and which ones taste the best(Tums Smoothies, by the way. Not chalky, not gross, really effective) and which liquid treatments are acceptable (Pepto -- Will stain your countertops pink. Tastes like Canadian Mints. Gaviscon -- horrible to consume as it's got the consistency, taste, and smell of really thick toothpaste, but works like a dream for a few hours at a time) and which foods are likely to make me sick when I'm on a heartburny roll (all of them).

I did manage to have a long period where things were good. This lulled me into a (COMPLETELY FALSE) sense of security. One that was filled with spicy, acidic, delicious foods and lots and lots of coffee and Diet Coke.

And then ... about six months ago, the acid reflux gods decided that it was time to step up their game. By TRYING TO KILL ME.

While you might think to yourself, cool it with the hyperbole, Yellie, I'm not exaggerating very much when I say that I felt like I was going to die. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I was in so much pain that I wondered if going to the emergency room for what is essentially just really aggressive heartburn would make me a complete loser (and then remembered that I don't have insurance right now anyway, so that wasn't even a real option).

After two weeks of constant pain and no sleep, I finally crashed hard. I was sick, I was tired, and I had nothing left. Fine, stupid stomach acids. You win. I loaded up on omeprazole, gaviscon, and tums and finally -- after what seemed like forever -- was able to have it subside enough for me to at least get some sleep. For the next week, I ate very very bland food -- cottage cheese, brown rice, toast -- in an effort to level my system out while the omeprazole did its work. Of course, this lead to a three day caffeine withdrawal headache because I had to cut out my beloved Diet Coke, but it had to be done.

(Signs of a Diet Coke addiction, by the way: when you miss Diet Coke so badly that you DREAM about drinking it. And oh man, did it taste delicious in that dream.)

I have been heartburn free for a week. Every time I eat something, I get nervous -- is this going to be the thing that puts me back in the hole? Is this going to be what sets me back?

So far so good. And -- this may be optimistic, but I think I'm on the right track here. I think I'm going to get past this.

I can feel it in my gut.

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