Sunday, January 23, 2011

All about my health

It hit me last Tuesday. My stomach began churning like a million angry washing machines. I knew the feeling and vaguely remembered it from many years ago. On one hand I knew that the unsettledness would likely pass but on the other hand I wondered if this was the third occurance of a condition that had haunted me for the past decade.

By midnight, unable to sleep due to the roiling and churning in my gut, I knew that this was no ordinary, temporary stomach discomfort. This was the third coming of my curse.

It first happened almost eight years ago to the day. I know that time that it was a severe case of nerves that set off the extreme acid production which three days later hadn't eased up even a bit. Somehow, though, I got through that first bout without ever knowing what had happened or what the cause was.

Then a year later it all happened again. Except that particular time it wasn't correcting itself. I suffered through nearly a week of trying everything to throttle back the excessive acid production from the B.R.A.T. diet to living on Pepto-Bismol. Then I actually decided to do what most guys would never do, I went to see an actual doctor. I described my symptoms, he asked questions, more descriptions, more questions and after about 30 minutes (yes, 30 actual minutes with a qualified doctor) he suggested an off-the-shelf solution of Prilosec. Yep, I could just run across the street to Target, plop down fifteen bucks for a box of Prilosec and, combined with a bland diet to begin with, be back to my normal routine.

But that didn't fly this time around. I began taking Prilosec just as I realized that this was the real thing and it did nothing. The only course of action that seemed to work was to simply quit eating. So my last meal was Tuesday evening. A hamburger. A bland, boring hamburger. If I knew it was going to be my last meal I would have at least made it something delicious but a hamburger it was.

After two more days (Wednesday and Thursday) of intestinal and gastronomical distress I had some Cheerios Friday morning. Even in my severely weakened and dehydrated state I inflated a low tire for my old lady as she headed off to work Friday morning. I thought I was out of the woods.

But I wasn't. After I called in sick for a third day -- missing more work in a week than I usually miss in a year -- I knew that that day was THE day. I was going to triumph or die trying. I was going to kick my body's feeble ass and with more bland food (I now despise toast) and another dose of Prilosec I was feeling better. And due to work policies I eventually saw a doctor later that day. Even though his prognosis varied wildly from what I knew from dealing with these extreme acid flare-ups in the past, I felt better having talked things out and being reassured that I didn't bring this on myself.

Friday evening I ate actual food -- a roast beef sandwich from Arby's. It was delicious. I spent the bulk of that evening lightly napping and actually slept through the night until my daughter's internal alarm went off around 8 AM Saturday morning. I was beginning to feel better. I even went to to grocery store for some provisions and was feeling confident enough to buy and then eat a deli sandwich. It was the best food I had eaten in quite some time. It was amazing. It was like food straight from God himself.

Needless to say, while I'm still recovering to a certain extent, I feel far better now than I did on Tuesday evening. I know I haven't seen the last of these extreme stomach acid flare-ups (the doctor six years ago described my condition as my stomach's acid pumps get stuck in the on position and maybe even in high gear and proceed to wreak havoc on my entire body) but I can't let it keep me from living my normal life. So by the middle of the week -- barring any complications -- I'll be back to occasionally eating a smorgasboard of spicy Mexican food and washing it down with copious amounts of Coca-Cola. After all, somebody has to eat those 8 quarts of homemade salsa in my pantry.

1 comment:

Jules said...

Oh Dear Sornie... be careful with yourself, you are the only you that there is and you are the only you that can look after yourself!