Were You Burned By Acid?

“F: Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid or something?
W: Oh no. It’s just they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.”

I got burned by acid once. I almost died.

Allow myself to set a scene for yourself. The year was…well I don’t remember what year it was. Probably around 2002 or so. Anyway, it was before we had kids. I can at least remember that much. Also I was fat.
My wife had cooked a baked chicken dinner and we were in our living room eating around the coffee table. Like I said, we had no kids and come to think of it we had no dining room at the time either. I was enjoying a tasty bite of broiled rooster when I decided that I had chewed enough and it was time to swallow.
And so I tried.
It was then that I realized that the large mouthful was seemingly trying to sink its large talons into the sides of my throat.

The swallow was caught.
It was not going down.
Then I realized that I could not breathe.

It was then that I panicked.

I ran from the room grasping at my throat, pushing on it trying to force the food down. I ran into the kitchen and grabbed a cup of water off the counter and tried to drink. But the water ended up flooding out of my nose and mouth when I tried to swallow. I was choking and drowning at the same time.  I assume that I was turning blue. I had enough sense about me though to realize that it was not stuck in my windpipe though. I kept trying to swallow. I can’t remember what Deetz was doing at the time but I am pretty sure that I remember screams and cries for help.

All of the sudden I could feel the bottom of my esophagus opening up and the food started slowly moving down. As soon as it passed a certain point, the pressure on my trachea was relived and I could breathe. I gulped several glasses of water down and dried my eyes.

What the hell just happened?

I had actually had issues in the past with feeling like whatever it was I was trying to swallow was getting stuck in my throat. But I had NEVER almost died from it. I actually had been dealing with it pretty much since high school. When I went to the doctor the VERY NEXT DAY, he asked me if I had ever had issues with heart burn.  Well, lo and behold, I had also had issues with heartburn since I was in high school.  As a matter of fact, I used to keep the biggest bottle of Tums that could be bought in my car, at the house, in my parents car, where ever I could stash one. I also used to drink a gallon of whole milk a week, because that and the Tums seemed to be the only thing that could tame the regular flaming inferno of hell-fire that was my stomach.

The doctor explained to me that I had gastroesophageal reflux disease, aka acid reflux.  He said that I had acid from my stomach boiling up and tearing into the bottom of my esophagus causing it to swell and making it difficult for me to swallow. Oh, yeah. Warning! That last part was gross.

And he also told me that it was most likely due to my weight. If I lost weight I would probably not have issues with it.

He put me on a daily dose of proton pump inhibitors (a fancy doctor word for a medicine that decreases acid in my stomach) and I have been taking it DAILY ever since.

There were several times over the past few years where I would try and ween myself off or forget to take it with me on a trip and therefore miss a few days, and it always resulted in heartburn within 2 days, guaranteed.

Well in the interest of ending this post let me tell you this.

Since losing 85 pounds, I decided to try and ween off of the drug again. I don’t like being on daily drugs (and it makes my insurance premium skyrocket.) I started around the first of the year by going from 7 days a week to 5 days a week. No prob. I moved to 4 days a week and then 3 days a week with no problems.  So over the past couple of weeks I have only been taking it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have had NO acid reflux.

I am not saying I am cured yet, but I am saying that losing weight is most definitely the reason I have been able to cut back. I honestly think that I will be able to drop my insurance premium significantly if I can come off of the drug completely.

acid reflux = FAIL
losing weight = WIN

tiger blood.

 

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4 comments to Were You Burned By Acid?

  • Andrew Jones
    Twitter: Randtan

    Dude, I’m right there with ya. I’ve never had to take rx medicine before, but there are days where I feel like just throwing up. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement even in the two weeks that I’ve been working out. Also, it’s amazing how healthier foods instead of that double cheeseburger dont result in heartburn as much. Who knew? 🙂

  • Yaaaaay!!! That’s super, super exciting!!! Not that you almost died, but the part about not taking daily meds!

  • KymberlyFunFit
    Twitter: KymberlyFunFit

    If our continent got move fit and active the prescription drug industry would go into major cataclysm. The body can and will provide its own best “medicine,” as you discovered. So happy to hear you are weaning off drugs along with your increased fitness. To me, this is one of the HUGEST benies of being active = being drug free (or low drug). http://funandfit.org/fun-fit-radio/

  • Victoria Runs
    Twitter: victoria_runs

    YAY! No more acid reflux. We are our best resource 🙂 Keep it up Hank!

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