Friday, June 02, 2006

this GERDle is too tight for me...

Welcome to the GERD-le of mid-life, tightly laced with purple pills and the squeeze of "ha-ha-you-just-thought-I-was-a-heart-attack" esophageal spasms.

Hilarity at its best. Comedy Channel funny.

I have arrived, hand on the wheel and pill-in-hand, flux-capacitor over-fluxing; speeding down the super-highway of antacid-altered reality.

Maybe that's what the eggs were trying to tell me.

Leaving a career of nearly 20 years and looking at cutting my salary by 75 percent over the next year while I finish school has gotten me GERD-ishly green.

Saturday night after dinner I started having significant chest discomfort and nausea. By the guidelines, fodder for the emergency room.

Except I had recently had my heart checked, cathed, EP'd, everything-you-can-thing-of-grammed.

So I didn't go, but I wasn't having any fun in the meantime.

The next day I put new flowers on my father's grave to replace the old, faded ones. A year-and-a-half and still no grass will grow on his grave.

I said, "Maybe he wasn't ready to go."

Later that night, my chest discomfort turned into double-you-over-Sanford-and-Son chest pain--spasms that had me clutching my chest just like the old man.

Still, I did not go, but I did get a quick EKG screening from a healthcare friend. No abnormalities.

Instead of taking it easy that night, I ate hot spicy Thai food from my favorite restaurant.

Drunken Noodle, spicy 3/5, please; coconut soup, no meat and Diet Coke

It went down like razor blades. The true test of GERD. I ate every bite anyway--it was so good. I didn't care. I wasn't having a heart attack (I knew I wasn't, but confirmation is GERD when you need it).

Still no grass on his grave and maybe I wasn't ready for him to go. I had a hard time getting the flowers there. I had a hard time ordering them. I had a hard time deciding what day to take them. I had a hard time driving up there to place them. I had a hard time controlling the urge to dig him up and ask him why, why now, that we were close for the very first time, why did you leave? Why did you leave just when I was on the verge of having the thing I longed for my whole life? To be close to my own father; to know he was finally proud; to know he thought I was really a good person.

I can take a purple pill for the GERD, but it's going to take the slow, watered-down medicine of Time for the broken heart.


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