Wednesday, November 17, 2004
there is a hole in my esophagus and one day it's going to drive me to murder
I suffer from terrible, terrible heartburn. I think this started in the summer, but I don't remember much of the summer, since when the temperature rises above 80 degrees I consistently feel faint and regularly lapse in and out of consciousness, as my body hair causes my body temperature to rise to well over 130 degrees. I was actually dead from heat stroke from August 8 - 12. Seriously, check the archives.
At any rate, I constantly have terrible heartburn. This is not surprising, giving my eating and drinking habits, which most doctors would call "not good". Other doctors may call them "I can't believe you live like this and you're still alive - it defies medical science. Also, you have herpes. Big time." But come on - sure, maybe one time I ate a live firecracker because someone stuck it in my pile of mashed potatoes, but really, who are they to judge? Assholes.
But just because it's deserving doesn't mean it's any less debilitating. Actually, it really sucks ass. It feels as though fire has borne a hole through my esophagus, which makes eating and swallowing very difficult. I burp a lot, but they're not like normal burps. Imagine getting ready for a big, loud-ass burp, posturing to force it out, but instead nothing happens. Rather than letting out a giant one to inspire your friends to say, "Sweet dude", you're left with a momentarily paralysis of breath and a fireball that tastes like this morning's mozzarella sticks tumbling up your throat. Not too much fun.
But truth be told, I don't really give a fuck about this most of the time. Sure, it's acutely uncomfortable, but I have other things to concern myself with (i.e. lunchmeat, boobies, hot dogs, breasts, etc).
The problem is that the heartburn adversely affects my drinking. This is not good. I'm not a doctor, but if you're suffering from painful heartburn, it's probably not best to come home and have some red wine, then some white wine, then a few beers, then a few vodka-diet cherry 7-Ups, then some more beers, then finally two slices of pepperoni pizza and a chicken roll, which is what I did on Friday night (and yes, ladies, I am single).
Thus Saturday was not my finest hour, what with the hangover and the heartburn and the whole "I peed in my bed in my sleep" thing. Since I've never been a big believer in "medicine" or "condoms" or "treating people the same regardless of their race", when Saturday evening rolled around, I started drinking again. Some say laughter is the best medicine. To them I say, "You guys are gay. Have you ever had three martinis in an hour? You don't feel anything at all, except warm."
My "drinking through it" plan of action has worked through numerous illnesses: the remnants of hangovers, stomach bugs, that time I got malaria in Guadalajara from either a mosquito, the two prostitutes I made love to (though there was no love at all in what we did) or that guy Ted who I made out with in the pool after he gave me all that free coke - whatever.
But with the heartburn, the "drinking through it" plan just doesn't cut it. It actually, not so surprisingly, makes it worse. Each sip feels like it's taking another layer off my esophagus. Each burp (or near burp) feels like my stomach and throat is on fire. When it gets really bad, each sip of vodka causes me to have a mini-spasm and bolt upright, wince in pain, and paraphrase the old guy from "Braveheart" and say in my best Scottish accent, "That'll wake you up in the morning."
I talked to my doctor about this. My doctor is very cool. When I went it for an STD test, his first question was, "So do you have anything weird on your dick or your balls?" (using that language). He prescribed some Nexium, which works sometimes, but he also said that I'd have to change my lifestyle if I wanted the heartburn to go away (I also asked if he could prescribe some Percocets for me, but he told me to get the hell out of his office).
This was confounding for me (the need to change my lifestyle, not the refusal of Percocets, although both were pretty confounding). As a relatively spoiled person who, despite being in terrible shape, considers himself nearly invincible, I said to my doctor, "Um, no. I don't want to change anything. Can't you just give me a pill or a shot or something and make it go away? No? You're telling me we can put a man on Mars, but we can't cure heartburn? We can create super babies that are capable of flying an airplane, running a marathon in under three hours, and building giant robots that in one fell swoop can easily destroy a whole city, but you can't cure my acid reflux? What do you think I am, some kind of jerk? You know what? Fuck you. How about that? Did you like that? Because here comes another - fuck you. Wait, hold on, I think I hear someone coming. Oh, here it is: fuck you. Fucking asshole."
I'm realizing now that I've been writing this for a while and I don't really know where I'm going with it, so let's get to the point. The point is that this weekend was the first time in a while that yours truly has not been able to imbibe his favorite beverages unencumbered by pain, and it was certainly the worst ever. The results of my failed "drinking through it" plan have still lasted until today, Wednesday, as I still feel discomfort, most likely remnants of the boozing this weekend. Or maybe I'm just having a heart attack.
But hear me now: if I can't drink at my own volition, there are going to be serious problems. Not problems like, "Damn it - I just made pancakes and we're out of syrup" problems, but problems like, "Daddy, who is at that large man running up and down the halls of our apartment building with a flaming ax? And why is he stopping so often to put down the flaming ax to try to rip off his pee-pee?"
I don't have much, but I have my booze. Take that away from me, and all I've got left is a lot of back hair, a dick the size of a wine cork, and two roommates who are constantly masturbating in my bed when I'm not at home. God and Heartburn: Do not fuck with me. You are entering a world of pain, betrayal, anger, lust, and borderline homosexuality. Slowly back away now, and everything's cool. Advance, and do so at your own peril. But if you're gonna bring it, you'd better bring it all. [pausing for dramatic effect] Because I will not lose.
[Well, I probably will lose, but I just said that to sound tough. And I don't even think it worked.]