June 16th, 2006

the pain, it burnssss!

I've had persistent heartburn for the past two days - it started some time on Wednesday. I suppose taking all that ibuprofen made the problem worse, if not actually cause it; and I've been drinking a fair amount of citrus-based juices too. It started as a knot in the middle of my chest - so I foolishly spent quite a while thinking I just had 'persistent gas' that I couldn't burp up - and yesterday developed a matching pain in the middle of my back. Today it hurt more, and I've been in strong discomfort pretty much all day.

I've finally tried taking Pepto-Bismol, twice now this evening, but that seems to exacerbate the problem rather than soothe it. I also tried eating some mashed potatoes, thinking that might be neutral enough to take up some of the stomach acid and calm things down, but instead that made me really hurt. I'm not sure what else I can eat that might help rather than hurt

I'm going to try doing without any more pain medication, as both kinds I have include ibuprofen and I know that that irritates the stomach. But if I'm still hurting tomorrow morning, I'm not sure what to do - just take some more Pepto-Bismol? Get a different brand/kind of antacid? Call the doctor? I know one thing, just checking topics on Wikipedia (heartburn, acid indigestion, acid reflux) suggests I'm in big trouble, because my diet is mainly composed of the sorts of food that make the problem worse, and I'm notoriously fussy about food.

Update: I woke up this morning feeling just as bad as yesterday, so I tried calling the health care advice line that's part of my insurance, only to have them claim that I'm not currently eligible for that service. I don't know what that's about, but it was quite annoying. In any case, I'm sure they would've just told me to do what I did next, which was call Tony and ask him to bring me to the ER so someone could check me out. It took a while, because the pain was in the chest area they had to do blood tests and an EKG, but they concluded it probably was the result of the ibuprofen irritating my stomach. So they gave me some stuff involving Mylanta that felt and tasted like some kind of plaster, and a pill to reduce my stomach acid along with a prescription for more of the same pills. Plus, of course, I have to stop taking the ibuprofen, but that should be fine as the mouth/head soreness really is tolerable now without any painkillers. Hopefully the pills will help and my stomach will calm down.