Four – count em! – four different medications for heartburn were advertised during a mere half hour of the day’s national news, which offered enough mayhem and misery to give a person acid indigestion completely unrelated to food intake. There were the usual troubles in the Middle East, the Ebola epidemic, the back and forth between Russia and the Ukraine separatists, ISIS' threats to Iraq AND humanitarian relief needs for Iraq’s beleaguered minorities, two hurricanes swashbuckling toward Hawaii, and the assorted crimes and misdemeanors attributed to elected officials, a handful of psychopaths and loads of ordinary folks who need anger management lessons.
Prilosec was hyped by a grossly overweight, loud-mouthed middle-aged man driving too fast on a Ski Doo and doing stunts that viewers had to be warned “should not be tried at home.” This guy should probably consider portion control instead of medication for his acid indigestion.
Alka Selzer Heartburn Relief was the answer proffered to a woman who, after she used the word “burn,” was visited immediately by an incredibly handsome firefighter. They looked like they were flirting with each other, too. Maybe this is an upside to heartburn.
Tums was the drug of choice for a group of people dining at an outdoor restaurant. They paused, forks midair, to watch a human-sized Italian-speaking meatball parachute smack into the middle of their table. Heartburn, apparently, strikes out of the blue. (Who thinks of this stuff?)
Nexium, the purple pill was also featured, but the advertiser was adamant about viewers asking their doctor first. Must be a prescription med.
Except for the last few months of three pregnancies, I’ve never “suffered” from heartburn. Now that I’m older, I do. I thought I was one of a mere handful of people with this annoyance.
I am obsessively circumspect about medication. I take as few pills as possible, probably because I am dumb enough to actually read all that stuff on the back of the bottles about side effects. Every last word of it. Some side effects are scary. “Xxxxx may cause nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, headache, muscle aches, stuffy nose, risk of bone fractures, fever, vomiting, painful urination, itching, chills, cancer, heart disease and -- the scariest one of all which is usually mentioned last – sudden death.
I now have a prescription for heartburn that I only take when needed, so I thought it not worth mentioning to my friends.
That is, until a few weeks ago when I was one of a fivesome dining at Da Eduardo’s Foxtown Grille, an excellent Italian restaurant in downtown Detroit. I finished my lasagna, praised it to the sky and dabbed at the corners of my mouth with a large black linen napkin.
“I have to go home and take my heartburn pill,” I said, half in jest.
“I already took mine,” one of my dining companions said.
“So did I,” said another.
“I take mine every morning,” said a third.
“I have mine right here in my purse,” the fourth diner said. “Do you want one?”
After a certain age, we’re all in the same boat.