309) GERD Report & Trip Thru Waco

December 30, 2008

Dallas: We are on the last day of our visit and about to return to Austin in time for my dialysis at El Milagro. One thing I have been meaning to post about for some time now is a new symptom or reaction or something I have been experiencing at night. From my non-medical brain comes the following description... you know how sometimes you have this sensation that you are going to throw up and the taste of this stuff is very acidic or bitter tasting? Well, a number of times in the middle of the night I have awoken with a start, feeling this upsurge of foul tasting something. Its as if I want to burp but the burp is below this ceiling of stuff that bubbles up. So far, I have caught it and I sit up quickly. Then it doesn't do anything but I feel bloated and my stomach gurgles like a mountain brook. I looked this up on google and came up with some similar descriptions that fit my situation: "Regurgitation: the feeling of acid backing up in the throat. Sometimes acid regurgitates as far as the mouth and be experienced as a "wet burp.""* Usually, this happens along with a sense of nauseousness and a tightly bloated stomach. I get up and wander around, sometimes punching my tummy to get all the gurgles out, thinking that that will help. Other times I find that I can poop and that'll help. Over this past weekend I bought some Tums and they seem to help a bit too. So, the name for this is GERD: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. I sincerely hope mine isn't at the "disease" level and the next time I see Dr. Venkatesh I'll ask her about her thoughts on it. I don't need another DISEASE to add to my collection. An interesting tidbit I read on Wikepedia** is that "Sleeping on the left side has been shown to reduce nighttime reflux episodes in patients." I found that several times when I was having these episodes, sleeping on my right side made it much worse, so, of course, I favored the left side.

This morning we had a leisurely breakfast, packed up our stuff, and headed back to Austin. Stopped along the way at Carl's Corner, just opened last week as Willie's Place (the shop and theatre) and I wanted to take pics of the dancing frogs, but my camera batteries were dead and wha-da-ya know... they're outa batteries! So, no frog pic for this blog. DARN!

We shoot outa there and stop again in Waco for Shayna to get some real Dr. Pe
pper at the Dr. Pepper museaum, where they DO have batteries and I buy a WWII metal sign for the back porch. Then over to Health Camp for a quick burger and back on the highway home. The highway home down by Temple is clogged like Jackie Gleason's arteries and we sit still in traffic for about an hour before we can get off 35 and shoot east a bit to hit Hwy 95 down to below the clogs. I get to El Milagro about half an hour late.

El Milagro: Rosie the Tech and I negotiate for me to come in at 11:30 tomorrow morning, since they're on the odd schedule again (TT on MW) so they can have New Year's Day off. So we figure I'll "take off 2 today and 2 tomorrow". I am poked, hooked up, and evaluated by Anne the Nurse and settled in to reading my second Alex Deleware book of the season; Bones. Why Kellerman wrote two novels this year is a question not worth investigating... perhaps it has to do with his kids being in college... or maybe he just has these new stories pouring outa him. No matter: Compulsion was better than the last few, I think... and Bones is starting out very readable also.

I read until I lay my chair back and that shifts my arm to an untenable position that rings the machine's bell. Jay the Boss Nurse comes over and says my arterial is flat. Omigod! A flat arterial... this means I have to lay out my arm and put down my book unless I want to sit up straight. Sit up straight? Lay out my arm? Lie back? It's all too complicated so I just close the book for now and turn on the TV for the ABC News. I watch the News, doze, wake up and read a little more, and doze and then watch part of Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and remember Albert's portrait of the director. Lizzie shows up right as Rosie is unhooking me and they chat about the holidays as I finish out watching the movie and we head out into the night.

Notes: In at 78.8 and out at 76.
* Acid Reflux Connection.com, retrieved online from
** GERD, retrieved online from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastroesophageal_reflux_disease

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