oh mylanta.

oh dear readers, let me tell you about my hellish ordeal in the last twenty-four hours. see, i take doxycycline for acne, and the directions explicitly say not to eat dairy products when popping the pill. but i had eggs with cheese and stale chips with salsa anyway. and the night before, nachos from el sombrero. big fucking mistake. an hour or so after popping the pill, i had the stomach ache of my life. i tried taking a nap, but couldn't get in a comfortable position. i was getting chills, feeling nauseous. i felt like i had swallowed a big ball of paperclips, or else a rock.

i started to think about tumors, flesh-eating bacteria, appendicitis, e. coli. was this it? was this how i was finally going to go? what a terrible thing, i'd be one of those statistics, found weeks later in my apartment, dead from eating some bad nachos. at around midnight, when things hadn't gotten any better, i called the group health nurse. she told me to get prune juice, maalox or mylanta, and docusate sodium. it was rainy out, and it was midnight. i didn't even have a single friend nearby whom i could call and pick things up for me. that's when i thought about the importance of living in an area where at least some family is nearby.

i took the bus to safeway. i didn't even bother getting out of my pajama pants. i bought maalox, prune juice and yogurt, and i felt like a 50 year old man. i didn't care. the pain was so great, i didn't give a shit who saw me. i waited for the bus heading back home. there wasn't one. i waited some more. there wasn't one. i took the prune juice out of the plastic bag and started drinking it straight from the bottle. and so there i was, on rainier ave. s. past midnight, drinking prune juice while wearing pajama pants.

i started to walk home. there were a bunch of leaves and branches on the sidewalk from the previous day's storm. it was a cold, lonely walk. this is what life's going to be, i told myself. just one long solitary walk down a dark street in the rain. life really was just suffering, until it was over. as soon as i got home, i downed some more prune juice with two teaspoons of maalox. i slept for a bit, but then three hours later, i was wide awake and hurting. there was no way i would ever get to sleep, and no way this stomach ache was going to go away on its own. i called an orange cab to take me to group health urgent care.

the driver asked how i was. i told him i'd been feeling shit all day. he said he was sorry to hear that. he had a bluetooth, and he talked to his wife in a language i didn't know. we stopped at an atm. i just wanted to die. i got sixty out, paid him twenty. he said that he hoped i felt better. i told him i did, too.

the nurse was this unfriendly dude. i figured i would be unfriendly, too, if i was working a shift at 4 a.m. the doctor came in, and he wasn't even wearing hospital clothes. just jeans and a baseball shirt. he was short and stocky, and he asked why i ate dairy products with the doxycycline. i told him i didn't know. because i was an idiot? i told him i was constipated, but he corrected me and said that i had bowel movements, so i wasn't constipated. i wanted to ask him what the hell this boulder in my stomach was then. he prescribed some pills, a lot of pills, and gave me instructions. he told me to never eat nachos ever again. for the rest of my life.

by the time i got home, it was well past 5 a.m., and people were already hanging out at starbucks. i went straight to bed and finally fell asleep. it was an incredible feeling, how such small pills could make a person feel normal again.

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