By Michael J Pennington.
You are sleeping, maybe you are dreaming maybe you are just in blackness. Either way, your attention gets drawn to something a burning sensation you can’t ignore. You don’t know what it is but its there and it quickly becomes the only thing you can think about. What is it? You know what it is but you can’t quite place it like a name on the tip of your tongue. A painful name.
Then you realize. You’re choking. You sit up in bed coughing and sputtering as your air pipes try to clear away the hot vomit that was seeping into them. Now, conscious you are fully aware of what’s happening. Your throat is on fire your eyes are watering and your nose has become a font of mucus. Every gasp of air burns as you do your best to get out of the room quietly as possible.
You stumble through the house like some kind of mutant thing as you try to appease the first thought: relief. You make it to the kitchen and grab yourself a glass. It’s better now being upright has made the acid go back down. You can breathe a little better but you are still in agony. Most of the acid is gone but you can still feel some clinging to your esophagus burning its way through the walls. You turn on the hot water and let it run. You fumble through the cabinets for the one thing that can stop this. That is the one thing you have. Backing soda. Its simple science backing soda is a base and it will neutralize the acid.
You pore a bit into the cup, just enough to cover the bottom. You test water still cold. You can’t wait for you want relief now. The bathroom heats up faster, or maybe that’s just your perception, but you go there anyway. Its got to be hot water, you don’t know why but it only works if it’s hot. Once the water is good and hot you fill it and swirl around to mix in the baking soda. Then you quickly down the bitter liquid, as its heat coats your throat you finally feel relief, the fire goes out. It still burns, but it’s like a wound a dull burning it’ll go away soon.
Is this good for you? Is it bad for you? You don’t know, but it’s cheap and effective. You clean yourself up and sit down for a bit, it’ll be a bit before your stomach settles enough to going back to sleep. You belch a lot, a side effect of combining an acid and a base is a lot of excess gas. You watch an episode of your favorite show to pass the time. It’s all you can do. Part of you is grateful everyone is asleep, you would hate if they saw you like this. You have the medicine of course and it works, for the most part, this is mild compared to the acid reflux attacks you use to have, but there are those rare incidents where you are reminded of just how bad, bad can be.