Let’s Get Personal

My son Marty, more than a few weeks ago.

I think that picture was taken in Minnesota. Maybe.

By personal I mean that this won’t have anything to do with writing, at least not per se. I was blessed with a hiatal hernia for my entire life. I was a colicky baby, and that’s why. It means that your stomach sticks up through your diaphragm, so you get a lot of heartburn. It used to be very expensive to correct it, and insurance wouldn’t cover it. Well, now I have really good insurance, thanks to Medicare and Medicare Supplement insurance, I get any outpatient surgery for free. And, guess what can be corrected with outpatient surgery? Wowie, huh?

Well, yes, actually, but there have been some unexpected side effects. My microbiome has been shifted, and it ain’t going back. Most of us, including me now, have alkaline environments in our mouth and esophagus.  If you’re blessed with what I had, it’s actually acidic. In order to not suffer sleeplessness due to heartburn, I took a lot of proton pump inhibitor, over many years, so my stomach was less acidic than most. Now, I’m normal, acidicly speaking. So, the tooth where my dentist missed a small root when doing my root canal had a small infection in it that suddenly bloomed. And those little buggers managed to get all the way to my lower digestive tract, and, well, it wasn’t pleasant. But I got that tooth fixed, and once my regular dentist puts another crown where the temporary filling is, that problem will be gone forever. Then there’s the athlete’s foot. You wouldn’t associate athlete’s foot with stomach surgery, but it sure has popped up, and for the first time in my life I have athlete’s foot badly enough that it is bothersome. It’s responding to treatment, but it’s bothersome to have to treat, you know?

So, first world problems, I know. In fact, if you live in the first world and suffer from persistent heartburn doe to hiatal hernia, you should check out getting it corrected. But be prepared for some weirdness as you go.


** I had to do liquid diet for two weeks, semi-solid for two more, and not lift more than 20 pounds for five weeks. But, it turns out that if you hold chocolate in your mouth, it liquifies! **