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Mr. Wrong

Difficulty Swallowing

I would like to take a nap right now, you know?

SO A COUPLE-THREE YEARS AGO I go to the doctor and he tells me I have the Acid Reflux condition where I have the Acid, and it is Refluxing, and I should take a pill. I should also, of course, do something about my diet, etc., but meanwhile, I go and get these pills, they are Lansoprazole, a “Proton Pump Inhibitor,” and, since I know how to read, I check out the Side Effects, to wit:

Nausea, headache, dizziness. Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: Rash, blistering or peeling skin, hives, swelling of the eyes, face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, irregular, fast, or pounding heartbeat, excessive tiredness, dizziness, lightheadedness, muscle spasms, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, seizures, severe diarrhea with watery stools, stomach pain, fever.

So I figure the odds are low, and I roll the dice and take the pills, and it fixes the Acid Reflux, and, I mean, I’m pretty sure I never have had any Side Effects, I don’t think I ever had any of that stuff mentioned above now, any more than I did before I started taking the pills? You know, a fever, or being tired, or the other stuff, severe and/or watery, I mean, into each life a little rain (or something) must fall, right? It’s like, what is “Excessive Tiredness”? I am always DTN (Down To Nap), you know what I mean? So OK, I figure, wow, the Modern Medicine has helped me! All I gotta do is keep taking these pills and I’m good, and meanwhile, sure, I should probably not eat three slices of pepperoni pizza and then go to bed, yes, exercise a little personal prophylaxis, absofuckinglutely, health consciousness! But then I saw this thing in The New York Times back in December about how these pills are fucking me up:

People who use certain acid-suppressing drugs for two years or longer are at increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia, neurological problems or dementia, researchers reported . . . “People who are taking these medications are more likely than the average person to be vitamin B12 deficient, and it’s a potentially serious problem,” said Dr. Douglas A. Corley, senior author of the new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. “This raises the question of whether people taking these medications for long periods should be screened for vitamin B12 deficiency” . . . other experts noted the benefits of P.P.I.’s must be weighed against their risks, including increasing the likelihood of bone fractures, pneumonia, C. difficile infection, and now, vitamin B12 deficiency.

So great, now I could have Deficiencies and stuff, and I could get a bone fracture at any moment, just sitting around minding my own business, swell. I haven’t seen a Doctor or a Registered Nurse or even an Unregistered Nurse or anything yet, because I’m looking for a new Primary whatever, some doctor who will take my Health Plan, but when I finally get to see somebody, I’m gonna have to get tested for all that stuff, the neurological stuff (is this why sometimes I can’t remember if I just shampooed my hair in the shower in the morning?) and the anemia, and the vitamin B12 deficiency, what the hell is vitamin B12? I thought that was a euphemism for that stuff they shot into your ass with a needle and it was just some sorta speed, like that time on Mad Men [SPOILER ALERT] when they were all running around like psychos after hypodermics to the ass. Vitamin B12, seriously? I would like to take a nap right now, you know?

With this B12 thing, I went and bought some vitamins at the Price Club, because I figured it couldn’t hurt, Right? I got this “Multi For Him” bottle of giant fucking horse pills I can barely swallow, and it says in the “Supplement Facts,” along with all the other vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Niacin, Riboflavin, etcetera, all jammed into these pills, that there’s “Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin) 18 mcg,” which is 300 percent of the “% Daily Value,” but I dunno if it’ll make any difference if these Proton Pump Inhibitor pills are screwing up the whole B12 situation, you know? I could maybe take a million % Daily Value and I’d still be a Deficient, vitamin B12-wise. And what the hell is Cyanocobalamin? It sounds like some shit you put in paint, man. Plus, I learned too late these things give you a gut twister if you knock ’em down on an empty stomach, jeez, they’re fucking Vitamins, you know? I have to read the goddamn instructions for Vitamins? They’re supposed to be good for you, like food or something!

Plus, as if that’s not enough with these Proton Pump Inhibitor pills, fucking The New York Times has more good news with this other article about the Acid Reflux pills, and it turns out I’m probably a junkie.

“Studies have shown that once you’re on them, it’s hard to stop taking them,” said Dr. Shoshana J. Herzig of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “It’s almost like an addiction.”

Terrific, I’m a junkie on some shit that doesn’t even make me high, what kind of crappy addiction is this? Couldn’t they (and you know who They are) at least make this Proton Pump Inhibitor junk give me some cool hallucinations or make me feel overly elated or unrealistically happy or something? What a crappy drug to get hooked on. Hey, does anybody know if maybe some Medical Marijuana is good for Acid Reflux? Could I volunteer for a study? It couldn’t hurt, right?

It would be wonderful if you would become addicted to Jim and Joe’s Top-Rated Podcast (NSFW), also featuring City Paper’s “Spitballin’” columnist Jim Meyer, at backoftheclassguys.com or even on the iTunes. Email wrongcolumn@gmail.com.

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