I don’t write as often as I want to. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be interesting and funny (and to avoid overusing “a lot”). But I just checked out Heather Armstrong’s latest post on Dooce, and she clearly doesn’t pressure herself to be either, so maybe I should just write whatever is on my mind.
It’s been raining for a few days, off and on. Some friends of ours headed up to Big Sur to camp today, despite the rain forecast. I keep thinking about them and their 19 month-old baby, wondering how the camping trip is going as I listen to rain splattering on my deck and thunder rumbling through the mountains. God, how I wanted to be one of those hip, granola mommies that camps with her kids. I wanted it so much. And I’m not her. It sounds so terrifically inconvenient to camp with my kids. No running water, no flushing toilets, no Nick Jr. But I’m sure we will someday. With two kids, it will probably be the only kind of vacation this family of public school teachers will ever be able to afford.
My heartburn is unreal. Sometimes, when it flares up, I actually look at the sky and say, “You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!” The only remedy that gives me any relief is one I was extremely skeptical of when it was suggested to me. I have a wonderful colleague, a fellow teacher, who is easily one of the more entertaining men I’ve ever met. He’s a conspiracy theorist, among his many talents, and he despises “the establishment.” One of the biggest targets of his ire is Big Medicine. One day, I was complaining about my heartburn (long before I was pregnant – I’ve suffered from reflux since my teens) and he told me to swallow a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
“The hell, you say. Acetic acid for my acid stomach?”
“I know,” he empathized. “It seems counterintuitive. No doctor will ever tell you about it, but it’s the cure for heartburn. pharmaceutical companies can’t make any MONEY off it, though. They want you to keep buying those pills that make the condition WORSE and never cure you. Trust me.” I asked him if it tasted bad. If it hurt. He smiled grimly. “It’s intense,” was his answer.
I have to be honest. I thought he was nuts, and I didn’t try it. Not for a very long time. When I finally did, it was because I already had some in the fridge for curdling soy milk to make vegan “buttermilk.” Yes, I really did that, and yes, it was as awful as it sounds. Suffering miserably from reflux, without a single Prilosec, Tums, Pepcid, Zantac, or teaspoon of Maalox in the house, I grabbed the bottle of ACV and took a shooter to the head. The pain that flared up in my stomach when the vinegar hit it curled my toes and made me run around the kitchen muttering, “Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod…” And then a few seconds later, I felt this bubbly, neutralizing feeling, and the pain was gone. It stayed gone. I took a couple teaspoons of ACV several times a day after that, ate smaller meals, avoided tomato products, and considered myself cured.
No one is paying me to say this (I WISH!). A bottle of ACV (organic, unfiltered) will cost you less than five bucks, so nobody stands to get rich. I swear to you, though, if you have heartburn, try it. I’m not going to lie to you, it is not a pleasant cure. Swallowing a pill is far more pleasing. Nevertheless, I stand by it and recommend it to everyone who ever mentions heartburn. You can mix it with water and honey to lessen the burn and sweeten the taste, but for me, I like to feel it working, and it’s better straight.
When I got pregnant, I was convinced that this treatment wouldn’t work anymore. So far, though, it really does help me. I do keep a bottle of Maalox by the bed for middle of the night attacks, though. Nobody’s perfect.