Heather Hamilton-Maude: | TSLN.com

Heather Hamilton-Maude:

Last Saturday found me at the local urgent care facility for three hours. This was the result of several days of stomach pains that had settled into the lower right part of my abdomen for most of the previous day, causing me to think that perhaps the long-term relationship I’d had with my appendix was nearing an end.

My appendix was fine. So was my blood pressure, my white blood cell count and everything else I was tested for. Finally, an x-ray showed a higher than normal amount of gas in my system, causing the PA to consider an ulcer. He said to try omeprazole, AKA Prilosec, for a couple weeks to lower the amount of acid in my system.

My husband and I went across the street to Wal-Mart, purchased the generic brand of Prilosec along with all the other random things that had been accumulating on our list. Later that evening, I took pill number one and went to bed.

By morning, I had basically taken up residence in my bathroom, and didn’t dare get more than a few feet from it. Thus went the entire day. Food held no appeal for obvious reasons.

After a second, long night, I was somewhat hungry, and tried breakfast. The speed at which that meal went through my system made gravity feel like it worked in slow motion. From that point on, I went the route of taking one bite, waiting five minutes, then taking another.

This went on from Sunday through Wednesday with little to no improvement. We were chalking everything up to a nasty bout of the flu at this point. However, I was quickly becoming desperate. Between trips to the bathroom on Wednesday morning, I did a little online research of omeprazole. Come to find out, every website I found listed diarrhea as a side effect.

Well, I’ll be. It seemed a description highly lacking in appropriate adjectives to me at that moment. Surely slapping something along the lines of debilitating, or never ending in front of the word diarrhea would do a better job of appropriately warning people.

But, no, it was a mundane list of rather innocent looking potential impacts, several of which I was combating. We don’t doctor a lot, so I had not thought to ask while in the doctor’s office if whatever he was going to prescribe would make me long for my previous symptoms.

Last night I skipped the Prilosec pill, and prayed to see improvement. While not 100 percent this morning, I am improved enough to cautiously enjoy my first cup of coffee in nearly a week. The drug says it can take 24-48 hours to start working (more like 6-12), so I’m assuming it will take a while to get out of my system completely.

If you are considering one of those fad weight loss diets, this may interest you. I am guessing you can easily lose a pound or better per day, while eating whatever you want, or dare, for however long you can stand it. Or, if you suffer from constipation and prune juice just isn’t cutting it, I am fairly confident this will do the trick.

For everyone else, approach with extreme caution, and always remember to ask your doctor and/or pharmacist about the side effects of whatever medication they suggest or prescribe. F