When you take a pill, drink ALL the water!

I’m prone to swallowing my pills with just a tiny sip of water, or, in a pinch, none at all. It makes me feel like the BOSS of pill taking.

This is not such a good approach, as I recently learned the hard way.

One night after taking my medication and going to bed, I suddenly felt a nasty burning sensation in my chest. I started looking up “heartburn” on the Internet. I’d never felt anything like this before, but it sure felt like something that would merit the name. I hadn’t eaten anything spicy, greasy, or acidic, so couldn’t figure out why I would feel this way. I also felt like something was stuck in my throat.

If you look up “heartburn,” you will see that chest pain is always a reason to seek medical attention. So, reluctantly and feeling silly, I headed for the emergency room (since it was the middle of the night, there wasn’t another good option).

The silly feeling did not go away, as it turned out I had a “pill esophagitis.” I didn’t know this was a thing, but it is. A pill, especially swallowed with little or no water, can dissolve before it gets all the way down and cause irritation in the esophagus. Given my pill taking habits and the number of meds I’m on, it was bound to happen eventually. They gave me Carafate syrup and I started feeling better. I have to eat soft, bland foods for a couple of days.

Lesson learned: There’s a reason they tell you to take your meds with a full glass of water. It’s a good reason. You should do it.

About Irene Elizabeth (Beth!) Stroud

Queer suburban mom, graduate student, lung cancer survivor, card-carrying United Methodist.
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7 Responses to When you take a pill, drink ALL the water!

  1. Jenny Hills says:

    Beth – So wonderful to receive your blog and hear that you are doing well. My Mother passed away April of 2014 and she was so inspired by your blog that I keep following it. You are a survivor and an inspirational role model for us all. Keep up the energy, zeal and passion for life. I know many people who are not sick that don’t face life with the same love that you do. Jenny

  2. Pingback: When you take a pill, drink ALL the water! | ROS1cancer

  3. lillytnin says:

    Reblogged this on ROS1cancer.

  4. Danny says:

    Are you still here? My Dad was told that he has stage 4 lung cancer.

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