It Started With My Grandmother

When I was a child, my grandmother Rae always had chest pain. I was never involved in the diagnoses, but I always guessed it was heart related. After all, old people have heart problems, right? The older I got, the more she let me in. Sure she had her share of heart pain, but most of it was something else: acid reflux. But this wasn't heartburn that I had seen or heard about from TV. Rather this was something worse. The amount of antacids she would take was mind boggling, but it never seemed to help her. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. This is when your esophageal sphincter is herniated, allowing gas and acids to pass back into your throat and your mouth. This is what gives you a burning feeling in your throat. As a stupid teenager, I used to make little jokes about her "hiatal" hernia. Little did I know, she'd have the last laugh on that one.

"In life they're not going to serve you lemons, they're going to serve you lemonade; and I don't like lemonade because I've got a really bad acid reflux."
– Felicia Day

Fast forward a few years... I started working at a startup called Symantec, and with the stress I had, I began to get some severe heartburn. After a year, I went to the doctor. He diagnosed me with a hiatal hernia. My grandmother had her revenge. He prescribed some antacids and sent me on my way. It never helped. The pain lasted a long time. Sure, I found I could completely cut out my sodas, never eat spicy foods, and leave my high tech, stressful job but then, was life worth living? It's been a 30 year voyage, and I've been tweaking my plan ever since. I think you will like this as much as I do, especially when you are heartburn free.

A new study reports that the number of people who frequently experience symptoms of heartburn, has almost doubled in the past decade.
– ABC News