About 15 years ago, I was on my way to work and decided the pain in my chest was definitely worse than my usual acid reflux. So, instead of going to work, I drove to the urgent care place. (You don’t mess around with chest pain.) It was a couple weeks after my husband left. We’d been married for twenty years and I thought we would grow old together. My romantic heart was broken. After some tests, the PA on duty told me my actual heart was okay (medically). It was just acid reflux and stress causing my chest pain. In spite of medication, I had heartburn almost every day for the next year. I learned to live with it.
About a year or so after the urgent care visit, a friend asked me if I wanted to go camping near Galax, Virginia with her and her son. We took separate cars because she would not be staying as long. I followed in my car with my son, my daughter, and our golden retriever, Jesse. The drive took several hours with at least one hour crawling by at 25 miles per hour because of the road work. My friend made a sign with lipstick and had her son hold it up in the rear-view mirror to encourage us:
IT WILL BE WORTH IT !
The campsite was down the hill from a big, white house belonging to a friend of my friend. It wasn’t summer yet, so we had the area mostly to ourselves. I loved seeing Jesse run off-leash through the field next to the river bank. The sparkling water was chilly, so he didn’t swim much, but he drank from the clear river whenever he felt thirsty. That first night, after watching the stars come out, I went to bed and listened to the song of the water dancing over the rocks. I slept better than I had in a long time. The next day, I realized my acid reflux was gone! I had no heart burn the whole time we camped at the river.
My acid reflux has returned from time to time, but ever since we camped at the river, it has been mild and infrequent – a signal my body gives me to let me know I’m too stressed and need to take time to relax.