Something happened in my head around this time last year. In the space of a month or so I quit smoking, quit taking speed, and gained forty lbs.
I knew enough to expect some weight gain from the first two, but DAMN! ... I mean, "DAMN"! I can only guess that the backlash from over a decade of amphetamines (80mg dexidrine per day, on average) was more than I expected. (In hindsight, I really should've seen that one coming...) Anyway. I resolved to lose the weight, and started trying various tings, but none of them really seemed to work very well. Also, it was taking me longer than I expected to lose the cough that one gets when one quits smoking, as one's lungs regain the ability to clean themselves, and find quite a backlog of shite to be removed. I was expecting that to last 2-3 months, but it never went away. Anyway, my weight kept bouncing around between 210 and 220 for a while, until it finally spiked at 230, and something else in my head went ping, and the solution to the whole weight thing became clear. (If calories in < calories burned, weight will decrease.) I wonder if I could make an infomercial along those lines, complete with some cracked-out announcer guy who can't speak below a yell... Anyway, two months later, I had lost the forty lbs, (and am not planning to stop until I hit 180) but was coughing even more, and my voice was getting hoarse. Also, every time I lay down, I would start coughing, which annoyed the hell out of both Alanya and myself, since I usually go to bed a bit later than her.
So I went back to the doctor, and said, "Doctor doctor, what the fuck?". He sent me over to an ear, nose, and what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-my-throat doctor, who was pretty cool despite having a rather profound speech impediment. He asked me about my medical history, so I told him that I'd had this gastro esophagial refulx thing when I was a kid, but I'd grown out of it. He chuckled a bit - "No, you didn't." After looking at my throat by sticking a tube up my nose, to confirm what he had already fgured out, he confirmed what he'd already figured out. It didn't make any sense to me, because that GERD stuff is supposed to hurt, at least that's what the ads say. Fast forward to the present. A few weeks later, and I have finally figured out what was going on! See, when I was a kid, I always had stomach aches, and loved milk because it helped. I thought I had grown out of it, but maybe I just got used to it. That's also why I used to drink a gallon a day of milk. (Just ask anyone I've ever lived with, they'll confirm it) So, when I started trying to lose weight, I stopped drinking so much milk, which was had been keeping the GERD thing kinda under control all these years. With the stomach acid back up to full strength, my vocal chords were being basically basted in stomach acid every night, causing the persistent cough and rough voice. It didn't hurt because either I'd grown too used to it, or because the damnage was so long-term that the nerves were burned out. But it would tickle, and I'd cough, and my voice would get more hoarse daily. So yeah, it turns out that taking some antacid is fixing my voice. Also, I just rebuilt my bed to have the head about 4 inches higher than the foot, which is not really enough to notice, but should be enough to help. So it's working. Also, I'd just like to state for the record, that it is so cool to be able to do stuff like that.
Anyway. Tonight, I'm getting a mohawk and going out drinking. :-)