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Blatant Product Endorsement: Phazyme

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I have been meaning to write a review of this wonderful product for a long time now. Most of you have probably never heard of the medicine Phazyme. If you need this product, you will be sooo glad you are hearing about this now.


You are probably saying: Gas, EW! TMI, stranger.

But we all overshare on our blogs, and sometimes it happens to be health-related. But how are we ever going to learn from each other if we never share?

While I was in college, I got diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

What is IBS?


Is it a frowny face on your intestines? Not really. For me, it usually felt like my digestive system was trying to revolt and leave my body. It is a more sophisticated name than “chunky soup stomach,” which is what I had been calling it up until then (boiling, churning chunks in your stomach that have a gravy consistency).

FYI—I love Campbell’s Chunky soup. And consuming Chunky soup doesn’t give me chunky soup stomach.

IBS is the medical term for “eat shit [-ty food] & die.” Once I stopped eating my mom’s fried dinners every night, I began to recover a bit of “regularity” and start leading a semi-normal life again. (Regularity makes me think of Jamie Lee Curtis. I got to hear her sing the Activitia in person. Here is a picture of me with her. I bet SHE doesn’t need Phazyme.)

Jamie Lee Curtis and me

Jamie Lee Curtis and me


But the official definition of IBS? You have tummy troubles that we cannot find an explanation for.

This leads me to gas and Phazyme. IBS gives me gas. And on many occasions, it is the kind that does not leave the body. It just stays inside and is so painful all I can do is roll around on the bed in agony. I wish that I could thrust a knife into my gut and release all the pressure, like a big balloon. (I have always wondered which is worse, gas pain that painful or labor pains. As I never had a single contraction while I was pregnant for my son, I guess I will never know.)

So, I tried Gas-X. Not much relief. I used to get some relief from Riopan, but it is no longer made. Tums/Rolaids give no relief.

I don’t even remember how I heard about Phazyme. I think someone must have recommended it to me. Maybe the doctor (although I hate to give doctors credit for anything). The first pharmacy I asked at had it, but only in infant drops. Then I did find it and…


Phazyme packaging

Phazyme packaging


It helped! I buy the maximum strength 250mg simethicone dosage, so I can only take two pills a day. Usually I take one and wait several hours. If the pain is really bad and persistent, I will take a second one. It seems to both eliminate lot of the gas/pressure, and also shows it how to exit your body, rather than hang around—sort of like the Mucinex commercials do for mucous.

And that allows me to pretend to lead a normal life. Many days Phazyme allowed me to go to work and appear normal, easing the pain and pressure enough that I could walk upright and not scream out in pain. It also allowed me to get my pants zipped up at my desk. I am sure all my former coworkers were unknowingly thankful for that.

To sum up: Got gas, get Phazyme. I like to buy the blister packs, then I can always have one with me and not worry about the fast-working softgels getting crushed. Never leave home without it. And ibuprofen. That is some good shit too.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

Who Needs S’mores?

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I often talk smack about my mom on here. But sometimes, she does have a rare moment of happiness or fun. I was toasting marshmallows on my gas stove the other day and it was one of those things that made me think of her.

Toasting a marshmallow over the gas stove.  Not that that is my dirty stove.

Toasting a marshmallow over the gas stove. Not that that is my dirty stove.

We were not campers. I thought S’mores were only something that Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts made to get a merit badge. We didn’t have a BBQ grill or eat tacos until I was in middle school (She was fried steak and potatoes, all the way. Still is.).

But we would use a long meat fork and toast big marshmallows over the gas stove flame. It takes technique to not set it on fire. But it tastes so good when it is done (meaning half or completely burned).

Excuse the blurriness.  Hard to put out a fire while taking a picture.  Not that that is my dirty stove.

Excuse the blurriness. Hard to put out a fire while taking a picture. Not that that is my dirty stove.

Just note that you have to remove the marshmallow from the fork before consuming. Or you might burn your nose on the hot metal of the fork. Not that that has ever happened to me.

My mom did other fun stuff. Occasionally. We would go to the zoo. One time we chased the Goodyear blimp in the car because we saw it flying over a nearby field. She would race up to train tracks (not over them) so that I could watch a passing train. She could make up catchy rhymes about children who died 100 years ago. We would have strawberry shortcake for dinner. She let me skip 5th grade Field Day and took me to the lake instead. She took me to the lake and the pool, although she would never wanted to get in the water herself.

Today is her birthday and I salute her.
Without her, there would be no me.

I already have been known to turn around so my son could watch a passing train. I will teach him how to toast marshmallows on the stove. Just as soon as he gets past the “I don’t want to to be sticky” phase. (Wait…that is only MY little boy?!)

Just don’t tell my mom I have a blog, alright?

Dead Dad Movie (Non-Feature Film Edition)

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(Click here to see my previous post about Dead Dad feature films.)

[This the only footage I have of my dad. My dad died before I was born. My mom said that her dad (my grandpa) died in December 1973. She was using up the film on his movie camera, so this was probably taken in 1974.]

Family movies. About once a year, when I was young, my mom would force my Gramma to get out the films (Super 8?) and the projector and we would watch them. Usually this was a few months after it was first discussed, because it seemed like my Gramma always needed to buy a new light bulb for the projector. There were about 15 reels of film. My mom always wanted to watch the one with my dad on it first. No one could ever remember which reel it was on.

The family movies contained relatives I had never met and would never meet. Relatives that my mom and Gramma had (it seemed) endless stories about. There were movies of my Gramma’s house before the porch was built and before it was screened in. There were movies of my mom and Gramma helping to build my uncle’s house. An uncle I did actually get to meet before he died, but he moved out of that house before I ever saw it.

In the movies, there were many scenes of dogs pooping (Ginger, who was our dog when I was young, and Suzy, my Gramma’s dog that died shortly after I was born, and my Great Grandpa’s future dog, Rusty). There was a flood rushing through my Gramma’s front yard. There were boring movies of driving out West to Yellowstone, taken from car windows. There was a more endlessly boring boat trip to Lower Tahquamenon Falls, which sort of blends in to another at Pictured Rocks. These trip movies also featured everyone walking from the car to the restroom and back again.

I was always disappointed that I was not represented in those movies. Here were my mom and Gramma and uncle, who I actually knew, fraternizing with all these strangers. They were living lives I would never know anything of, except for their stories and these movies. My lack of representation bothered me so much so that in college, studying Communications-Radio & TV Broadcasting, I checked the video camera out one weekend and shot my own home movies. One problem, my movies had sound. My Gramma’s did not. When I watch my home movies now, I watch them on mute. I prattle on about this and that. What I really want to see are my old clothes and furniture and posters on my walls. And I love on the video when my asbestos friend and I go to the gas station (which in a year would be the site of my first real job) and gas is $1.24. She says “$1.24! I should be able to put gold in my car for $1.24!”

In the late 1980’s my mom decided to have the films transferred to VHS. We numbered what order to transfer them in, placing the film with my dad first. At the time, Sears was running a promotion where they gave you a free extra VHS copy to send to America’s Funniest Home Videos (The new hit show:P). It even came in a cardboard box with the show’s address on it, all ready to mail. (Of course, our only funny scene, of a bear trying to get into the sunroof of a Volkswagen Beetle, had long ago been lost to the unfortunate break and scotch tape repair.) So, we kept one tape and my Gramma kept the other. My mom and I could watch it whenever we wanted. We would watch the beginning, with family and dogs. We stopped it when the Mackinac Bridge came into view, always skipping the boat trips.

In the 2000’s, my work had a discount offer to get film/slides/VHS converted to DVD. I decided I should torture the old footage and have it converted one last time. But, what to convert? The film had continued to deteriorate in my Gramma’s hot apartment. So then, which VHS? The one that had been kept in our hot trailer or my Gramma’s hot apartment? (Boy, analog is sure fragile.) I believe I chose my Gramma’s VHS tape, because it had been viewed very few times, as she had given us her VCR, which is what we watched our copy of the tape on.

Yes, the quality is iffy. And all the ritual is gone out of it. No setting the date, buying the light bulb. No guessing what was on each reel, no popcorn. No narration by those who had lived it. But it still feels like preserving history. My history. And now my son can watch them too. He can see the few fleeting seconds that are captured of my dad.

Then, he will know him as well as I do.

Looking to convert your own memories? I recommend The Archival Company. Who do I NOT recommend? Walmart.

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