Growing up w/ a nurse mother, I was hounded daily to TAKE MY VITAMIN! Flintstones chewables weren’t bad, but b/c they were mandatory I resented them. Their grainy texture, metallic taste, the stain they sometimes left on my teeth & tongue. By comparison, my best friend (one of seven children) was never offered vitamins at home. She used to come over and when my mother wasn’t looking, she’d take the bottle and eat them by the handful. This always scared the crap out of me, as my mother cautioned against that sort of thing, but the over-supplementing never seemed to do anything to my friend, good or bad.
From childhood through early adulthood, I took a daily multivitamin. Every single morning, along w/ my frozen waffles, cereal, or scrambled eggs. It was rote. Once I hit my twenties, I added calcium pills to the regimen. My mother, the nurse, was always going on about preventable osteoporosis. How too many women my age were forgoing milk in lieu of water or diet soda. How my entire generation was going to be hunchbacked by 2040. So I took them, thinking I was doing myself a true service. Unfortunately, vitamins didn’t keep me from getting Meniere’s Disease. Something I was diagnosed w/ at the age of 31. As a Meniere’s sufferer, I was put on a strict low sodium diet, limited to 1500 mg or less per day. I had to account for everything I consumed. I noticed the multivitamin I was taking listed several types of sodium on the label. Not salt, but sodium. Hmm. Was this “bad” sodium? I went to the pharmacy to compare brands. All of the vitamins contained at least one type of sodium, more often several. I was stumped. Should I worry about the sodium in multivitamins? Could it exacerbate the Meniere’s? I asked the pharmacist. Who didn’t know either. I went to a different pharmacy and then another. I asked my mom, I asked my doctors. No one knew. So I stopped taking vitamins altogether.
That was 6 years ago. Recently I have begun thinking about osteoporosis, wondering whether I am getting enough calcium. I’ve always had a tendency towards slouching. I slump when I sit in chairs, I’m hunched over right now as I type. I hear my mom’s voice echoing through my head, I envision myself having to shop at Big & Humpy. For the past week I’ve mulled over the idea of supplements. Yesterday I happened to be at the pharmacy and finally said what the heck. I picked up calcium pills and a multivitamin for good measure.
I took them first thing this morning. I thought YES! as I swallowed them down w/ a glass of water. But after a short time, I noticed something. Everyone says vitamins are good for you, but I felt sick as hell. First, they made me burp. I have no idea why, but they did. I burped all day long. These burps smelled (and tasted) terrible. Before you say OH YOU FORGOT TO TAKE THEM WITH FOOD, no way. I took them after consuming a full breakfast. But even w/ the food, they still made me feel queasy. Like having morning sickness all day long. And no I am not pregnant. I normally have a stomach of steel. These stupid vitamins, which everyone touts as being supremely good for you, they make me belch, they make me want to wretch. It is awful. I hate these terrible sick-inducing vitamins. Earlier I went to the supermarket, and felt dizzy. Yes, I do have Meniere’s Disease, and feel dizzy quite a lot of the time, but this was different. I was pushing the cart and felt like I might topple over from gag-producing illness. That was VITAMIN dizzy. I am sure of it. I hate you vitamins.