The Foamies. I first heard that term from one of the bariatric surgery facebook groups. Sometimes when you eat too fast, or take too big a bite, or don’t chew enough, your food gets caught up trying to get into your newly redesigned stomach. Your body tries to help out by creating a ton of extra saliva. For some of us though, because our stomach is partially blocked, the swallowing reflex temporarily shuts itself off. That means all of that extra saliva sits in your mouth and just stays there. If you force yourself to swallow it your stomach starts to hurt a lot and you cough it all back up. The result is that you’re stuck with a face full of foam. Hence, The Foamies.

I sometimes get The Foamies just by taking vitamin pills. I end up standing over the toilet, or the sink, or a trash barrel, or whatever, just spitting out all of that crap. I just spit, and spit, and spit. Eventually it stops and you can move on with your life. Today I had two lunchtime plans. First, we have a big pile of chicken breasts that are going to go bad soon. I wanted to cook them in the air fryer and then store them in the fridge to have as leftovers for the next couple of days. I snuck upstairs and put them into the air fryer and set a timer for the first half of the cooking time with the intention of flipping them over and then putting them back in for the second half of the cook time.

The flip time coincided with when I needed to take my two afternoon calcium citrate pills. When the timer went off I grabbed my water bottle and my pill caddie for the day and went upstairs to the kitchen. I took the first of the two pills with a gulp of water and then went to the cookin’. When the chicken breasts were flipped over I gulped the second pill and went to work cooking my lunch in the toaster oven. It was a little piece of Purdue frozen chicken patty and some french fries, cooked in the toaster oven on the air fryer setting.

Two seconds after gulping the second calcium pill it hit me. Pain in my stomach and lots of saliva. Shit. The Foamies were hitting me. The toaster oven was supposed to run for 15 minutes and the air fryer was going to finish a couple of minutes before then. While I waited, I spit a ton of foamie into the trash barrel and the sink. It was very unpleasant and thankfully no one was in the kitchen with me. The air fryer finished and I cut open a chicken breast to make sure it was done. It was. I wrapped it all up and put it into the fridge. Project #1, complete. I spit up some more and then the timer for the toaster oven went off. I took out my lunch and measured everything so I could track it on my food spreadsheet. The Foamies persisted for another minute or two but it ended right on time and I started eating lunch.

I ate the chicken patty without incident. I was halfway through my 2.5 ounces of french fries when it hit me again. The Foamies Part Two: Electric Foamie-Boogaloo. Shit. It was a little before 2:00pm. It didn’t stop for an hour. It just kicked my ass. It wiped the floor with my digestive system. It was awful. I would work for a few seconds, cough up some crap for a few seconds, wash/rinse/repeat. Come on, stomach. Cut the shit!

I did eventually finish my lunch. Just a few minutes ago, in fact. The fries were really good. Nice and crispy. I just wish I could have had them while they were still sort of warm. I can understand when it hits me because of a mistake I make while eating. I don’t get why it hits me when I am taking something tiny like a calcium pill. I had a mild case of it this morning due to my morning vitamins too. What the hell? Should I be switching all of my vitamin pills to chewables? I was in my mid teens before I was able to swallow a pill without crushing it up first. I considered it a failure at being a grown up. Now that I may be faced with something like that shame again? I just don’t wanna! I’m almost 52 years old. I should be able to swallow a god damned pill!

The Foamies. The struggle is real, friends. The struggle is real.