life saver, really

We used to get them in our christmas stockings – a multipack “book” of lifesaver candies that included the usual fruit assortment rolls and I think some individual flavors, butter rum and wild cherry being my favorites as a child.  We used to take a roll of wint-o-green into the closet and bite down hard on the candies with our mouths open to show the sparks.  But I’ve always sort of thought of them as sort of second tier candy.  For years now, if I wanted a hard candy to pop in my mouth in case I need a quick blood sugar boost or to calm my stomach, I usually went for a ricola or a ginger candy.  However, neither of these two more sophisticated candies helped much with the massive dry mouth that the anti-anxiety medication has been causing. I haven’t been taking the med much, just once a day some nights, and only a couple of nights (i.e. not every night).  I noticed the first day after I took one though that about half way through the next day, my mouth dried out like I had just eaten a bowlful of easy chair.  WTF?   It gets like this sometimes about 20 minutes or so after I take a hyoscyamine , which I had been doing quite a lot the week prior but which I avoided once the dry mouth got raging.  If you look up this anxiety med, it lists dry mouth as a “rare” side effect.  Well count me as rare then because this shit is bad.

Yesterday was the worst.  Worse than taking a day-full of hyoscyamine on top of antihistamines and a nasal decongestant, a combo I’ve had occasion to take in the past.  By yesterday, I had taken the anxiety meds two nights in a row.  All day, I hadn’t been able to go more than 10 minutes between ricolas and I was drinking more water than I normally do (which admittedly, is an insufficient amount).  I left work early to go to the wake of a relative and stopped at the drug store on my way home – determined to find something that would at least take the edge off the dry mouth.  I knew I wanted something sugar free because if I am going to need to eat these things like candy (ha) I would prefer they not be little sugar bombs for the sake of my teeth if nothing else.

I looked at the cough drop aisle, stared at each item trying to recall the feel of it in my mouth if I had had them in the past ,and trying to imagine the flavors and what sensations they would elicit if I had not.  Nothing seemed right.  The best I could conjure up was sticky and numb.

Then the candy aisle.  And the bags of sugar free candies.  The bags of sugar free wild cherry life savers.  I considered them.  I considered how the last time I had cherry lifesavers, they felt too bitingly sweet and how if, while eating them, I let them lay in one spot instead of switching them around in my mouth, I could practically feel my saliva glands straining to meet the not so much fruity as chemical intensity.  Ah.  That will do, I thought.

And it did.

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  1. I hate dry mouth!! I have it all the time from meds too. I am always sucking of a piece of candy and have a bottle of caffeine free diet pepsi or water in my hand. I agree with the so sweet ickyness of some of the cough drops and candy. What I hate the most is everyone knows you are sucking on candy because eveyone can smell it on your breath….I guess it’s better than bad breath from the dryness. I wish someone would come out with a product that would help with the dry mouth, but without the strong taste and smell. Maybe a very light mint candy the size of a tic tac. Maybe I will write a letter to someone and tell them to invent something!

  2. I second the vote for a product. I was thinking something like those little breath strips they have, you know, listerine and scope or something makes them. But something that wasn’t just going to make your mouth all mint-sticky. Until someone comes up with something better, try the wild cherry, I swear they seriously rock.


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