Two weeks ago I experienced symptoms similiar to a fourth pregnancy: nausea, bloating, morning sickness. I was wretching bile in the early hours of the first two mornings and kept awake at night by cold sweat as my tummy started getting all knotted up like clockwork come 2am.
Except that I am definitely not pregnant. And it definitely ain’t gonna be any fourth time.
I went to the doctor after trying to tahan the pain for 5 days, and was told I might have a case of peptic ulcer. A peptic ulcer is an ulcer caused by stomach acid. An ulcer is where the lining of the gut is damaged and the underlying tissue is exposed. The doctor prescribed some acid suppressing medication and instructed that I try it out for 3 days. If it worked, I could continue treatment for a week. If it didn’t, it means that the ulcer was more serious than she thought and I would need a scope and day surgery.
The ulcer is healing right now, and I am glad I am feeling much better. I’ve made a couple of changes to my lifestyle (small little ones!) to make sure the condition doesn’t recur, and at age 32, I am glad for this wake-up call to treat myself better even with full time motherhood duties consuming my entire body, soul and mind.
1. Quit bubble tea
Yes, I’ve made one of the hardest decisions I have to make this year.
For someone who has had a cup of bubble tea (I drink milk tea at 25% sugar with no ice and no toppings) every single day since March 11 2013 (the day the kids started kindy and I started walking to Nex 5 days a week), it’s a painful one to quit for the bubble tea addict that is me. But in light of the hyperacidity in the stomach, and the pain I’ve experienced for that 5 days, it’s clear sign that perhaps this addict needs rehab.
2. Light supper half an hour before bed
I don’t have the habit of eating before I go to bed (unless I didn’t have my dinner). But now I try to have a cup of warm Milo and some bites if there’s a gnawing feeling of hunger. If I’m feeling really hungry, I no longer try to sleep the hunger away till the next morning (which I often do for fear of gaining weight). A few nights ago I cooked myself a bowl of ramyeon before I went to bed. The warm soup that warmed my stomach helped me sleep very well that night!
3. Eno’s is not a bad idea
It took a while for me to differentiate these three uncomfortable state of being: feeling bloated, feeling gassy, feeling hungry. I never had all these problems until recently, and I found the answer to one of the problems in this horrid drink! Hands up if you hate Eno’s Fruit Salt as much as I do. But surprisingly, the fast-acting effervescent fruit salt used as an antacid and a reliever of bloatedness has saved me on more occasions than one. I’m making sure this is a frequently stocked up item in the medicine cabinet.
4. Don’t pile on the chilli. Or belachan. Or chincalok. And go easy on the tom yum.
Nuff’ said. Another big sacrifice for a person who absolutely loves, loves, loves her spices. Moderation is now the answer to all my stomach woes.
5. Go for warm instead of iced
Never thought I would say this, but yea. I thought I’d only order warm drinks and stay away from iced ones when I am 60. Drinking cold drinks gave me so much pain when I had the stomach ulcer episode, and so now warm beverages are the way to go for me.
Many folks like to associate ulcers with stress, and I tend to think being stressed out lowers one’s immunity somewhat. Although it’s not been proven that stress, cold drinks and spices cause stomach ulcers, well, whatever it is, I’m making sure that this doesn’t come back to torture me again by chillax-ing as much as I can, and not get so worked up with the kids.
Be kind to your tummies and keep healthy!