I started developing heartburn about a year and a half ago, or at least that’s when I actually noticed. What started out as a painful burning sensation in my chest quickly progressed into waking up in the middle of the night with stomach pains. Yes, the Dr. confirmed, I was suffering from an ulcer. I was prescribed a medicine to reduce the production of acid in my stomach (Protonix) and ordered to follow a strict diet.

I am not supposed to eat/drink:

  • Spicy foods
  • Tomato-based sauces
  • Chocolate
  • Anything carbonated and caffeinated
  • Citrus fruits or drinks

I am supposed to:

  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
  • Eat smaller meals, more frequently
  • Be relaxed at mealtime
  • Avoid eating within 3 hours of bedtime
  • Avoid NSAIDS
  • Avoid period of hunger and overeating

Have I followed these general guidelines religiously in order to save my health? No, and shame on me for not doing so. I drink tea everyday and soda/coffee a few times a week. I CANNOT give up spicy foods. I am guilty of falling asleep right after dinner. I eat my lunch while working and when it’s really busy, I don’t eat at all. So, it looks like I’ve broken EVERY single rule.

(picture found here)

Not surprisingly, my stomach started acting up recently – it was due time. I didn’t recognize the symptoms at first because somehow I never experienced another ulcer episode after the initial one; I thought I was just suffering from a bad case of food poisoning. I even made the mistake of eating an orange because I thought the citrus would “kill the bacteria”. Sometimes my logical reasoning baffles me.

Despite experiencing excruciating stomach pains for the 2nd time now, I’m still not sure if I can follow the rules. Hell, I even made mapo tofu for lunch last week. I don’t know whether I feel more guilty for breaking the rules or for not even trying to follow them.


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