RT Cunningham


A Stomach Ulcer Put Me in a Gaseous and Painful Situation

stomach ulcerI have a stomach ulcer and I didn’t realize I have it until today. I should be forgiven for my ignorance since I’ve never any issues with my stomach before.

It’s not severe. I can get rid of both the pain and the excess gas simply by drinking a small glass of milk. Before I recognized the symptoms, I was doing the opposite of what I should be doing.

My Stomach Ulcer Developed at Home

I know exactly when it formed but I really don’t know why it formed. I may have just not had enough food in my stomach while drinking rum and coke cocktails. It was on June 10th, when some of my relatives at home in Olongapo were celebrating combined birthday parties. That’s when I first started suffering from way too much gas. As usual, I ignored the symptoms.

The party didn’t officially end until midnight on the 11th, which I considered the despedida (farewell) part of the celebration. That was almost exactly 28 hours before my wife, Josie, and I had to leave and travel to Manila on the first leg of our journey.

Ulcer Pain while Traveling

It didn’t really start bothering me until I was sitting and waiting for all the flights. I couldn’t seem to burp fast enough to get rid of the excess gas. The pain would go away when I finally burped it all out.

I should have opted for milk, but I drank Sprite on the planes (all five of them). It seemed to alleviate the symptoms for a time. I only ate food on the first two flights. Again, I didn’t realize I had an ulcer until today.

Intolerable Ulcer Pain

This morning, I suffered from the gaseous effects more than ever. That’s because I was drinking ginger ale with my meals after arriving in Florida. It wasn’t until I drank some milk that the symptoms all but disappeared.

When Josie arrived in the United States in 1985, she was suffering from a stomach ulcer. I recognized it and helped her through it. It’s too bad I didn’t recognize it in myself until she reminded me of it.

I drank a glass of milk this morning and the pain went away almost instantly, accompanied by the departure of gas from both ends of my body. The relief was so intense that I took a five-hour nap, the first good sleep period I’ve had since I left the Philippines.

It takes two weeks to regenerate the stomach lining. Two weeks from today, I won’t have to drink milk after drinking coffee. I can do without anything carbonated for a long time. My favorite drinks are coffee, tea, any kind of juice, and water, in no particular order.

A Stomach Ulcer isn’t a Sign of Aging

Just because this is the first time I’ve had a stomach ulcer doesn’t mean it’s a sign of aging. Josie had one when she was 23 and I’ve met quite a few young people with them since then. It’s usually caused by drinking too many soft drinks. The citric acid added to soft drinks is pretty strong and can cause ulcers when consumed regularly without food to accompany them.

Perhaps it just took a little less irritation for my stomach ulcer to form. Now that would be a sign of aging.

Photo Attribution: [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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By RT Cunningham
June 17, 2018