Acid pain

It’s the season for Christmas parties, reunions and get-togethers and also a season for hyperacidity due to the ingestion of caffeine, wines and spirits.  Hyperacidity also due to stress, as we struggle to fulfil various commitments before yearend. 

Tums bottles sent by loved ones from abroad.

Hyperacidity sufferers like me are glad there’s Tums, an antacid med, two bottles of which I recently received from a loved one. How I wish I had discovered it years ago, during the countless attacks I’ve had. Actually, it’s almost predictable and inevitable. After days of (over) drinking coffee or soda, I’d be sure to get hyperacidity spasms. And then I’d stay away from these liquids and once the coast seems clear, I’d fall back into the habit and then get spasms again. 

I’m taking this opportunity to post a story about a hyperacidity attack I had sometime in October 2019. I wrote down what I remembered and filed it away in my computer. I’m publishing those notes here. 


The stress and tensions of the past weeks, months, and maybe even years seemed to finally choose to surface in the form of excruciating stomach spasms that left me tossing and turning while stifling my screams and moans, in mid-air.

You see, it was 10 p.m. and I was in the middle of a four-hour Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Jakarta, the pilot had dimmed the cabin lights and all around me people were either asleep or toying with their cellphones. For about 45 minutes, the agony of the hyperacidity spasms was wracking my body and I didn’t know how to hide it or what to do to get some relief. It felt like someone was slashing and burning my stomach. 

File photo from Cebu Pacific website

I couldn’t double up and bring my head to my knees to ease the pain. The space was too small. I wanted to rest my head on the table but it was too narrow and too close to me. 

Finally I decided to go to the lavatory but when I got there, the flight attendants (FAs) shooed me away, saying the fasten-your-seatbelt sign was on and everyone should remain seated. Frankly, I didn’t see why. The plane was as steady as though it was on land, and there was no turbulence at all. 

Nevertheless, I took their word for it but before I returned to my seat, I asked them for some antacid. This was how the conversation went:

Me to Male FA: Do you have antacid?

Male FA to female FA: Do you have antacid?

Female FA: Yes, I have antacid but I’ll give it you when the seatbelt sign is off.

Me: Ok (turning to leave and then backtracking). Do you know my seat number?

Female FA: No, what’s your seat number?

Me: 16C.

Female FA: Ok, I’ll give it to you later. 

I went back to my seat and to a few more minutes of agonizing pain. Finally the seatbelt sign disappeared and soon the female FA appeared, bringing with her a lone Kremil-S pill (the antacid tablet we Filipinos are familiar with). She also brought a form for me to fill up. It was a waiver form that said something like the airline would not be responsible for anything that happens to me blah-blah-blah and she asked me to put my name and signature on it. 

I expressed amazement that, for a single Kremil-S pill, I had to sign a waiver form. So I told her to, “You might as well give me two,” and as I raised the pill, still in its packaging, it fell from my hand.

“I’m sorry, we only have one.”

Frantically, we searched for the lone Kremil-S and even asked the passenger behind me to lift his bag that was underneath my seat. Thankfully, we found the savior Kremil-S in the space under the arm of my seat.

It took a while for me to feel the effects of the Kremil-S. In the meantime, I took that much-delayed trip to the lavatory, peed and let out a huge burp and a giant fart. It was gradual relief from there, the spasms came at longer intervals and were not as intense. Finally, before the plane landed, I was spasm-free, as though nothing happened, like a nightmare at 39,000 feet I was all too ready to forget. (But obviously I didn’t, and so this piece).

#Tums #airtravel #cebupacific


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s