In another remarkable instance of Mother being right in forcing me to do something I didn’t want to do, I was diagnosed with acid reflux disease after being dragged to an ear-nose-and-throat specialist and having a probe stuck down my nose and down into my throat.
In short, I have acid burns and consequent lumpy things (no biopsy needed unless they don’t subside) inside my throat (all along thinking the parched feeling there was just me not drinking enough water and eating too much roti canai in Malaysia), and now have to abide by the following regimen for the foreseeable future:
- no more than one cup of coffee, tea or caffeinated soft drink (e.g. cola) a day, and none after lunch
- no tomatoes or tomato-based foods (ciao, lasagna and minestrone soup; adios, salsa; goodbye, ketchup)
- no spicy food — Thai (!), Indian (!!), Korean (!!!), curries from around the world (!!!!)
- no citrus fruits — oranges, lemons, grapefruits, pomelos and associated juices
- no water (lack of liquid ameliorated by a chalky white concoction to buffer my throat against the intractable acid) or food less than 3 hours before bedtime
I also have to adopt a sleeping position that’s approximate to sitting up, and down pills at specific time lags before meals (meaning that I have to plan exactly when I eat). So, yup — everything I’ve ever loved (and have apparently loved to excess) has betrayed me: spices and sleep (or rather, a lack thereof, coupled with stress from a deadline-focused job)!
I’m shying away from vinegar too, though the doctor (who turned out to be an attendee of my church in Singapore!) didn’t mention it explicitly — I guess it kinda makes sense to avoid that if I’m supposed to steer clear of acidic foods? Let me know if I should think otherwise, as no vinegar means no vinaigrette salad, no olive-oil-and-balsamic-vinegar dip, no vinegar drinks, and … no sushi (!!!!!).
The upside to all this is that I *might* become a healthier eater (could overdose on the cream pasta, though). If I actually pile on the pounds after all this, then … gah.