Stomach Ache: A user’s guide

This is not for that stabbing shooting pain that happens with a fever out of the blue. This is the sort of thing that happens where maybe it’s cramps, maybe it’s indigestion, maybe fucking Mercury is in retrograde again. For whatever reason, your stomach hurts. I am not entirely sure that I have a sensitive stomach, but I do know that I probably spend more than 10 minutes a day wondering if what I am doing or eating will give me a stomachache. It’s the sort of pain that isn’t so bad you can’t function in your life, but is just on the edge of annoying such that it’s really hard to enjoy anything. Sure, there are MANY MANY things you can do to reduce the frequency and severity of the stomachache occurring like not eating the fried chicken or avoiding dairy if you are lactose intolerant, but maybe I’ll write about that another day. Sometimes I have to live my life and I eat the fried chicken. Here are some things you can do that may help you in the moment.

  1. Taking a walk. Physically moving around at a slow sedate pace I feel helps the digestive process. I’m sure there is some research out there that shows this helps (or hurts you), but at the end of the day it does occasionally provide some relief. Many (as in more than 1 person has informed me) people I know say that it helps them pass gas. Do it. Grab someone to join you, walk around your garden, house, apartment building, gossip, listen to a podcast. Winter hell is no excuse.
  2. Start popping those pills. For me, peptobismol tends to help with the nausea. Sometimes if that fails, I just take ibuprofen. I don’t know what it is about my body (being female?) that sometimes I feel like indigestion turns into cramps. Who knows?
  3. Consuming more. Especially if I eat something heavy like fried foods and it makes me feel gross eating or drinking something tart (like lemon with soda water or a grapefruit) helps me feel better.
  4. Stretching. My doctor once suggested that I try yoga for digestion. While I initially was angry that I was in pain and she had the audacity to suggest something that was so… not what I considered an appropriate level of intervention for my FEELINGS. But in the end, stretching can actually help with digestion and make you feel better. **side note: my issues were not solved by stretching, but it actually is not a bad suggestion to make if someone was having the constellation of symptoms I had at the time. Sorry Dr. Lady if I was mean to you!
  5. Take a nap. Drink some water and have a lay. Naps and hydration have cured a shocking number of my ailments.


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