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A spoonful of sugar not needed

Mary Poppins sang that a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. I guess the Tums product development team listened to her.

My stomach was grumbly last week, so I picked up some ultra strength antacids in assorted fruit flavors at Target. Technically they’re not Tums, just the generic brand, but I suspect they manufacture all that stuff at the same factory and just slap different labels on the bottles. When I got out to my car, I dumped two tablets into my hand and tossed them in my mouth before I could dwell on how bad they would surely taste. Chomp, chomp, chew, chew – yum, yum! Did they replace my Tums with Smarties? They tasted really good! They should rename them Calcium Candy. I reread the label which said I could chew 2-3 tablets as symptoms occurred, so I tapped another one out of the bottle and ate that too. Then I stopped, because I wasn’t sure how I would explain a calcium carbonate overdose to the paramedics. But I admit, I wanted to eat more!

While it’s great that all medicine doesn’t taste nasty, maybe it would be better if it didn’t taste this good. When we were little, my younger brother got into the Flintstone Vitamins and ate half the population of Bedrock before my mother discovered him. This was followed by a desperate call to the emergency poison hotline and a sigh of relief when they told us he wasn’t going to turn into a dinosaur. My favorite medicine as a child was Dimetapp, which tasted like really sweet grape juice. I never started swigging it like water though.

The Tums label says I can take two a day as a daily source of extra calcium. I might take them up on that. Just to build stronger bones of course, not for all that dextrose, corn starch and compressible sugar. Compressible sugar helps the medicine go down.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Lorraine • December 17, 2007 at 8:00 am

I had severe indegestion at 3am a few weeks ago and thank god we have a 24 hr drug store around the corner. I likes the taste too..You’ve got to try Viavtiv calcium soft chews (wink) they are just like candies and I’ve been known to eat three to get my calcium in. I’m at goal weigh so it dident stop my weight loss.

Congratulations with the amazing weight loss..I see its 3 1bs to the big 200..is there going to be a big celebration. I lost 52 1bs and feel amazing and I cant imagain how good and differant you feel.

PQ – I actually bounced down to over 200 lost when I was sick. But as soon as I started retaining fluids again it went up. I might throw some sort of party when I hit it again “for real.”


psychsarah • December 17, 2007 at 9:02 am

Tee hee-my brother, cousin and I did the same thing with the Flintstones vitamins when we were little. I shouldn’t laugh though, because it can be dangerous. We got such a talking to and finger wagging we were scared to take another pill again for many moons.


EVA • December 17, 2007 at 9:14 am

The freakiest thing happened to me one time. I wasn’t feeling good before I went to sleep so I took a chewable Pepto Bismol. When I woke up I had a coppery taste in my mouth and my tongue was pitch black!!! And you would be amazed to find out all the hideous possibilities the Internet supplies for these symptoms….turns out it was the Pepto Bismol…I even called into work because I was so worried. But my belly felt a lot better :-d

PQ – Eva, just a note, please don’t leave comments in all caps. It makes it look like you’re shouting and we can hear you just fine. I’ve changed it for you, and it’s okay this time, but leave the caps lock off in the future. Thanks.


G.G. • December 17, 2007 at 9:26 am

My favorite medicine as a kid were Vick’s cherry-flavored cough drops. I know I ate a package of those things in one sitting at least once.


Liz in Ohio • December 17, 2007 at 9:32 am

Ah yes, medicine that actually tastes good. When I was growing up my physician made his own medication that tasted like black licorice (we grew up in the sticks and it was 30 years ago what can I say). I hate black licorice, however, these tablets were yummy!! I would take a few at a time and let them disolve in my mouth…until my mom and dad found out. Needless to say my candy pill poppin’ days were over. Those were the days!


Crabby McSlacker • December 17, 2007 at 9:33 am

Saint Josephs orange flavored aspirin made it almost fun to have a headache when we were little!

And I take Tums for calcium–the “smooth dissolve” kind are even more like candy, a little less chalky. Definitely beats swallowing those horse pills as an alternative.


Jon G. • December 17, 2007 at 9:37 am

I’ve always thought that pepto bismol was DELICIOUS, so were the flintstones vitamins.


Laura • December 17, 2007 at 9:38 am

Ha, I totally remember loving the Vick’s cough drops. My mom used to get the orange-flavored ones though, so those were my favorite. I also loved the liquid orange Triaminic. I found the leftover bottle on the shelf a few years back, and I opened it to smell it. I can’t believe I liked that stuff – it was WAY sweeter than candy, and these days with my healthy eating, I think most candy is too sweet!


Laura • December 17, 2007 at 9:48 am

PS – I love all the 9:30 posts. Just settling in at work and catching up on blogs, everyone? :)


melsky • December 17, 2007 at 10:24 am

I loved the St. Joseph’s Orange Flavor children’s aspirin too. Once I found a type of orange sherbet that I really loved and I would eat tub after tub of it, and after a while I realized I liked it so much because it tasted just like the aspirin!

I think it was the Kroger house brand of orange sherbet.


Jenn • December 17, 2007 at 10:24 am

OMG…Dimetapp. I loved that stuff, too. It was yummy…oh, and Luden’s cherry ‘cough drops’. :-)


FDR • December 17, 2007 at 10:56 am

I wouldn’t suggest eating tums or any ant-acids for extended periods of time. They reduce the stomach acid in your stomach (as the name says)and on a long term basis can cause digestive problems, reduced acid production (which you need in your stomach) etc.

In general antacids are very bad for you…not something that should be eaten like candy for sure!


Erin • December 17, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Not to be annoying at all, just letting anyone know because it surprised me when I found out-taking antacids regularly including stuff like zantac interferes with absorption of B12 which can lead to symptoms suspiciously like dementia. A lot of seniors are B12 deficient rather than losing their minds. I feel like more people should be told about this but it seems to be one of those deals where its posted in the basement of city hall on a scrap of yellow paper and then we’re told, “But we posted it for all to see!”

My son just took his first round of antibiotics and he loved it, dancing around asking for it any time I opened the fridge door.


AKS • December 17, 2007 at 1:37 pm

I love Dimetapp. So much that I still take it to this day. Also, there are many cocktail recipes for “Dimetapp shots,” so there must be a lot more people who enjoy the taste of Dimetapp.


Dyan • December 17, 2007 at 1:39 pm

When I was 4, my older sister gave out “candy” to me and the dog. We both survived, but I can’t stand the smell of the orange baby aspirin to this day.


Mel • December 17, 2007 at 3:08 pm

I will have to second FDR and Erin’s advice about not consuming anti-acids regularly.

If you have a problem with acid-reflux, you are probably not producing *enough* acid. Try taking enzymes with each meal and see what happens. (You can get them at most health stores.)

By the way, love your blog!



FDR • December 17, 2007 at 3:14 pm

I second Mel’s advice!


jae • December 17, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Mmmmm, orange baby asprins! I used to climb up the shelves in our pantry to sneek those. Now at work we give those to people who are having chest pains before transporting them to the hospital and everytime I see those sweet little orange pills I want to steal them and gobble them up! Although I do find it scary how yummy they make childrens medicine. I’ll be so angry when Dominic learns to climb the shelves to eat medicine. ~j


Cyndie • December 17, 2007 at 4:56 pm

I saw your comment about possibly having a party when you hit your goal weight. I lost 100 lobs and when I hit my goal last year I took all the people that supported me through the process out for a night on the town. I am not a party person, and I am defitely not one to draw attention to myself – but it was an amazing and unforgetable night!!! Try it – you will be glad you did!

I also agree with Mel – digestive enzymes at the health food store or you can order them through Poliquin Performance (on the net). It will help you to process your food more efficiently and may cause you to even lose more weight ;-)


PS as a side note – I have now also gotten a tattoo to celebrate my weight loss (first one and I am 50!). Do something important – you have worked so hard!


Donna • December 17, 2007 at 5:33 pm

My doctor heartily recommends taking 2 Tums Extra Strength per day for Calcium (1500 mg). Mind you, I’m 62-years-old so I have to worry more about calcium, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be fine. And yes, the fruit flavors are the best.

When I was in 8th grade, a girlfriend and I got seriously addicted to cherry cough drops. We’d eat a box a day. Weird!


America • December 17, 2007 at 6:32 pm

Oh yes…antacids certainly ARE delicious! They now make Tums in a cocoa flavor. You take one that is chocolate and one that is white (I like to think of it as marshmallow) and it is almost as good as desert.


starbird • December 17, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Hall’s Cough Drops – not only delicious cough-stoppers, but they got me off of cigarettes. Then I had to get off the Hall’s, of course, but that was relatively easy.

I have to second the commenters who say not to take antacids regularly. What they say is in accord with the information I’ve read.

My side note is this: I’ve been reviewing your very impressive progress photos. May I suggest that for the big 170, before you snap the pic, tuck your hips in, throw your shoulders back and tighten your abdominal muscles — you’ll love how it feels and looks.


Lauren • December 17, 2007 at 7:24 pm

I feel the same way about my vitamin C, it’s set up like a pixie stick and tastes just as good.


CookieMonster • December 17, 2007 at 7:29 pm

how about those calcium chews that are chocolate?


Best. Vitamin. Ever!


Denise • December 17, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Be very careful with the TUMS or generic equivilant, they contain alot of calcuim…. eating them like candy can lead to some very painful kidney stones….don’t think you want to spend your christmas balled up on the floor of your hospital room in the fetal position screaming for drugs… I’ve seen it too many times where I work as a nurse.


Jenny • December 17, 2007 at 10:19 pm

I ate through a bag of cherry flavored cough drops as a kid.

The post above me (Denise) is kinda scary.

*putting tums down*


we_be_toys • December 18, 2007 at 4:57 pm

And here I thought I was the only one who ever chugged a bottle of vitamins! Its strangely reassuring to know I’m not alone!

I also really like that baby aspirin they used to give us that was kind of orange-ey – St. Joseph’s?


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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