This Ain’t Gonna Be Pretty

“Everyone’s gotta die sometime.”

This was my mother’s lackadaisical response whenever, after being bombarded at school with pictures of blackened lungs, I would beg her to stop smoking.

As far as I know, she’s still going strong; we haven’t spoken in years.  But I’ve always thought if Someone Up There really has a twisted sense of humor, I would probably die first – in some ridiculous manner, like “Being Struck By A Flying Model Lawnmower At A New York Jets Halftime Show” or, probably more likely in my neck of the woods, “Being Crushed In Your Car By A Rolling Bale Of Hay.”

Recently, I have been struggling with IBS (Irritated B—– Screaming because no one can diagnose what’s wrong with her stomach).  Cap’n Firepants and many of my friends have cautiously asked me if this could be in any way, shape, or form related to my Diet Coke Addiction.

I won’t tell you my less than polite response to this ridiculous suggestion, but I will say that, in desperation, I have mentioned this possibility to all of my doctors – who have pooh-poohed it immediately.

Trying to Get the Diet Coke Monkey off My Back

Of course, these are the same doctors who have no idea what is wrong with me.

Since my doctors have not only been unable to identify the cause of my issues nor to successfully treat the symptoms, I am beginning to have a little less faith in their advice.

I’ve decided to crowd-source my treatment, and the Crowd seems to think I need to give up Diet Coke.  The good news is, this treatment will cost me nothing.

The bad news is that I will most likely murder someone during my withdrawal.

I pretty much drink Diet Coke like most people drink water.  In fact, when I do drink water, my stomach churns and rebels as though I have just ingested arsenic-laced tea.

I’ve given D.C. up a few times in the last twenty years – most notably when I was pregnant with Dimples.  But, to me, it’s always rated as a not-so-horrible-as-snorting-coke Addiction, so I return to it with a vengeance.

When reports started coming out that diet soda drinkers were actually fatter than their counterparts, I dismissed this as another one of those studies that was missing some key data – until my jeans started getting too tight a few weeks ago.

And then there is my own daughter.

When she asked if she could have a sip of my Diet Coke, all of my maternal instincts instantly screamed, “No, don’t let her start down this road of addiction to caffeine and artificial sweeteners!”

However, it’s a little difficult to justify restricting her from the same vile stuff I pour down my own throat on an hourly basis.

So, as a noble sacrifice for the sake of Dimples, I am going to make an attempt to break this vicious cycle.

Of course, I wouldn’t be upset if my jeans started fitting again.

Plus, I want to prove my doctors wrong.

And, quite frankly, although I am fairly certain I will “die sometime,” I really don’t want my obituary to read, “Diet Coke Ate up Her Internal Organs.”

In the meantime, at the risk of getting myself thrown in the slammer for insider trading, I highly recommend you start selling any stock you might have in Diet Coke.  Their profits are about to suffer a severe downtick.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kt/503318641/”>The Rocketeer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a> 
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Posted on February 12, 2012, in Cap'n Firepants, Children, Death, Dimples, Doctors, Family, Humor, Parenting, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Hahah! I always expected a jet engine to fall out of the sky on me. Before Donnie Darko. Let us know if it works, or if you murder anyone. I have IBS – the same version as you: ‘nobboddynoeswhy’, and while I ve had it longer than I’ve been drinking diet anything, every bit of info helps!

  2. The high acidity in soft drinks like Coke can exacerbate existing conditions, as can the caffeine. However, the doctors are correct that it is not the *cause* of your IBS. I’m a grad student in medicinal chemistry (making medicines basically). Add in that I went through my own battle with intestinal mayhem. The war continues, but I win now more often than not. 🙂 A gastroenterologist tried to tell me first I needed more fiber and then attempted to tell me I had acid reflux, and then IBS and prescribe pills. I said BULLSHIT. IBS is a symptom and I think I’d notice if I had heartburn. I have gluten intolerance (possibly Celiacs. I refused to pay for an official diagnosis that might make insurance companies deny me coverage. Not to mention the hunk of change I’d have to shell out for the procedure). As much as 1/3 of the population has a degree of sensitivity to gluten. The human body is not designed to digest it. Modern manufacturing of processed foods dumps in into more and more stuff, making our bodies have to work far harder than generations prior. A recent study proves that you can be sensitive/intolerant and still test negative for Celiacs. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576200393522456636.html
    My blood test came back negative. So did my sister’s and my grandmother’s. My grandma (over 70) had the biopsy done and she had a fair amount of damage. She has official Celiacs, but ironically, my symptoms were far worse.
    Unless I eat something out or buy something w/o reading the label and accidentally “glutenate” myself, my days of bloating have all but disappeared. My advice, if you wish to consider it: educate yourself on what does and does not contain gluten. For 2-3 weeks eliminate ALL sources of gluten. I would not do it co-currently w/the diet coke elimination, b/c then you won’t be able to pinpoint the cause of improvement or lack thereof. Most people feel better w/in a week or a little more.
    Good luck to you! I cut out coffee when my intestines were at their worst and it was painful. I ❤ my preferred method of caffeine intake. 😀

    • Can I say thanks for the expert info? I’ve noticed a pretty high percentage of Irish are celiac, very interesting. I know that particular issue isn’t mine, as I rarely buy processed food and can go months without gluten (low/no carb diet). Nothing helped so far. No coffee, you say? What is the worst about coffee? That is something I’ve had my entire life…hate to lose it!

    • Wow! Thanks for the info. I have been suspecting a gluten intolerance (I tested negative for Celiac), and that is going to be my next line of attack if the D.C. boycott doesn’t work. As painful as it is to give up D.C., it is easier than changing our family menu at this point. But I’m willing to do it if things don’t get better soon.

  3. You’d be surprised where gluten can lurk, but I suspect there may be other foods out there that could trigger intestinal symptoms due to a problem w/the body processing it. For example (now mine resulted from the mayhem gluten caused) I can’t eat dairy (b/c of the casein) or potatoes (a starch in the nightshade family close enough to gluten to elicit symptoms). A friend can’t eat corn. She had diverticulitis many years ago and her body simply can no longer digest it. Of the typical “vegetables” corn is notoriously hard to digest. Some people can’t tolerate soy and that is put into a LOT of foods as well.
    As for coffee, it isn’t a case of it CAUSING the problem, but exacerbating an existing one. The caffeine is an intestinal stimulant. It also has other xanthines in there (chemicals natural to the coffee plant) which act to stimulate intestinal contractions. This stimulation can simply be too much for some people, most especially if their body is in a state of imbalance. I can drink coffee now (Thank GOD!). I can tolerate tea when I’ve pissed off my innards, as tea has less xanthines in it than coffee. My intestines must be sensitive to the theobromine in chocolate, as I can only eat a tiny amount of chocolate now. (A very sad state of affairs). Keeping a food diary is another good idea to help track down what exactly your it is your body doesn’t like. Food preservatives are also another source of irritation. I can’t tolerate BHT and neither can my son. The girls seem perfectly fine w/it.

    Northern Europe was the last to get introduced to the gluten containing grains, which only entered the human diet 10,000 years ago. Sorghum and millet were non-gluten containing staples of that area. Wheat originated from southern Asia, I believe, and slowly expanded. Celiacs has been a known disease for hundreds of years, although rare way back then. Cases have sky-rocketed as our changing diet has outpaced or ability to adapt.

    While I’m in school for pharmaceutical drug research, I firmly believe in a holistic approach to health. Drugs can’t fix everything b/c we don’t understand everything. Prevention is better than an after the fact treatment, but big Pharma isn’t going to push that b/c why? Money.

    You’re right to be frustrated w/doctors. I sympathize.
    Sometimes, we have to end up being our own doctors.

  4. There are worse things you could be addicted to …right? In the meantime…stock sold…profits tucked away…thanks for the inside scoop! Hilarious as usual

  5. You got some serious comments here. I just wanted to say Good Luck. I gave up diet Dr. Pepper and it was tough. I hate to say but I do feel better.

  6. Hi!
    We hope you do feel better and good luck with giving up Diet Coke! 🙂 Caffiene does not agree with me so I try to stay away from it.. so no coffee and certain soft drinks. I do personally know a couple of people who get sick from soft drinks so it may well be making things worse. 🙂 Good Luck and we will be praying for you… and for those around you.. hehehe Seriousl we will be praying for you and we will be watching for updates at how you are doing.. 🙂

    Your friends,
    The Collies and Chuck 🙂

  7. Reblogged this on officialmikayla and commented:
    Hahha.. 🙂 sock monkey 🙂

  8. I hope your jeans start fitting again.

  9. Quit the coke, man. Just quit. Tell that devil to go back to Georgia.

  10. My husband is right there with you on the Diet Coke thing – only he actually switched to Coke Zero. I can’t abide the stuff. But don’t you dare take away my coffee!

  11. I’ve seen the commercials. DIET COKE ENRICHES MY LIFE!!!!!
    You can have my DC when you wipe from my cold puckered lips.

    That’s my two cents, though Southern Dreamer above seems to actually have something worthwhile to say..

  12. I’ve heard that mechanics soak their rusty parts in diet coke – eats the rust right off.

  13. My mom has tried and failed many times, but I have complete faith in you- you have Dimples and your own body science experiement at stake here! I thought one of the comments on here was interesting, because they too told me IBS when they couldn’t come up with anything else- and I was tested for Celiac and it came back negative. I assumed there was no other hope, but I have always suspected it was Celiac- I am wondering if I should pursue that lead.

  14. Hey, Lady! You’ve got guts, way to go! Keep us posted on how it goes. 🙂 Oh, and if it ends up being a gluten issue, I’m dealing with that myself so would be happy to help.

  15. sorry about the lack of diagnosis. hubby had about a year of stomach “issues” that led to him having developed (around 30???) an allergy to raw lemons. he diagnosed himself after months of seeing all kinds of “specialists” who were unable to figure out what was going on. in an attempt to give up soda he’d started furiously and religiously squeezing lots of lemons into water and drinking tons and tons of lemon water. weird, eh? he still gets a horrible stomach (nasty thing) pain/disgusting stuff when he inadvertantly squeezes a lemon into his water. good luck!!!

  16. I’m in a serious relationship with Diet Pepsi, so I feel your pain. Every time I try to cut back, because I’m well aware going cold-turkey is nigh on impossible, something exhausting or stressful happens and I am knocking back three cans a day again.

    Good luck with your belly. I have had much better days with mine since I started taking supplemental fibre on top of my already fibre-rich diet.

  17. Good luck. I hope it helps. I am one of the crowd who believes it probably will, but don’t hate me for that. 🙂

  18. Let’s take the optimistic approach here: the DC is giving your insides a right royal clean, and that’s got to be good, right?

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