This got me thinking, as it naturally should, of how fragile my life is. How I've been using and abusing my body and taking life for granted. Yes, even though I'm chronically ill, even though I have been at death's door several times, I still take my life for granted. I've been sick for so long, I think, I forget about how sick I am inside. There's no outward signs of my illness. Nothing to really remind me how sick I am, unless I start to walk quickly, or on an incline, walk up a flight of stairs, or lift a heavy object.
So I decided recently to give up Coca-Cola. Do you know how hard it is to give up something you've been drinking for 20 some odd years? Every morning, I'd wake up and drink my caffeine.. cold. Afternoon I'd have a coke, another with dinner, and of course, I'd have a coke right before bed.
When I got pregnant, I stopped drinking Coke so that the caffeine wouldn't harm the fetus. I got such horrible headaches from not drinking it, I had to go on Beta Blockers, until I was used to not having it.
After I got sick with Pulmonary Hypertension, I started having palpitations, and was told it was because of the caffeine. Of course, I stopped drinking coke, but went to Sprite, another soda. After several years without Coke or any caffeinated drinks, I drank a coke and found I was alright! But instead of drinking 3-4 a day, I drank one a day, for fear of the palpitations. So one a day it's been for a while.
However, with the news that Tio Tony died because of his diabetes, it gave me pause. My mother always told me, Tio Tony would drink 3-4 Coca-Colas everyday. And in Mexico, they use really strong uber yummy sugar in the Cokes! (we have found Mexican Cokes here in the Latino stores and they are so amazingly good!!!)
So I decided to give up Cokes. Any sodas actually. I've been drinking crystal light or Sugar free Hawaiian Punch. I have had one or two cokes since giving them up. During a really stressful time we just went thru, I had to watch Ellie for hours and hours and I was so exhausted, I turned to Coke to wake me up and give me the kick I needed. Plus, it's almost like a drug, you know? I mean, I wake up and I want COKE. I take my pills in the morning and I really want to wash them down with a Coke. I want a coke so bad sometimes. Right now, writing this, I want a coke, but instead I'm reaching for a Crystal Light.
My roommates have been going to exercise every morning for about a month or so, and I've always balked at the idea of going. But lately, I've been wondering if maybe exercising would help the pain I've been in. So this morning without anyone asking or saying anything, I quietly got up, dressed, brushed my hair and teeth and as I put on my shoes, they asked me, "are you going exercising with us today?" They were so happy I was going! Actually one of my roommates has a chronic condition too and he inspired me. He gets up every day before going to work a full day, and exercises for about an hour-ish. And I thought, why am I not doing this too?
I did what I could, 20 minutes on the exercise bike, and 10 minutes on the treadmill. I was exhausted at the end, and when we got back to the apartment and sat down for breakfast and coffee, (with sugar free creamer), I started yawning. First three yawns in a room. Then a few moments later, three more yawns. I think I probably yawned 4 sets of three. lol. like an exercise for my lungs. That's when my roommate reminded me of the pursed lip breathing, which I did. I got dizzy, the room spun a bit, my arms got heavy but when I got up to lay down, it all went away.
I might go back tomorrow. I'm not sure. I hope so. Depends on how I wake up, if I'm still tired, if I'm in so much pain that I can't move around, then I won't go. I'm going to try to keep this up.
The worst part about all this is, well, of course besides losing Tio Tony, is that the cravings for Coke are so strong it's crazy!!! It's like a cigarette or something... yuck. I might never have started drinking Coke had I known it would be this bad... We started young, with R.C. Cola. anyone remember R.C.?
Rest in Peace Tio Tony!