Monday, January 9, 2012

My Diet Coke Conundrum

According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of conundrum is as follows: a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun; a question or problem having only a conjectural answer; an intricate and difficult problem.

After looking up the term 'conjectural' (fancy word for best guess) I've decided last part of the definition best suits my, uh, situation.

Several years (and kids) ago I stopped drinking all types of soda pop, as with each pregnancy I'd start to like less and less foods and drink. Soda especially turned my tummy upside down. I was doing pretty good too...until my last pregnancy hit. I was desperately sick and the only two things that EVER sounded good were the banana flavored Slurpee and Diet Coke.

My desire for Slurpee's ended with the birth of my youngest, but my love of Diet Coke did not. In fact, I'm quite certain I gained 20 pounds this last year because my love turned into an all out addiction. I'm really not kidding when I use the term addiction. While still draining one day's super-duper-double-triple-mega-awesome load of DC, I was all ready trying to figure out how to arrange my next 'fix' for the next day. It had to be sneaky otherwise it might look like I had a problem (oh no! I sucked up the last drop! There must be some more around here somewhere...).

The crazy thing is I needed the stuff as much for the tasty fix it provided as well as the manic spurts of energy it created. I could actually get things done around the house (and then some!) when I'd indulged. Therefore, in the addicted mind's logical way of thinking, drinking more was a good thing.


I knew it was getting bad when I'd stop in the local convenience store after dropping off the kids at school to get a giant cup of it, then not have a problem with going back later with my husband and getting another giant cup full. Every once in a while I'd start noticing the plastic bottles littering my side of the bed because I'd gotten too lazy to simply throw them out. It began to hit me - I was a Diet Coke-aholic!

Getting to the root of any addiction isn't easy, but mine was. I was tired. I was deeply tired all the time. Right down to the marrow of my bones tired. The problem wasn't depression, for I was sad or angry. I was, very simply, tired. So into the doctor I went, and the words I'd been dreading (hence my avoidance of my doctor) came directly out of his mouth: you need to go in an do a sleep apnea test.

NO! Say it ain't so!

Everyone I had ever talked to about taking the test would thrash their arms, and gnash their teeth and moan as though there was no tomorrow! Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but I was not looking forward to taking the test. I won't describe what happened (saving it for another post) but let's just say it was no where near as bad as I'd thought it would be.

What did surprise me, however, was an unexpected side effect from being on the CPAP machine for only 3 1/2 hours: I had energy to spare the rest of the week. In fact, I didn't even think about needing a nap until about five days later. It was amazing. AND - are you ready for this? - I didn't require Diet Coke to keep me going.

I KNOW!!! It was remarkable and exciting and exhilarating all wrapped up into a fantastic little energy ball. With this knowledge of what could be awaiting me I decided with the New Year there would be no more Diet Coke for me.

It's been a week. I'm in dire need of a fix!!! Even now I'm sitting at my computer knowing there is so much I need to get done and yet I have no energy to do it. I have projects that have been sitting around forEVER, and they will continue to do so. Why? Because I'm trying to be a good girl and not drink Diet Coke.

Funny thing is I'm not having withdrawals as I'd expected: no nasty headaches, no shaking, no crawling up the walls or periodic fits of hysterical crying. Instead there is simply the intense desire for enough energy to make it through the morning and pretend like I did something.

What I didn't count on was how long the process of going from the sleep test to actually getting the machine would be. It's closing in on a month and to my knowledge the doctors from the sleep clinic haven't even gone over my results yet. Then there's the part where I consult with my own doctor, and then we have to get together with the insurance company as well as the company that provides the equipment. What I thought could be done in two weeks or so might actually take up to two or three months.

In the meantime, I'm in agony as to what to do. Do I stick with my goal of no Diet Coke and simply suffer until things are worked out and I'm sleeping better at night? Or do I give in for now and wait until I'm on the machine in the hopes I can function better than I am right now? On the one hand I feel as though I'm giving in to my addiction and giving up on my goal, on the other hand I feel as though I'm giving myself a chance to do what I need to get done until the means to get off the Diet Coke is available.

Do you see what I mean by the Diet Coke conundrum?


Michael said...

Be strong, Laurie! Stay off of it. I think if you were to give in now it would undo the progress you've made already and would be discouraging in the end. If you continue to do without the urges will lessen. You can do it!

Team Jensen said...

You can do it! I had a similar addiction and didn't realize it until a weekend where my sister and I were at a restaurant challenging each other to see how much we could drink. I don't remember who won, but I do remember going thru a 2-liter bottle every day over that weekend in addition to that restaurant visit. Right then and there I decided to stop. I've had times where I've gotten back on, but have been able to come off of it. It's hard to give up "oxygen" though. Ah, good luck friend. You have an inner strength that you need to take hold of and ride! BTW, I can't wait to hear more about your sleep test. I think Steven has sleep apnea(?sp). He's a terrible snorer and constantly stops breathing while sleeping. It freaks me out. How did you get connected w/ this testing? your regular Dr?

LaurieW said...

I am happy to report - I WAS A GOOD GIRL!!! I managed to make it through the day without a sip, and am still running DC free :) Of course, it seems as though NOTHING is getting done, lol, but it's worth it in my eyes as I've not given in to the urge.

Lisa, I just went into our doc. After we talked about both my lack of energy and my problems sleeping he agreed and the office contacted the clinic, who then contacted me. It was really quite easy. I guess the hard part is the waiting :)