For over 20 years, I drank a 2 liter bottle of one cola or another every day except during my pregnancies. My pulmonologist said that caffeine naturally converts to theophylline in the body, and that drinking the constant small amounts of caffeine all day long likely helped keep my asthma in check all these years.
Three years ago in January, I stopped cold turkey, and I didn't have any to speak of until this past October. I did have an occasional iced tea, but I found that the caffeine made the neuropathy associated with my fibromyalgia to flare. I felt like someone was sticking me with needles all over, and I'd jump every time it happened. It was miserable, but it didn't happen, if I didn't have caffeine, so I just stayed away.
Then in October we ended up with the Swine Flu at our house. I craved ice cold colas during this time, so I ended up adding a glass or two a day to my diet. Nothing like I'd had before, but enough that I felt better. I've had a few 2 liter bottles since October. I try to only drink it when I have a bad cold or bronchitis and my asthma is acting up. I've gotten used to drinking it enough that I don't have the problems I was having with the neuropathy, but I really can't afford the calories, and the diet sodas give me horrid headaches, so I figured I'd just stop completely again.
However, this afternoon, a rerun of The Doctors was on in the background for noise. My ears perked up when one of the doctors started talking about how drinking a cup of coffee or tea right before a workout helps with muscle pains. My head was spinning as I thought about the last 3.5 years.
No sense in going into great detail, but the 3.5 years included our youngest daughter having a complete spinal fusion, losing my dad to cancer shortly after his diagnosis, the tragic loss of our beloved nephew to suicide, losing another to incarceration after an accident in which someone died, and my nephew was driving drunk, significant medical issues for me, including being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a severe allergy to dogs, countless sewer backups in the laundry room and then the pipe freezing and flooding the basement.
Stress affects fibromyalgia. And although I can trace the fibromyalgia back to when our oldest was born 23 years ago, and we've gone some amazingly stressful years with the kids and their medical issues, my fibro never got to the point of being debilitating until 3 years ago. After I quit drinking soda and caffeine. It had gotten to the point that some days I couldn't even raise my hands above my chest from the pain. Also, in the last 3 years my asthma has been the worst it has been in years and years - more out of control than in.
Needless to say, I'll be talking to my doctor and doing a bit of experimenting with caffeine doses to see, if it makes a difference in my health. However, I will be giving up the soda again. At my weight, I don't need the extra calories or any of the other unhealthy ingredients. I haven't completely decided, if I'll just trying drinking a cup of tea every morning, or if I'm going to try some caffeine tablets like NoDoz.
Regardless of the method I chose, I think I'm onto something. And I'm hopeful.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.