A year ago today I gave up drinking Coke! The real thing. Full of sugar and caffeine. I've drank more soft drinks than water since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Way back then, we probably didn't even know they were bad for us. And way back then, my drink of choice was Dr. Pepper. I drank Dr. Pepper until my hubby joined the Air Force and money got so tight. We would sometimes have to pay our apartment rent half at a time on each payday of the month or we wouldn't eat. We were lucky to have a very understanding landlord. I bet they aren't as understanding nowadays. When the money ran out, it just ran out. We didn't have credit cards or anything like that. So, there were no soft drinks to be had once they were gone. Come payday, I would hit that corner store first thing and get me a Dr. Pepper (which I should point out was a type of coke to a girl in Texas - you'd be in a restaurant and say you wanted a coke and they would ask you what kind, you'd say Dr. Pepper). So, one day I walk up to the corner store and they have raised the bottle deposit (remember those?) on Dr. Pepper by five cents! That put me over the top. I only had enough money for one! OR I could get two Cokes. I switched on the spot and never looked back. A girl has to have her caffeine and I've never drank coffee.
Cokes and I became fast and furious friends. Over the years I would flabbergast my friends by how fast I could drink one. Then somewhere in my mid-twenties I started having migraines. The older I got, they worse they got and the more frequently I had them. I knew they were triggered by perfumes and other strong smells and by bright sun shine, storms and hormones, but I couldn't figure out anything else. After years of medication and suffering I finally asked my family Dr. to send me to an allergist to see if I had any food allergies that contribute to the migraines. I found out what foods I was allergic to. Which ones to be careful of and which ones to avoid all together. I also found out that Cokes can cause a migraine even if you cut down on them because of the caffeine withdrawal. Even if you manage to have only one a day, that one is enough to put you in caffeine withdrawal and trigger a migraine. I gave them up the next morning cold turkey, which just happened to be October 16, 2007. I haven't had a Coke since. From that moment on, I've drank only water and occasionally milk or juice. Sometimes even herbal tea (got to be sure there's no caffeine you know!) and I drink some Sprite now. Too many Sprites actually, but I'm working on that too. I will admit that I had one Dr. Pepper when I was on a jury for a capital murder trial. It was the day the verdict was handed down and there was no whiskey available at the court house. I figured I was less likely to get hooked again on one Dr. Pepper than one Coke. I was right.