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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tryin' To Quit

Hi. My name is Beth, and I'm addicted to Coke.

Not the white, dusty kind, but the dark, soda kind.

Coke and Pepsi. I'm no respector of my soda, and I have developed an affinity to an ice, cold Coca-Cola or Pepsi now several times a week, for going on the better part of a year.

And since I'm a Nurse, I know that insanity has to stop. It's like pouring acid and pitchers of sugar straight into your veins.

My coworker, Alice, has noticed my problem, and a few weeks ago when we nurses were talking about all the unhealthy food Americans love to eat, Alice looked over at me with the eyes- you know, the ones that come with silence and an all-knowing glance. She looked down at my Coke and looked away.

"Alice!" I said. "I'm trying to quit, really I am!"

She said nothing.

Nothing like being chastened by an older, rather militant nurse.

Something about a chaotic, constantly moving shift at the hospital brings out the desire for a Coca Cola like nothing else. Call it the stress, the need for caffeine, or whatever, but I've been known to tell the coworkers all too often, "I'm heading to the basement for a drink. I need a cold one." I don't do alcohol, so Coke has become my substitute. (The basement is where our hospital houses the Coke machines).

And I'm not the only one. One of the night shift nurses came in last night with two, count it TWO, very super-sized large, to-go cups of soda for the duration of her shift. I am not alone in my addiction. I know that's pitiful, but somehow it makes me feel better.

I decided to stop the insanity Sunday. I enjoyed my last cold one at the Mexican restaurant, Chuy's, in my hometown. There are certain foods that just seem better with Coke- Pizza and Mexican. But I digress.

I haven't had a cold one since.

And you can imagine last night at work, for the last hour of my shift, between 10:00 and 11:00pm, when my rather confused patient started having problems, I was itching for a Coke.

He kept yelling out rather loudly and sporadically, "Deeee----BOORRR-- UHHHHH!"

This sweet man lives with his daughter-in-law who cares for him, named Deborah, and he was very confused, thinking he was at home and he needed his Deborah- Quite Loudly. The other patients started complaining.

I was getting pressure from the coworkers to just give him a sleeping pill, so he'd pipe down.

I tend to be the kind of nurse who doesn't favor giving sedatives to the confused, elderly folks, because in many of them, it tends to make them worse the next day. Sometimes you can talk these people down without the drugs, and I was trying my best to do so, in hopes I wouldn't have to medicate him to slumber. All the other nurses didn't vote on the same side of that wagon, though, and they were very vocal to let me know.

"Just give him the pill!" Alice said loudly, over and over.

She was not a fan of my conservative medicinal ways.

The pressure, people, of the screaming man and the pushy nurses was just the right combo to test my abstinence and resolve against the soda.

I thought to myself, I can just hop in the elevator, pop in some coins, and have a sweet cold one in no time.

But I persevered. I prayed that man into a final, heavy sleep, and the nurses all thought I gave him the sleeping pill which piped em' down. I grabbed a cold glass of water and told myself it was just as good as a cold Coke.

I took some Advil to wage war against the caffeine withdrawal-induced headache, and I WON THE BATTLE!

I will quit these Cokes, by golly. Sweet mercy, they will no longer have a hold on me!

(I hope. Y'all pray for me. I'm takin' it a day at a time like those 12 Step programs whose mantra is "Just For Today." Just for today I won't have a Coke. I have admitted I have a problem, and I am quitting cold turkey.)

I have a better compassion for the addicts now.

I think we might need some sort of 12 step meetings for quitting cola. But then that might just look like a pity party, and come on, can't we all just say no to ourselves and get on with it?

I'm praying I'll keep having the gusto to Just Say No to myself when it comes to the soda and will keep popping the Advil in combat to the headaches that come like a freight train in my head- that alone should speak to me of the nature of my enemy, Coca Cola- it doesn't quit you easily.

Pray for me, bloggy friends. This battle will not end in defeat- I'm confident!

1 comment:

  1. won't give the poor man a sleeping pill but quickly take advil to take away your headache induced from your own choice to withdraw from caffeine...yeah, I completely understand.