Tomorrow will be 21 days since I had a Diet Coke. I had always offered to give it up for Lent, but my husband would ask, "Would you make us suffer, too?" I was that bad of an addict.
On February 27th, two very good friends gave me a talking - to. It was one that changed my life. Thank you, Dana and Marion. I think you saved my life.
We were having a MNO (Mom's Night Out) and were talking about food, nutrition, etc. I had mentioned that I was a Diet Coke Addict. Truly I was, and had a 2-4 can a day habit.
Here's what changed that all. First, they challenged me to watch the documentary Sweet Misery about aspartame. Then, they told me about what effects it might have on me that were "glazed over" during the lab testing for aspartame. That's what clicked.
You see, in August, I almost died. I was suffering from iron deficiency anemia. How does one "suffer" from that? Well, inability to stay awake, bruising and blood that doesn't clot are ways you suffer. I had a newborn. I thought I was just "tired." I thought my thyroid numbers were off (TSH high=fatigue). Nope, I was iron deficient anemic. After oral dosing of iron failed, my doctor offered to send me to the IV clinic at the hospital for IV Venofer (an iron sucrose solution delivered intravenously.) I took it. I was so tired of being tired with 6 kids (one a newborn) and a new year of home schooling looking me in the face.
I went in at 8am and got the IV started. It was due to finish at around 11:30. At 11:15, my feet started burning...oh no, that was one of the side effects of this medication. Big warning lights went off in my IV nurses eyes. I could see it. Soon it turned to hives, then swelling. Shortly thereafter, I started having a hard time breathing. By the time the 911 team from the hospital made it there, I was having some kind of seizure. It was unexplainable. I was conscious, but I was convulsing uncontrollably. After several different shots and IV meds, they got me stabilized, but no one could explain the seizure. I've never been so scared before in my life. It scared my husband, too, even though he was not there.
The fact that aspartame can cause neurological problems, brain tumors and seizures put me over the edge. No longer will I drink anything (or eat anything) that has aspartame in it. We threw out all the gum in the house with aspartame as an ingredient. We are sitting here with a case of Diet Coke, unopened, free to anyone who would have it...although should I really give it away?
Here's the real kicker. Aspartame turns to methyl alcohol in your system. Now, I've read just about every web site that talks Aspartame - pro and con. Since they have found NO other reason for my seizure, I am going to make an assumption that perhaps the aspartame was to blame for my seizure. Did it definitively cause the seizure? I don't know. However, will it hurt me to NOT drink Diet Coke? Nope.
So, here's to 21 days Diet Coke free. They say it takes 3 weeks to create a new habit. Welcome to my new habit!