Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'd Like To Buy the World a Coke

I don't know when my love affair with Coca-Cola began, but you can rest assured it's been a torrid, violent relationship, marked by passion and lust and pain and tears. I'm Tina Turner, and Coca-Cola is Ike. I'm Patty Hearst, and Coke is the Symbionese Liberation Army. I'm John Belushi, and Coke is, well, coke.

First of all, let me just say that I love the stuff. There are four things in this world that are at the top of my love pyramid: my family, football, bratwurst, and Coca-Cola. All together, they form some sort of super-outrageous love explosion; I often mistake Saturday afternoon, watching football with the wife and kids, grilling brats and sipping sweet, acidic Coke, to be the Millenial Bliss spoken of in scripture and hymn.

But secondly, I don't drink it just for the sugary, burning taste of malted battery acid. No, I drink it for the caffeine. Yes, I'm a sinner with a capital THRUST-DOWN-TO-HELL.

The fact of the matter is that I get migraine headaches, a condition with which I have been affected for, lo, nine years. I've tried everything for these headaches: I've had cat scans, and MRIs; I've tried diet and excercise (though that's worse than the headaches!); I've even broken down, against all my better judgement, and tried alternative medicines. I tried chiropractics. I tried cranial-sacral therapy. I tried a cocktail of drugs, some that I took in the very early morning, and some that I tok five times a day. And finally, about a year ago, the doctor finally found one that works! It's called Maxalt, and it's a beauty. Hallelujah! Sayonara, headaches!

The problem: insurance won't cover it, and it's $23 per pill. Mr. Maxalt apparently lives in a solid-gold house with diamond windows.

So, I'm betwixt the proverbial rock and a hard place. I can either fork over twenty-three dollars every time I have a headache (which works out to a little over thirty-thousand dollars per week, or something), or I can slip into the silky caress of caffeine-enriched Coke, letting cola cradle me in it's phosphoric-acid arms.

Now, that seems like a perfectly reasonable solution to the problem, right? Wrong. There's a widely-known fact about caffeine that makes my plan tenuous at best: caffeine not only cures headaches, but it causes them! Drat this cursed Ograbme!

So, I try to outrun the problem. I'll be clean and sober, and I'll get a headache, which I'll treat with a big old cup of soda. Then, the next day, I'll feel the pain coming on and I'll hurry and drink some Coke to satisfy the parasitic cola beast I've unleashed in my stomach. The next day I won't even wait for the pain -- I'll down a Big Gulp ASAP, staving off the inevitable. Thus, everyday my consumption increases, as I frantically try to out-Coke the previous day. Pretty soon I'm taking baths in a cola jacuzzi. And, eventually, I just can't keep up; the headaches come no matter how much caffeine I suck down.

Then, it's time for detox.

So, Sunday I crashed, drinking can after can, nauseated from the pain, and teeth rotting from the sugar. And the headache never left -- it got worse and worse as the day went on.

Yesterday was water-only, Betty Ford style. And yes, headaches came, and many a Tylenol was popped. It usually takes me about four days to come completely clean. And then it usually takes me about three weeks to forget how bad it was, and to start self-medicating with Coke again.

Perhaps I'll be the first LDS author to die of a drug overdose, up there with the greats like Jimi "Weyland" Hendrix and Janis "Stansfield" Joplin. At least it'll be a sweet death. Sweet, acidic bliss.


At 9/12/2006 4:56 PM, Anonymous Paula said...

Exedrin migraine works on the same principle-- it's loaded with caffeine, and you don't have to suck down all that vile Coke, and then deal with the belching afterward. (I mean vile with regards to taste, not sin.)

However, you do get rebound headaches after consuming caffeine, so you need to think about whether that's part of the problem.

Also, if you have your blood pressure checked after a big dose of caffeine, you might be a bit alarmed. I've gotten much more cautious about the Exedrin after my blood pressure check.

At 9/12/2006 5:32 PM, Blogger FHL said...

So, Ograbme is Embargo spelled backwards. But, still I go, wha-huh?

Mmmm, I share the Coca-cola addiction. Sure, I dilute it nowadays with Propel, but still. Try getting a Coke at Sonic with fresh limes. It's the best! (As is Dr. Pepper with vanilla.)

$23 a pill? Ouch! Why aren't we seeing spam ads for that?

M4X4LT! $10!!!!!!11!11one

Well, you know, it could be worse. My grandmother had to drink beer every night before going to bed. Prescribed by her doctor. (So she said.)

I hope your fate may be better than Jim "Toni" Morrison.

At 9/12/2006 5:46 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

I believe that Tylenol is laced with caffine too. I have never suffered that way you decribe but I can feel for you. just a thought, have you tried a muscle relaxer?

At 9/12/2006 10:43 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Yeah, I've tried muscle relaxers. Whenever I get a headache I try the old two-and-two: two tylenol and two ibuprofen.

As for the Ograbme, check out this link. It's from a political cartoon from the 18th century. It was in one of my history textbooks, and my brother and I use the phrase whenever situations get really dire. (Sadly, looking up the cartoon now so that I could give you the link, it appears that I've been quoting it wrong for many years...)

At 9/12/2006 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. I don't suffer from migraines, but I had a heavy duty Diet Coke addiction for years. I finally found a 12 Step program and I've been clean and sober for 8 years now. I quit eating sugar and fast food at the same time. But the DC is the hardest. I'll see someone with a Big Gulp and I want to punch them in the face and steal it and just guzzle it down as fast as I can. Still. After 8 years.

Oh crud. I should know better than to talk about this. I have to go lock myself in my room now.

At 9/13/2006 5:36 AM, Blogger ChssAddct said...

Excedrine for Migraines is the only thing I've found that works other than Coke. I haven't gone to exotic medicine lengths you did to find something else, but I have certainly lived the love/hate affair with medicinal Coke for migraines.

In fact, Coke should market coke with an alternative label -- "Coke for Migraines". Or simply, "Migraine Coke -- found right between Lime Coke and Cherry Coke in the refreshment aisle, anywhere Coke products are sold. No Prescription Required. Use responsibly.". Yeah right, responsibly.

At 9/13/2006 6:36 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey Rob --

What's your blood type? If you're a B, I know what's causing your headaches -- you're allergic to corn. You're talking to a girl who used to take a Naproxen every four hours just to keep the headaches at bay until I discovered Eat Right For Your Type and that B's shouldn't have corn. I tried it for a month, and lo, the headaches went away. As long as I'm a good girl, I rarely get headaches. The bad thing is, corn is in everything. It goes by maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, corn starch, food starch, and xanthan gum, so you have to be careful. But give it a try. I'm not even being paid by the anti-corn commission to say that!

At 9/13/2006 9:25 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

I've given up caffeine a few times in my life, and eventually go back to it.

Last time I lasted 2 weeks. However, DON'T GO COLD TURKEY! It's better to wean yourself off by cutting down slowly over a period.

The last poster about the corn syrup in Coke is probably right.

That book "Eat Right for your Type" by Dr. Peter D'Adamo is great!

Order it here on Amazon.

It's worth a try to eliminate corn. But like she said, you have to eliminate everything corn, including CORN SYRUP, and "High Fructose Corn Syrup" and all that.

But if you try eliminating everything corn, then try Diet Coke as your caffeine replacement.

I used to take a cooler with 2 cans of Diet Coke to church, and rush out to the parking lot and down a can between meetings.

But I wised up, and now take in caffeine pills (No Doz), and can pop those in church without raising eyebrows. Put them in a generic pill box, and no one will be the wiser.

At 9/14/2006 10:31 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Sorry, but I'm an O+ (or an O-, I can't ever remember). Besides, I'd take migraines over weird diets anyday.

At 9/14/2006 9:35 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

Tristi, eliminating corn doesn't work for all B types. I tried that and it makes no difference. My husband has Celiac now and I use corn and potato starches the way other people use flour and it makes no difference to my migraines whatsoever. The only thing that worked consistently for my migraines was running. Three miles every morning stopped mine for almost ten years--then I blew my knees out and discovered Excedrin migraine. Works for me--but only if I never consume any other caffeine. I checked into a hospital once for a fancy migraine clinic, most of the treatments were a waste of time and money, but I did learn two things that helped. Massage of the back of the neck helps most sufferers. It did for me. (Some people get relief by applying an ice pack to the back of the neck, heat works better for me.) Also migraines decrease in frequency for most people as they get older. So Rob, you just need to age a little.

At 9/15/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

O's shouldn't have corn either. :)

Jennie's right -- it's not going to work for everyone, but it is certainly worth trying. If it gets rid of your headaches, it's worth reading some labels. Try going without corn for a week, drink lots of water to flush the remnants out of your system, and if it doesn't help, I'll shut up. I mean, I won't shut up altogether (we all know that's not possible) but I'll shut up about Rob's headaches and corn.

At 3/26/2008 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ohgrabme cartoon is hilarious! If I was taking that test they would have to kick me out from the testing room for at least 10 minutes until I could control myself.

Coke and Diet Coke are not good for you. period. they have been linked to so many serious diseases like MS.
I throw in a vote for the no corn diet.


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