As you all know my dry January is not like the norm. Instead of alcohol I’ve attempted to give up sweets and fizzy pop. It’s not a secret that I’m very unfortunately addicted to diet coke, dr pepper and well, copious amounts of gummy and sour sweets. I’m a sweet addict, struggling through the day to keep up my energy without a much-needed sugar rush. But, I haven’t always been this way, as a child I was brought up on a strictly no sweets, fizz diet – my lunch box was packed full with sliced apples, boxes of raisins, bananas and little pots of nuts and yogurt. I never had fizzy drinks, in fact I don’t even think I heard the sound of a ring pull being opened until I reached high school and saw my first vending machine.
I fell in love with fizzy drinks when I was at university. I remember the first time I had too much full fat coca cola I couldn’t sleep. I was about 14 years old and drank litres of the stuff with some mates during a movie night, I remember shaking from the caffeine and waking up the next day with a dry mouth and a banging headache – a feeling I would later realise was the same as having a red bull and vodka induced hangover. I didn’t drink it again properly in years, but when I started university the lure of the cold fizzy drinks from the vending machine always cried out over bottles of water, which shockingly enough were always the same price.
Don’t get me wrong, when I want to I can always give up fizzy drinks. Whenever I’m in hospital I always give them up all together. And in the months following my ostomy operation I didn’t touch a drop through fear of my ostomy bag exploding. But once I got back to work the lure of the cans in the fridge had me knocking back the pop. I now drink much less than I used to, and often choose to have cordial rather than fizzy pop – but my love for haribo sweets lives on. I often find I need the sugar rush as a pick me up to get me through the day, otherwise my blood sugars seem to plummet and I’m left feeling dizzy and wanting to fall asleep at my desk.
But today is January 14, which means that since January 1 I have not had a single sip of fizzy pop or a single sweetie. Oh, I have to add that’s despite a heck of a lot of temptation, with my partner fully stocking the fridge with enough cans of Coke Zero to send my addiction to dizzying new heights. I almost swear he is doing it on purpose, he seems to have started drinking an absurd amount of coke since I gave it up – perhaps it is a test.
Typically since giving up the things that are bad for me – I don’t eat many glutenous things due to my lactose intolerance and in ability to cope with spices etc – my health has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Why does this always happen. My diet – apart from the obvious sweetie addiction – is pretty healthy, I devour spinach by the bucket load, love veg and cereal. But every time I give up alcohol, sweets, fizzy pop, in fact anything slightly bad for me I feel dreadful.
This time my skin has broken out in a very painful way. You know those spots that actually hurt. My impetigo in my nose has got worse, and the eye infections have come back, leaving me with bright pink oozy eyelids 247. I’m so fed up with it I’m tempted to down a litre of diet coke and devour a fun-sized tun of haribo just to see if it will magic my skin back to normal.
Obviously my Colitis is getting worse and these symptoms go hand in hand with all that, but I’m feeling shattered, low and fed up. My fistula bag keeps leaking horrific smelling blood and mucus, and my skin around my stoma is going red and ulcerated again. I feel lethargic and tired. And a few horrific leaks from my fistula have seen me covering high-profile cases while being sure I was able to smell the blood leaking over my tights, hoping that the guys from the BBC and the nationals don’t think I’m always this touchy or smelly.
While sat in said case I didn’t have time to change my bags, I just sat there hoping they wouldn’t leak any more. Thankfully, despite soaking my tights, the Salts strips I rely on to contain leaks managed to do their job effectively, and help me to carry on with my job. Albeit worried about standing up covered in blood. It’s moments like that I’m always thankful I never wear white jeans or outfits as a rule.
Anyway me and Andy have taken to going walking every weekend, and despite my sprains and constant pulled muscles stopping me from getting back into the gym, swimming and running again, the walking and hiking appears to be working.
Hopefully soon I will be scaling the Three Peaks and maybe higher than that, who knows.