A Small Thing that Brings Me Joy

Retha De Wet avatar

by Retha De Wet |

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coke

I drink a lot of Coke.

People have strong opinions about that. For example, “But do you know how bad it is for your health?” Or, “You should cut out Coke and follow this generic diet, and your health will improve.” Or, “Maybe you would feel better if you drank less Coke.”

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Enjoying a can of Coca-Cola. (Photo by Retha De Wet)

Whatever you’re thinking, I’ve probably heard it already.

It’s important to understand that I am by no means advocating Coca-Cola as an effective treatment for myasthenia gravis (MG). But Coke does help me manage my health.

Objectively speaking, I understand where my critics are coming from. Beyond its other unhealthy properties, Coca-Cola is full of excessive amounts of sugar and caffeine. Caffeine isn’t safe for everyone with MG, which is why it is important to know your own body. Personally, the temporary energy boost of caffeine outweighs the cons — for example, how Coke affects my stomach in conjunction with Mestinon (pyridostigmine). Everyone who takes Mestinon knows about its digestive side effects.

Did I mention that I really like the taste of Coke?

I adore Coke, and I’m tired of having to explain that to people. Surely, as an adult, I should be left to my own devices, as long as I don’t neglect any of my adult duties. Especially if I don’t neglect my duties because of the energy boost that Coke gives me!

Coke is my small way of rebelling against the medical community. It energizes me physically without requiring me to take more medications. Emotionally, the joy each sip brings is enough to put a smile on my face on a difficult day. I also live in Africa. It gets hot here, and heat and MG are not friends. It’s difficult to argue that there is anything more refreshing than a cold Coca-Cola on a hot day.

I think that every person with MG needs to find their version of Coke. We need something that makes us feel better on bad days, a thing that empowers us and brings us joy without too much physical exertion. Coke is one of the few things that I liked before falling ill that I can still enjoy independently. It also can spark a conversation about a common interest with strangers. Not only chronically ill people enjoy Coke!

Coca-Cola has become my guilty pleasure, and I am grateful for it. Now, find your version of Coke and enjoy the beauty of life.

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Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Comments

Chuck avatar

Chuck

"Find your own version of Coke" - I like that! It definitely helps to have something that's mine, my pushback against all the scheduled medicines and the lack of control over how my body is going to respond to requests to do things! For me it's coffee - most of the time it has to be decaffeinated but if I'm dragging and can sneak in a regular coffee - yay!

I love your posts!

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Shane Tarr avatar

Shane Tarr

Ha I live in Thailand and rumour has it I developed MG after being envenomated (no not bitten because that per se does not lead to venom entering the bloodstream). I was told no more wine: indeed no more alcohol. So what did I do? I went out and purchased some decent but over-priced South African wine and felt great. So, each night I try some good wine (well occasionally more than "some" and from time-to-time beer and CBD Oil). Am I any worse for it? Physically perhaps but psychically no! Thus, medical experts that tell you to behave yourself should be listened to but not always should their advice be heeded.

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Jan avatar

Jan

I can’t think of anything good about Coke! Everyone in the medical field is against it for one reason or another. I loved Dr Pepper and didn’t think I could ever go without it but my Dr pleaded with me and I gave it up! Please try giving it up! You’ll never know unless you try! My new drink-H2O with ice!

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Mary avatar

Mary

I can't understand why it should matter to you whether someone else drinks Coke. Everyone should have the freedom to make decisions about their own lives when the result of exercising that freedom doesn't affect anyone else negatively. It's obvious that Retha already is familiar with all the argumants against soft drinks. A small joy is a wonderful thing when it doesn't harm anyone else. I can't think why Retha's Coke drinking should have anything to do with you.

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anna sheldon avatar

anna sheldon

I get headaches quite frequently and to reduce the amount of headache medicines I take, some of which contain caffeine, I stared drinking coffee in the morning, usually only one cup. it seems to help somewhat. any research on the effects of caffeine on mg patients (I have ocular diagnosed 2 years ago) and am 85 years old.

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Katie Groves avatar

Katie Groves

I like Coke / Pepsi as well and is my guilty pleasure. Due to my weight gain, I've tried to limit them, but that makes them more delightful to me, and the caffeine helps when I feel very tired and weak. It is important to know, however, that caffeine is a diuretic and it would be a good thing that for every coke you drink, drink that much water to stay safely hydrated, especially in heat. Enjoy that guilty pleasure.

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Marva Binkley avatar

Marva Binkley

Wow! I too have ocular MG. I was diagnosed at the age of 30. I thought I was dying. I had double vision and was so very weak. I had a thymectomy after about 2 yrs. I have been in remission for some time, but still have issues with fatigue. I too like to enjoy an occasional coke, preferably cherry coke! I know it is not healthy, but it sure does put a smile on my face!! Take care!

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Kern avatar

Kern

Hey. My doc prescribed CellCept, and it seems to help even more than Mestinon alone. Hard going in NC, where working hard for hours is de rigeur. On meds, doable. Off, I am an extra from a zombie movie, shuffling to my van.

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