Dr. Pepper: Not what the doctor ordered

My absolutely favorite drink in the entire world is Dr. Pepper. I usually have several a day, even though I often get picked on for only drinking half of a 12 ounce can. I think that’s because I like them very cold, and they don’t have quite the same appeal after they’ve been out of the fridge for more than a few minutes.

dr_pepper_logoI’ve been having some unexplained stomach pain on my right side over the past week, so I decided to try to make some changes to my diet to see if it improved. I started eating whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, and even cut back on the caffeine, but saw no improvement. In fact, I went to the ER on Sunday with chest pains.

The tests they ran on me pretty much ruled out any heart or lung problems, but were unable to explain my pain, elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and low-grade temperature. I was instructed to follow up with my regular doctor.

Dr. thinks the problem might be my gallbladder, but wants to rule out something more serious first. I will have a stress test and ultrasound on Thursday. For now, I have been placed on pain and anti-anxiety medication and a bland diet.

I’ve heard the expression “bland diet” before, but thought it referred to eating healthy. Turns out, it’s a very unhealthy way of eating. After rattling off the list of foods I can’t eat – dairy, fresh fruits, vegetables, spicy dishes, sugary foods, caffeinated drinks, nuts – I was told that I could eat things like potatoes, pasta, and bread. You know, carbs.

I can live with most of the (hopefully) temporary changes in my diet, but the one thing that is driving me crazy is going without Dr. Pepper. The beautiful burgundy cans beckon to me from the refrigerator at work, but I know that I’m better off to leave them be. Maybe, just maybe, I can lay off caffeine for good.

In the meantime, I’m off to drown my sorrows in a glass of ice water.