I’ve mentioned my Diet Pepsi jones quite a few times since I began this blog, and it continues to this day. I rationalize it by telling myself it’s a much more benign addiction than my drinking was. Excessive Diet Coke (or Pepsi) consumption, I told myself, has never gotten anyone fired or arrested… except possibly in Utah. (I will never forget the morning I walked through downtown Salt Lake City, from the Greyhound station to Temple Square, with a can of Coke in my hand. It must have been like walking through downtown Tel Aviv munching on a pork chop.)
On Monday morning, I was at work at the bright hour of 7 a.m. (predawn still) and the phone rang. It was my co-worker Allen, saying he had been admitted to the hospital with kidney stones. He sounded wretched, and he said he was in a lot of pain–and he sounded it. Later on, we found out he does have a kidney stone, and one of his kidneys is in 50% failure.
With my pop consumption, that should be me–I’ve joked about it for years. I even used to brush it off by saying that if one of my kidneys failed, I could just go to the hospital and get another one. (“I need a renal transplant–Could I also have fries and a shake with that? And please hurry; I have to be back at work in half an hour.”) I know it would never be that simple, but it does give me pause.
I’m too poor this week to fully indulge in my diet cola habit, so maybe this is all a blessing not too cleverly disguised. Allen’s scheduled to have his stones blasted by laser–not fun, but better than how it used to be done.