Tag Archives: college life

Goodbye, carbonated soft drink.


This is me. College freshman at best. It was the year I embraced carbonated soft drink’s invitation to lunch everyday, often getting together again for dinner or a late night study in the Student Union. Pepsi became my friend; the terms tea or coffee were unheard of in our conversations.

Things started to change my sophomore year–I was not as dependent on my carbonated soda friend. I started making new acquaintances in the social world of caffeine. I spent my time rotating between the new friends, such as soy chai, and my old soda friend…who by now had changed its name to Coke.

As I stared to mature, I added a few more friends: iced and herbal teas. All these caffeine friendships demanding my attention. Some days I would ignore them all; other days I found it necessary to enjoy one or even two. Don’t get me wrong, I still find my best friend is water, but on the downside–it is a bit bland.

So why all this? Because my friendship with carbonated soft drinks has come to an official end. I spent Monday’s car ride home lamenting on good days past–good times, good tastes, good vibes.

At the end of September, I started seeing colored spots. If I looked at you directly, you would have been green or black depending on the other lighting in the surrouding area. At first, it came and went…by the first of October I realized that the problem was happening more frequent. By the time I mentioned the problem to my parents (in which we decided this was something more than just fatigue or dry eyes), the problem was constant. Doctors sent me to a neurooncologist who discovered that my optic nerves were swollen (and I did have extremely dry eyes!)

I do not have tumors on my optic nerves, but there was pressure on the nerves from other tumors in the brain that made the optic nerves swollen, resulting in the colored vision. The doctor started me on a medicine that would decrease the swelling and keep the nerves stable. There were to be no major health side affects from the medicine and I was assured that I could be on this medicine for life if needed without it causing problems that you sometimes see in other medicines after taking them for so long: I would not become immune to these pills.

But there was a sacrifice: the only side effect that affected me personally was that these pills had a bitter revenge on my soda friend–so much so, that it would make soda taste like metal. I tried to keep upbeat about the current loss, which I deemed temporary. I figured I would be off the pills in no time! I just needed to get my optic nerves unswollen! 🙂 But after the next doctors appointment, it seemed that this was going to be a long-term situation.

I did not really lament much over winter: warm teas and coffees were satisfactory. Then I started having salads for lunch and the thought came to mind: this would be so perfect with a Coke. And then it started: my cravings for my carbonated soda friend! I had already experienced the metalic tasting soda once before and because I remembered how I about spit out my Sprite a few days after I started the medicine–I took a full embrace for ice tea with my salads instead. More specifically Arizona tea in the can! (The kind you find a gas stations for 99 cents.) The plan was genius! It made me feel as if I was drinking Coke, but I was not.

Then this past weekend: my first blunder resulting from hurried decision-making and McDonald’s lack of lemonade the day I order a meal to go. “No lemonade!?” I say–feeling pressure from the line behind me. I could have said, “Ok, well I will take an iced tea,” or substituted it for a Shamrock shake. But no…before I have time to think of the words coming from my mouth, I blurt out, “I will take a Dr. Pepper then.” What!?! Don’t ask. I don’t know where it came from either. It took getting to the car to realize my mistake. I went ahead and tried it anyway.

First sip: “Yeah, that is not a Dr. Pepper taste.”

Second sip: “This burns my throat. Maybe if I try leaving some fries in my mouth, it will help the taste.”

Third sip: “Nope. This is gross!”

Fourth sip: “I sort of taste the Dr. Pepper right when it goes in my mouth. Maybe if I swallow fast!”

I get about three more sips in, then abandon all hopes of enjoying my drink. It was then I realized, it is over.

So, my dear carbonated soft drink friend, I bid you adieu. I will no longer be tempted by your advertisements or have cravings for you when I walk down the drink isles at the grocery store. And if I do, I will just remember what the writer of Ecclesiastes states, “For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven (3:1).”


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Funny Stories, Random

“A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down…in the most delightful way!”

Sorry to disappoint you if you thought that I was going to discuss Mary Poppins. But that movie makes me laugh. Which leads me to my question of the day: HAVE YOU LAUGHED TODAY??

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” ~Proverbs 17:22

I just had a good laugh. I reread an email that my friend sent me a few days ago. She was telling me about her new puppy and his cute but funny habits. I did not find it as funny when I read it the first time. Maybe I find it funny now, because I am drained of energy from lack of a good night’s sleep, but regardless: I laughed. After last week’s tears, I laughed a lot this past weekend…got to love Shaun the Sheep!

I am not very good at telling jokes. The only time I have funny stories is when something happens to me: reenactment of a fall (which believe me, most often are funny afterwards!), mispronunciation of words, or stories of things we did growing up. Of course, these stories are better in person, because I can’t show my arm or facial expressions. 🙂 I could make quite a post of funny things. Here are a few:

The best story of falling is when I was on the steroid pills in college (If you are wondering why I was on these, read my “What is NF2?’ page for clarification). It was already after 11pm and I was SO HUNGRY!!! My roommate and I set out for Arby’s to get me something to eat. It had just snowed a few days before, so now things were a bit icy. Good thing my roommate was holding the food, because when we parked and I got out of the car, my feet found the ice! It happened so fast! My roommate saw my head, then didn’t. HAHA. It would have been a great movie stunt! Best part was that I landed sitting with my legs crossed like I just wanted to sit on the ice casually. 😀 I did not realize until we got to the stairwell that my ankle had a huge gash in it…my dad told me later that I should have probably had stitches. So now I just have this cool huge scar on the top of my right ankle.

I also just thought of another one that was pretty funny but not at the time it happened. In college, we lived in a stairwell unit–at least freshman year. They had cool names and you had brother dorms, etc. My stairwell only had five rooms, instead of the typical six–two rooms with three floors–because the bottom right room was a computer lab. I sometimes just wanted to get out of my room to study or write a paper so I would go downstairs to the lab. Worked great, because if I had to use the restroom or was hungry…I could just run up to my room. Genius! One night, I made mac and cheese. Now on a college diet, this is a big deal! I was headed down to the lab with my bowl of mac and cheese (still warm I might add), when I tripped on the stairs and out flew the bowl of mac and cheese from my hands. I made such a noise falling, most people probably only saw the mac and cheese in the air, because I had already hit the ground. It was so embarrassing! Like I said, I could pull amazing movie stunts. 😀 The girls of my dorm never let me forget that one!! Or the time that I baked banana bread but forgot the sugar. It was like termite hills. My roommates laughed so hard that one had to hold onto the counter top for support to keep from falling over.

We sure did some fun and funny things growing up! If we were not out throwing rocks in fresh cow patties (sort of like our own version of a “shot put” competition), then we were listening to Adventures in Odyssey while coloring, stamping or making creatures out of milkweed seed pockets. We also liked to ride in a tube down the irrigation ditch or take the row-boat in the pond out back. Pictures of me rowing that thing is hilarious enough! Those were also the days of “tape recorders.” Oh yeah! Just saying that makes me feel really old (my apologies to my elder readers for the phrase). No serious, the days of cassette tapes and Walkman! I sort of miss those! Once, my sisters and I recorded this whole cassette tape for our friends; we sang songs and did funny little “skits”. Pure joy and imagination.

The days of imagination! I think as I grow older, I imagine less. At least imagining on my own–of course painting stimulates the brain, but I consider that more “crafty” than imagination. Reading also creates imagination in a way I suppose. You have to imagine the character as the author describes–but like C.S. Lewis’ Narnia…when I read the books now, I see the movie characters–that is why it is best to read the books first! Though I admit, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy was super hard for me to read, so I just enjoyed the movies. 🙂 (We did reenactments of the movies, but you know–story for a later blog post! Still not quite ready for the world to see those pictures. But what can I say…we were pretty much obsessed!)

Have you laughed yet? I hope so! I just wanted to post something on a day like today where I just needed a laugh. I got my laugh and thought that I would share a laugh. 😀

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Filed under Family Times, Funny Stories