Saturday, 19 January 2013

Unlearning Learned Behaviour

Well bloody hell, now what?

OK, a while ago I got sick with a particularly nasty virus, my doctor told me to stay away from caffeine and alcohol for a while and warned me that I may need to avoid them for the rest of my life in order to avoid a possible relapse or developing a permanent condition.
So for the last two years I've had no tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, soft drinks or beverages that contain caffeine, or anything of the sort.
At all.

Around last June she told me that I was no longer sick with the virus and when I asked she said I could think about trying little bits of alcohol and caffeine but I got the strong impression that she didn't think it was advisble and she wouldn't nominate safe amounts or intervals.

My uncle is a doctor and I kept intending to ask him about it but put it off for months because if he concurred with her then I'd have to face the unadorned truth that I should stay away from alcohol and caffeine for the rest of my life.
I know it's silly seeing as I was already doing that day by day but having it confirmed makes it official.
And once it was official I would start hearing sad songs in my head and seeing slow motion, soft focus memories of delicious chocolate thingies and cups of coffee and cool refreshing beverages*.
Anyway just before I went away in December I finally sent him an email with the relevant results attached and less than an hour later I got an email back saying 'I don't know what she's talking about, nothing you eat should impact on your blood test score'... 0_0
Right. OK.

The particular blood test score that I've been left with does mean that I'm more likely than someone without it to develop certain conditions later in life but I'm not guaranteed to develop them and unless I lead a life of Bacchanalian excess I'm unlikely to negatively influence that likelihood.

This was a relief but as I was about to go away to another country I wasn't about to start trying things.
After two years of no alcohol I would be guaranteed to be the world's cheapest date as the booze went straight to my head, and after two years of no caffeine it would likely whip through me like a hurricane.

That plus after two years of avoiding anything containing either of these things diligently because I thought it could make me permanently ill...  I couldn't quite wrap my head around it.
I mean I've even been avoiding uncooked soy sauce, just to be safe.
Did you know that many types of soy sauce have up to 6% alcohol in it? Well they do.

When I came home from Nepal with a persistent cough I went to see my usual doctor and found she was away and I was seeing the new doctor at the surgery instead.
So I thought 'what the hell' and asked her as well.
She said that there were perfectly healthy people who had these scores and there was no scientific link between caffeine and alcohol and negative impacts on health as a result of this blood test score.
I asked some pedantically specific questions to be sure and yep, after two years I can start introducing chocolate, coffee and booze back into my life.

And I have no idea where to start.

I mean obviously I'd start off slow, small amounts at staggered intervals but...

I am going to be nervous as hell.

This is going to take a while.

But I am determined that by the next time I visit Italy I will be able to have a coffee or a glass of wine without a thought.

Well, not entirely without a thought, I will appreciate them more than I ever would have believed possible a few years ago.

*Can't liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive, if living is without yooooooooooooOOOOOooouu!

No comments: