Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reflections on a birthday spent in the ER...

I miss sweet tea.

Like seriously... it's been three months since I had a glass of what used to be my favorite drink. I guess it still is... I'm just not allowing myself to have caffeine. Therefore did I mention that I've been leading a decaffeinated life for the last three months? Well, I have... it's been tiring.

For my birthday this year I got a kidney stone. Seriously. My birthday dinner I planned with friends and family turned in to an evening at the ER with 5-10 of my newest medical professional friends. Super nice people really, very efficient at their jobs, but nonetheless not who I wanted to spend my birthday with... on a plus side, my best friend Liz (remember the one who told me to get back to writing) was coming to see me for my birthday and we had planned this fun getaway weekend... so like any good friend she stopped at the CVS and brought me socks and a sports bra to the ER. Rather than the Mexican fiesta I had planned for dinner, I had soup and water. Lots and lots and lots of water.

And them some more water... 

Long story short, our fun weekend out of town got cancelled when rather than driving to the coast I was being fitted for my newest accessory, a stint. Yep, instead of enjoying the view of the beach I was staring at the ceiling of an operating room listening to some Luke Bryan on the radio. Thank goodness for the anesthesia because I was in a precarious position and thanks to the juice I couldn't care less.

So back to the sweet tea. Due to the fact that the type of stone I had (which was eventually removed during a procedure a few weeks later), can be caused by caffeine... I cut it out cold turkey. Thankfully I was on pain meds for the kidney stone, therefore cold turkey wasn't so bad. But truthfully, and some may think this is stupid, but I feel a little less southern now that my favorite beverage is off my menu.

Like seriously, can I have some water with my fried chicken or barbecue? That's just not right...

That's like drinking a glass of wine with a taco... 

Or a margarita with your Kung pow chicken... 

It's. Just. Not. Right.

But alas, I'm choosing the hope of never having another kidney stone over my favorite drink... and even though it chips away at my southern identity just a little bit, it's for the best. I hope.

I guess it's like insurance for my kidneys... something like that.

So... where is the lesson in this you might ask? Since generally I try to make these posts have a point rather than just a humorous story about a horrible birthday. Well... despite how much I miss it... I know it was good for me. Why? Because I've lost 10 pounds and literally the only thing I've changed about my diet is getting rid of sweet tea and caffeine. But also, it's the reminder that just because something is attributed to a quality of myself that I like (I'm a proud Southerner y'all), it doesn't mean that is where my identity lies. This actually reminds me of the advice my Pawpaw Cole gave to me the day before I left for my study abroad semester in Mexico.

"Remember who you are, what you are, 
and where you're from."

Now I know those statements can me translated differently for every person. Some may perceive it more literally than others, and ultimately the answer changes over time.

So who are you? How do you fill in those blanks? No matter what you feel your identity might be wrapped up in (the sweet tea example), I think these questions really get to your core. Take some time to evaluate your answer. See if you like them... if you don't, why not? I think what my grandfather was getting at with that statement is, what guides your decisions? Who are you responsible to for your actions? It's worth pondering y'all... so grab a glass of tea (I'll settle on some lemonade) or your beverage of choice and think about it.

Sincerely yours,
(Daughter/sister/friend/dog mom, Christian, and South Mississippian)

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