Diet Coke is Out

This isn’t to disparage Diet Coke. I’m not telling anyone to not drink Diet Coke. I was a hard core addict for decades. I get the attraction.
But for mom…
It’s out.
It’s been a few days or a week since her last Diet Coke. She’d been drinking quite a few small bottles everyday. She’d also been more confused and forgetful than usual.
We tried an experiment — not scientific, no double blind with a base line and multiple test subjects. All we could do is cut out Diet Coke and see if her memory improved.
In short, it did.
Two examples:
Last night we were coming in through the garage where I’d stacked a bunch of broken down shipping boxes. We’ve talked about my plans for this cardboard a bunch of times. Over and over again. I’ve taken to giving a one word answer because I’m tired of explaining the plan: “Backyard.” Sometimes she’ll ask more questions, sometimes she’ll accept the single word, but in every case she’s confused. Last night, however? “Oh, that’s right, you told me about that.” She actually remembered that we’ve talked about the plan for the cardboard. A week ago she couldn’t do that.
Skip ahead to this afternoon. I have a white board where I write the major activities of the day. Taking insulin and pills is always on there because she never remembers to do it. Physical therapy homework, same thing. Now that baseball has started back up the game time and television channel goes up there, too. We check off what we’ve done because that lets her know we’ve done those activities for the day. Today, being Sunday, church went up on the board. (She’s been watching on Youtube since the pandemic began.) This afternoon she looks at it checked off on the board and says, “Church, yes, I remember that.” The remarkable thing is that last Sunday she didn’t remember “going” to church and asked me several times in the afternoon if she’d watched church or not.
Sure, these are just two incidents, and we obviously have no concrete evidence that removing Diet Coke from her diet and her improved memory and lessened confusion are linked, but she certainly seems better. She’s happier because she doesn’t feel so disconnected from her life. She still sundowns. She still doesn’t remember so, so much. She’s still confused. None of that is going to go away no matter what she does or does not consume. What we do know is that removing Diet Coke does seem to have improved things for her. That’s good enough.

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