Monday, April 7, 2014 – 229.4
A comment by a long-time reader misinterpreting my existential despair post from the other day made the following comment:
If you had an anaphylactic reaction to carbs and they were going to kill you….you’d find a way to stick to your diet.
Well, anaphylactic shock – which can be caused by a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting or nuts in sensitive individuals – doesn’t exist for eating cookies…or does it for me?
I won’t bore you with my transgressions, but it did involve carbs eaten late at night and the attendant thirst that I typically get when I eat too many carbs. In terms of overall eating for the day it wasn’t all that much of a transgression – given I didn’t eat a good part of the day a total tally would have probably landed me within the normal 200 grams of carbs and caloric intake that was high-normal.
The result of this venial sin was epic, however.
At about 12:30am I awoke choking. I’ve never been diagnosed with GERD, but I would imagine that a combo of eating carbs late at night caused my stomach contents to leak into my lungs. I have experienced this on occasion since my 20s when I was about as fat as I am now – my first experience being with an overindulgence in Eskimo pies late at night.
I never get this when eating low carb.
The feeling is what I would imagine drowning in hydrochloric acid might feel like. The burning in my throat was unbearable. No less than a baker’s dozen of Tums were needed to control the burning somewhat. Even after the fire got put out there was still gurgling in my lungs when I breathed. I was choking and coughing for at least 20 minutes until I had cleared my lungs and the gurgling stopped. Each cough that cleared my lungs burned my throat again. Both my wife and my older daughter – who I woke from my coughing and came in to see what was going on asked: “Are you OK?”
I gave them a thumbs up, which really meant: mind your own business.
Maybe an hour later I was able to get back to sleep, but this time lying with my head up to prevent another incident.
I awoke exhausted.
It’s not anaphylactic shock, but it’s a damn good reminder as to *why* I can’t eat like a normal person. I’m not a big fan of negative reinforcement as motivation, but this is not something I’d like to experience again. Negative experiences do sometimes result in positive outcomes – a good health scare sometimes works wonders to change long-term behaviors.
I’m more the ‘carrot’ than the ‘stick’ kind of guy with myself and others, but the beating I took from this stick is worthy of remembering – and might just tip the scale towards me being more careful about my diet.
If my transgressions have such dire consequences, it might be prudent for me to remember this.