It all started one day when I had that funny feeling again.  My stomach was being all weird again.  But this time, I felt my pulse.  I don’t know why, I just did.  Something said, “What if it’s your heart?”  As silly as that sounded, it was my heart.  My heart was skipping beats.

It wasn’t all that alarming at first.  I looked it up and thought it might be a vitamin deficiency.  I took a multivitamin, and it stopped.  I already had the appointment with the doctor, so I went ahead and told him what happened.  He told me to keep taking the multivitamin and sent me home.  The vitamin reaction turned out to be a coincidence.

But then it came back.  I was trying to lose weight at the time.  I had about 20 pounds to go, so I drank diet cokes.  There was a demolition derby one night at the fair grounds, so we went.  As I sat there, my heart started skipping beats so violently that I got dizzy and terrified.  I told my husband to keep an eye on me and get ready to take me to the ambulance 100 yards away that was on standby for the drivers.  He was pretty scared.

I made it home.  It finally succumbed enough to calm me down a bit.  We assumed it was the caffeine, and I stopped drinking cokes.  I was also running at the time, so my heart beats were far harder than most.  This, of course, was due to my increased heart strength.  But the beats didn’t quit skipping.  I had quit all black teas, all green teas, all cokes, what else could I be missing?

We gave it a week.  It can take quite some time for your body to adjust.  I had the privilege of an aunt with hypersensitivity to caffeine as well, although I’m not sure how privileged it makes her feel.  She gave me some pointers, including the time it would take to get the caffeine out of my system, and the fact that decaf tea is not, in fact, without caffeine.  It just has much less.

Well drat!  This means I have to give that up too?  I like herbal teas and all but puh-lease!  Not to mention the fact that they cost about 3 times as much!

I drank water for weeks.

They never went away, not completely anyway.  I went through a bunch of garbage with my doctors including a holter monitor and Mirenda.  I now have a new PCP who’s competent.  I shan’t bore you with the details.  This post has some of the details for the truly interested.

So, back to the heart beats.  Through a great deal of tears, pain, and suffering, I was able to deduce that it was artificial sweeteners.  But wait, I’d given up diet cokes.  Where was I getting them from?  That’s because they’re EVERYWHERE!  Sucralose is in everything nowadays.

Swiss Miss cocoa?      Even though the main ingredient is sugar, they add sucralose.

Gum?       Sucralose.

Soda Stream?        Sucralose.

Non-diet foods you would never think of (I think one was even a Hamburger Helper)?  Sucralose

Everytime I think it’s over, I’ll consume it again in some mysterious fashion.  It’s really annoying!  I’m like one of those people with a wheat allergy only they can say, “I have a wheat allergy,” and everyone nods in understanding.  I tell people, “I’m sorry, but I need to read every label of everything you serve me,” and…well you can guess.

I’m not trying to be rude, but seriously!  If I’m looking for it and miss it, do you honestly believe people who aren’t wouldn’t?  (Wait.  Did that sentence have too many negative contractions?  Was it even understandable?)  And my allergy isn’t life threatening (at least not yet) like theirs, but still!  What if it were?

Oh and guess what!  Not only do I get the joyousness of PVC’s (premature ventricular contractions), but these lovely beasts give me great anxiety, panic attacks, depression, weird cravings, etc.  And I’m far from the only one with this problem.  Look it up, there are thousands.

So if wheat, nuts, milk, soy, and pheylalanies (or whatever they are) are labeled, why not sucralose?  Does someone have to die first?  Do I have to sue someone first?

If anyone has an answer to the last section, please comment below and let me know.  It would be really nice to cut my grocery shopping time in half and quit worrying about eating out or at others’ houses.