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Years ago I read an article about vocal fatigue and found I had seven of the ten presenting symptoms. The author lived just a few miles from me so I called and requested an interview / appointment. On our second visit Dr. Laeding accepted my check and changed my life but not by selling me a product. Instead she carved several products OUT of my lifestyle and imposed new habits and behaviors to return my vocal strength to me and extend my career. I’m grateful to this day for her wisdom and understanding.

Something similar happened yesterday. I’ve been mildly concerned about a number of presenting symptoms but without saying much to anyone. “Lord, what is it?” I asked Him, “Guide my thinking. None of these are serious enough to see a doctor, I don’t think, but I’m certainly not at my best; I haven’t been for weeks. Steer me?” Yesterday He reminded me of something Kevin Bussey said on his ministry blog about giving up Diet Mountain Dew at his wife’s request. Not because they were going broke or anything, but because his short-term memory was suffering. She loved him enough to ask him to give it up. I wondered about that so hopped on a couple search engines and typed in “Aspartame side-effects”. I could hardly believe my eyes!

More clicks and more reading followed, and I read ninety-two (count-’em) side-effects of this substance we can find in just about every aisle in the grocery store. I had a fist-full of them. I eat healthy, but I’m trying to trim down a bit (who isn’t these days?) so drink a no-calorie tea mix pretty much all the time, and no-calorie hot chocolate during the winter. A check of the ingredient panel revealed it’s proud to be there. The Claritin-D I take each spring has aspartame, but one of it’s competitors has chosen to leave it out.

I’m done, folks. Call it the eleventh commandment for me if you want.

Thou, Philip, shalt NOT…!

What did it for me –what pushed me over the “never” ledge– was the body of evidence pointing to greatly increased risks of brain tumors for aspartame users. Since I lost my grandfather to a brain tumor in 1980 and Dad to glioblastoma in 2002, I’m in a zero-tolerance mode. I know the symptoms I need to watch for and have no tolerance for them in my life. Headaches, dizziness and the inability to think clearly are three of them, all three I’ve noticed slight increases in, the last few weeks. They’re three of the ninety-two side-effects on that list. I’m sorry, but I NEED my thinking capacities! [If you’re sitting up there in the peanut gallery and have a remark right about now … <grin> … swallow it!]

I’m not going to point to a bunch of links from here, they’re easy enough to find with your web browser’s search engines. I would recommend you take a few minutes and go see, though, especially if you like diet drinks, one of 6,000 products that contain the stuff. One writer calls it “Sweet Poison”. I dare say she’s right.

Lord, I want to thank you for guiding my thoughts, and reminding me of something Kevin said a while back. I want to be around a good long while to serve You. I want to live long enough to be a bother to my children [kidding]. This is no sacrifice. This is a relief! I’m glad I know in time to do something about it!

Heads-up, folks, this one appears to be a sleeper! Think-about-it, OK?

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