Recently I became infected with Valley Fever for the second time in my life. Valley Fever, for those of you that do not live in the San Joaquin valley, is also know by it’s less aesthetically pleasing name of coccidioidomycosis. Yes, if you are at a party, and you want to impress the people you are there with, say coccidioidomycosis a couple times might make you sound impressive, but that is about where it stops. Especially when you explain what it is.
Getting back to the point.
The last time I contracted this illness was way back in 1977, During the Great Central Valley Dust Storm. There is not too much I recall about the time, except that I came home, and after lunch I went to take a nap. The next thing I know it was several weeks later (six to be exact) and I was hooked to an IV.
I was told later that each time you get Valley Fever, it is progressively worse than the time before. So I lived most of my lift, to date, with a real fear of what could happen if I ever got it again.
At this point, I am thinking that three out of five of you are asking yourself… What the heck does this have to do with the title of this post. This is nothing like tea, instant or not. But you would be wrong, you see, there is a connection to Tea and to the point I am meandering my way to, and that is that because I have contracted Valley Fever again, I am trying to live healthier.
Well… not JUST the Valley Fever… You might say that the little beastie growing in my wife’s tummy is also a major factor as well. But together they make up the whole reason.
So… as I have been working on this, I have been drinking lots of water, to the tune of four or five small bottles of it a day, and one thing I have to say about water is that it is a boring drink. It does not do anything to excite the taste buds or thrill the pallet. People, at least many of the ones I know, do not see a glass of water and say… “Oooh, delicious! A Glass of water!”
Quenching? Yes. Life sustaing? certainly! The best thing to drink when you are thirsty? Of course? A tasty gourmet delicacy? Hardly. So I have starting trying this little things that my wife uses all the time. They are little instant packets that you empty into a bottle of water and PRESTO… you have <Name your drink here>. You have a large variety to chose from, Peach, Raspberry, Lemonade, Fruit punch, Ginseng, etc… this list goes on ad-nauseum.
There are certain flavors that I have tried that I was pretty sure from the start I would not like. Flavors like, oh… anything that does not taste like simple, plain, ordinary, bland, Black iced tea with no sweetener in it. The kind you get at almost any restaurant. Everything else has too much “Froo Froo” to it. But I am brave… so I tried the Peach. After the first couple sips, I decided that the rest would be great for watering the plant in the office. The plant later died… and it was plastic.
I ventured forth and tried a few more over the next few days, and just when I was getting to the point that I thought that plain water tasted pretter darned good, I found it. Fruit Punch. This was actually really good and reminded me of those simpler days of my childhood when you could buy the bottle of Hawaiian Punch mix that was in the jar, that think sweet liquid that you were supposed to only put one tablespoon into a glass of water, yet any kid that had access to would put two or five in and stir it up, then proceed on a three hour, sugar-induced rampage that usually involved torturing any adult within two miles with your insanity.
Yes… I had found my artificial nirvana. I say artificial because this little packets are sugar free, so there is no sugar induced high that follows the drinking. There is only that taste and the memories.
After all is said and done, I found three that I like and they would be Fruit Punch, Lemonade and Arizona Ginseng Tea. The Ginseng tea took a little longer to get to like, but I do enjoy it and it certainly beats straight water any day of the week. I am sure that as time goes on, I might find more that I like, so I will keep trying them as I see new ones come out. Who knows, maybe these will eventually break my addiction to sodas.
One can dream.