Karoisme Asked July 2012

How to get Mother-in-law to drink something besides Diet Coke?

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My mother-in-law is 75 years old and will only drink Diet Coke. No water, no tea, no juice, no milk. She will tell you, almost bragging, that she hasn't had milk in 50 years. She suffers from stenosis of the spine, has weak pelvic/hip muscles and can't stand upright. She is also incontenent. The medication she takes requires she drink plenty of water when she takes them, and throughout the day. Her urine is so concentrated, the smell is overwhelming. I have offered to make her hot tea, bring her glass of sweet tea, orange or apple juice, etc. She ONLY wants Diet Coke. Would it be terrible of me to just quit buying it? She refuses to discuss it!

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PaulaK Jul 2016
Oh, and I mean, 6 or 7 times AFTER the point at which it starts "buzzing." Until the machine is "buzzing" when you push the button, button pushes don't count at all, of course. That usually takes me about 4 presses.
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PaulaK Jul 2016
Blannie, I don't know what was wrong with your system, but I've never had any problem carbonating with SodaStream to "as carbonated" or even "more carbonated" that canned sodas. Of course, maybe this is because I don't just push the button 3 times as the instructions indicate, but 6 or 7 times.
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freqflyer Jul 2016
I use to be big on diet sodas but gave them up 20 some years ago after hearing about the aspartame, and never looked back.

There are different flavors within the non-diet Coke and Pepsi family, such as Cherry Coke and Cherry Pepsi. Maybe give those flavors a try.
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Sunnygirl1 Jul 2016
I gave up Diet sodas for over a year. Didn't even miss them, then suddenly, I went crazy over them. So bizarre. I'm trying to just get them out of my system. I'll certainly grow tired of them soon, right? I do get decaf.
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blannie Jul 2016
Yeah, no. I'm a dedicated 65-year old Diet Pepsi drinker. I got a Soda Stream with high hopes of getting rid of my love of Diet Pepsi. Didn't happen.

The carbonation that you can get with a Soda Stream isn't anywhere near that of canned carbonated beverages. I'm donating mine to my local charity resale shop. The quest continues.
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PaulaK Jul 2016
Here's a way you might be able to offer better hydration through an alternative soda -- one WITHOUT the phosphoric and carbonic acids that leach calcium and strip enamel.

Get a SodaStream (or similar) carbonation machine and carbonate your own water at home. These modern carbonation systems are lightweight, simple to operate, and take up very little counter space. You don't need to buy the expensive "soda flavors" that the carbonation machine companies sell (though you can try them if you like; maybe your MIL will find she likes the diet cola version).

Then just keep a bottle of carbonated water in the fridge at all times. When you serve a glass to MIL (over ice, if that's the way she likes soda), add a sweetener/flavorer of some kind to the glass of home-made "soda water." (You can find these liquid "water flavorers" in the aisle of the grocery store where they sell Kool-aid and powdered lemonade and such. They're meant to be added to bottled water. It takes just a few squirts to turn plain carbonated water into, for example, a diet orange soda.) I was a Diet Coke/Diet Dr. Pepper addict for many years, but converted myself years ago now to a carbonated water + either a low-cal liquid flavor (usually pomegranate or orange) or a jalapeno/vinegar mixture I devised for when I'm in the mood for something more tart.

When you're out and about, just carry one of the small "flavorer" containers with you (they're designed to be slipped into a bag or purse) ... you can order plain "soda water from the bar" of most any restaurant, or bottled sparkling water in a pinch, and add your flavoring on the go.

Anyway, I was thinking that if MIL really dislikes plain water (I can SO relate, if she does), and you'd like her to at least try taking her pills with something more likely to provide actual hydration, this might be a great alternative to plain water or Diet Coke to suggest to her for pill taking, WITHOUT pushing to take away her DC altogether ... she may discover she likes this alternative "soda," and if so, you may find you're able to offer it successfully during other times of day too.

(Personally, I'd be very leery of diluting Diet Coke with plain water. Any dedicated soda drinker is unlikely not to notice or object to a "flat" soda, which is what you get when you water down the fizzy stuff with the flat stuff.)
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Chicago1954 Jan 2014
I drink a lot of diet pepsi. You are fighting a battle that you aren't going to win. I gave up alcohol 35 years ago. I am not giving up diet pepsi. :) (I do drink other stuff like water and coffee.) Wouldn't her soda be mostly water? Good luck.
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pamstegma Jan 2014
I love my diet pepsi, but if you offered me a Mimosa (half orange juice and half champagne) I would drink it. LOL. but no one is offering just now. I hope they have mimosas when I get to the NH.
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kara01 Jan 2014
Mix 1/2 coke 1/2 water...If she notices the difference tell her they changed the formula. After a week, dilute it a little more, then a little more. Have the Dr tell her under no circumstances is she to take her pills with anything but an 8 oz glass of water. Have the Dr do this, most older people view the Dr as the ultimate authority figure. My mother has Alz, no sense of smell because of that, a reduced sense of taste. Still likes sweet. Keep it sweet and not too light a color. Good luck!
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JessieBelle Jan 2014
Something simple to do to prevent dehydration is to buy the caffeine-free diet coke. It is still carbonated and still has sweeteners, but it help her keep the water in the drink.

Something I do with my mother, who only wanted tea, was to start buying bottled water. Tea and coffee are diuretics, so I didn't want her to drink tea in place of water. She likes the bottled water. Sometimes if we run out I just fill the bottles with tap water. She doesn't know the difference. It's bottled, so it's special.
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