The chocolate way of life


There are exactly two kinds of fluid to exit my urethral opening that I consider acceptable and blood is not one of them. If this didn’t catch your attention, then, quite frankly, I don’t know what will.

     I feel I should explain my opening line. A few years ago, I had the very pleasant experience of having a kidney stone. Please note that by “very pleasant experience” I mean “undoubtedly the most agonisingly painful experience of my life”. The whole story began with me having trouble sleeping one night due to an unusually intense backache that, I thought, had been caused by me performing an unfortunate movement in my sleep, as happens from time to time. So for about three hours or so, I just changed position about a thousand times, trying, unsuccessfully, to find one that would give me some relief from the pain and allow me to fall asleep. The pain was just too persistent. Worse still, it kept intensifying. It felt as if someone had stabbed me in the back only to slowly pull the knife downwards and torturously twist it in the process. No matter how I positioned myself on the mattress, the pain was simply unbearable, so much so that I had a very hard time stopping myself from crying. Still, because I’m an absolute idiot, I waited another three hours (until 5.30 am) before I decided my pain was unbearable enough for it to count as a legitimate excuse to wake up my parents. We then talked for a bit about what it could be, but they didn’t have a clue either, so my mum just took me to the hospital.

     I think you’ll forgive me if I only give you a very brief synopsis of my hospital experience, because it was just the usual drill: I spent an inexcusably long time in the waiting room. When the nurse finally arrived I was put on painkillers. Then I was transported into a special room, where I was horizontally inserted into a fancy, tubular x-ray machine. A not very flattering photo was taken. The eventual conclusion was that there was a stone in my kidney; a stone that, fortunately, was neither big nor spikey enough for it to have to be lasered into non-existence. Unfortunately, this also meant that the stone was just about small and smooth enough for me to be able to piss it out (the doctor put that last part a bit more eloquently). This was presented to me as it if were a silver lining. In retrospect, I have to say I’m not so sure.

     For almost a whole week—which is how long it took for the stone to crawl out of my penis—I had to pee through a special filter the doctor had given me, so that the stone could be caught and later analysed. Naturally, I had to take the filter everywhere I went. As you might imagine, my popularity in high school went up at least twenty-fold. Actually, leaving aside all the cringe-worthy stone-based jokes/remarks I had to endure, I had a pretty fun time at school. When I wordlessly presented a print of the x-ray (given to me by the doctor as a nice souvenir) to my classmates, their immediate reaction was to ask me if I was pregnant (because why else would you show someone an X-ray?). Luckily, I was not pregnant. Here’s an interesting aside though: did you know that the pain experienced when pissing out a kidney stone is comparable to that of giving birth? The pain is bad enough in the first place. Imagine being inflicted with the further punishment of having to take care of a baby afterwards. Thank God I only produced a stone. That’s about as complex a being I’m capable of caring for.

     After an inarguably disproportionate introduction, I would now like to say a few words about what was intended to be the main topic of this article: my high-chocolate diet. When the results of the analysis of the stone were delivered to me, I was informed that a diet much too high in calcium partnered with dangerously insufficient water consumption were the culprits. For the first time in my life, something had led me to consider my dietary habits. Something needed to change. The following paragraph, I think, will give you a sufficient insight into the dietary lifestyle of before-kidney-stone era Kevin Lux.

     A typical breakfast consisted of two slices of bread, each spread with a generous layer of Nutella, followed by one or two pastries and a sugar-laden children’s fruit yoghurt, all of this accompanied by a large cup of chocolate milk and a glass of orange juice. Turns out this is not a particularly healthy breakfast. Perhaps to your surprise, lunch and dinner usually were reasonably healthy meals with more than enough veg, but nothing could ever be healthy enough to compensate for all the junk I stuffed my face with between the two meals. At least every other afternoon, you’d find me fellating countless Twixs, deep-throating Mars bars, and then in a grand finale, shooting a big load of M&Ms into my mouth. I’m pretty certain that chocolate used to make up at least a fifth of my weekly calorific intake, which, as any serious dietician or even your local GP could tell you, is just a bit too much. Still, I’d never really had any diet-induced health issues up until that point, because I have good genetics and an undeservedly high-performing metabolism. If I weren’t such a lucky fucker, I would be morbidly obese and terminally diabetic.

     If we go beyond my personal experience with chocolate for a bit and take a look at the bigger picture, I think it’s fair to say there is something truly unique about chocolate when contrasted with other foodstuffs. I recently read, for example, that it took a team of researchers endeavouring to do a study on people who don’t eat chocolate more than a year to find eleven men who meet that criterion. Furthermore, I’d invite you to consider the popular dessert Death by Chocolate. I, for one, think it extremely unlikely that any other food would ever acquire such a status; a food so satisfying that one would be prepared to sacrifice one’s life for it. Of course this is an exaggeration, but it is an exaggeration that, to my knowledge, is not made for any other food (I have heard of Death by Cake, but that tends to be chocolate cake, so I don’t think that would undermine my suggestion). This leads me to believe that there is something perverse, or rather, perverting about chocolate. Like drugs, whether legal or illegal, chocolate reveals our potentially self-destructive hedonistic tendencies. I would certainly consider my former self to have a compulsion to binge on chocolate, if not an addiction. Though, to be fair, the deliciousness of chocolate was not really the main motivation for my gluttonous behaviour. Rather, I took to eating chocolate because it allowed me to drown out the voices of general discontent, if only for a few minutes.

     There have been times where the only spikes of happiness in my life were caused either by binging on chocolate or by the rapid, rhythmic movements of my right hand. You’ll be glad to learn that I am no longer addicted to nor reliant on either. It seems like I’m getting better at this whole moderation thing. That being said, I still love chocolate abnormally much and I still eat far more of it than I should, as does my girlfriend for that matter. So when we are both diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which, let’s face it, is inevitably going to be the case sooner or later, at least we can indulge in the uniquely romantic activity of simultaneously injecting insulin into each other’s abdomens.

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