I was waiting for my wife outside the market earlier this morning when a man suddenly appeared from behind. He was asking for some pennies to buy food because he was starving according to him.
Frankly speaking I am kind of skeptical whenever a person would approach me asking for money to buy food or begging in a more precise term. Mostly I would give donations and sometimes I would resist depending on how I judge a person by merely looking at his appearance. You can’t blame me for how judgmental I am when it comes to helping these types of people because some of them are not really beggars. How I wish I could just give without hesitation. But I am only human with a lot of questions and doubts. I am a sinner.
The man was wearing a sando shirt, short pants and a pair of sleepers. He doesn’t look like a homeless person. He was larger and a bit taller than me. He held a PVC ID card which I failed to check but I was sure it was his identification card.
I was hesitant but my left hand was already inside my left pocket before he arrived so I just grabbed all the pennies inside my pocket including a paper bill and handed it to him. As he receives the money he immediately says thank you and repeatedly as if an angel saves him for that day. Then he said to me, “Don’t drink Cobra Sir. Look at me, this is what I get from drinking too much energy drink.” I didn’t notice his physical condition before he said that. Then I just realized that he had recovered from a stroke. Half of his body was already numb. Good thing he was able to speak straight and clear. I didn’t care at first of what had happened to him until he started to tell and share to me the story behind his current condition.
He was just starting to tell the story when my wife arrived but she just handed me some veggies and left because she was not done buying goods. Then the man continued telling his story.
According to him he was a security guard in some large construction site. He was receiving a good salary with the agency and the site he was assigned to guard was having a free energy drink to all the guards on duty. He told me that he was consuming 12 bottles of cobra a day. 1 bottle is 240ml and if we multiply it by 12 it would sum up to 2.88 liters. It was too late for him to realize that drinking too much energy drink has serious risks to his health. Until one day he said, he was rushed to the ER due to a brain aneurysm. He was pointing his left finger to his forehead whilst talking.
I was just listening and sometimes would nod. I am not sure if what he was telling me was true but while he was talking I was looking in his eyes from time to time then glancing at some part of his body. I noticed that he has stretch marks on his biceps, a sign that he was having a good body shape in the past and some tattoos. Nevertheless I can see in his eyes that there were regrets and that he was telling the truth.
He was open to sharing his stories to me, perhaps he always shares it to anyone to warn them and become aware of the health risk of consuming too much energy drink.
He also told me that his wife left him when he became useless and then he is staying with his cousin for a while then goes home to the province when he receives his money from social security. However his sister in law would not treat him well. He said she would always give him spoiled food.
Then he paused for a minute and inhaled deep with feelings of repentance. I broke the silence and told him that I am going to put the veggies in a motorcycle box. He nodded and said “thank you” again then I nodded back. I went to where my motorcycle was parked and put the veggies in the box then went back to where I was standing. The man was no longer there.
I was kind of starving so I went to the local burger store nearby and ordered a cheeseburger. It was a buy 1 take 1 burger store so just enough for me and my wife. While the crew was preparing the burger, I looked back and I saw the man again begging with another motorist. I kept looking at him hoping he would look towards my direction so I could wave at him to go near me. I’m glad he did. Then I extended my hand offering the burger. He manages to go near me despite the difficulty in walking. It was just a couple of steps so I just let him get the food. Then he ate standing beside me as if he had not eaten for days. After finishing the food he thanked me again and left. A little later my wife came and we headed home and shared a bit of the story of the man while carefully driving.
My experience drinking energy drink
I have tried drinking energy drink in the past. I think the last time was 8 years ago. When I was in printing I was always on night shift. I tried drinking Redbull energy drink and the effect on my body was not good. I was awake for 36 hours and even if I wanted to sleep I just can’t. That was the first and last. I also tried cobra energy for the first time, although it has no effect on me when it comes to sleeping, I felt burning sensation in chest. So from those side effects I have experience drinking such energy drink, I decided not take another shot even if how sleepy or tired I am. Because I know of the dangers it will bring to my health.
Anything that is too much always has consequences. It is not far from being abusive. Excessive use of energy drinks is considerably risky. Some dangers are higher than others and some risks are yet to be captured by science. Energy drinks fuel your body with the energy it needs to stay productive. However, taken in the wrong hands and abused, these fatigue eradicating drinks can be life-threatening. They come loaded with caffeine, which is responsible for most emergency room visits.
Many people are unaware of the effects this drink brings out. They might need to know that it can hurt them in many ways like an overdose, nerve damage, and death. It is important for these reasons for us to act more responsibly about drinking more energy drinks at a time even though it feels good because too much of anything isn’t good. For many people in this world, these drinks are their “drug” of choice and they don’t know when enough is enough. An initiative to speak up about the dangers of drinking too much energy drinks will bring awareness to those who would otherwise not get savvy about how maybe how high a risk there really is for indulging itself into this kind life-sucking liquid substance.
Stop drinking energy drink before it completely stops you!
I did not took photo or videos of him as I am not used to do such thing. If by chance you will go to commonwealth market in Quezon City, you can find him there begging for food. You can give your donation personally but I remember he said that this month he will be receiving his money from social security and immediately go home to Negros. I advised him to better stay in his homeland where he could breath fresh air and go to the beach. I think it is good for his condition. At least he agreed to my advise.