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It's the most wonderful time of the year

Sandi ponders the pros and cons of a holiday cocktail

Holiday traffic is a nightmare.

I was driving home from a shopping expedition last week and the traffic was so bad and drivers so inconsiderate that the thought of stopping at a bar for a couple of shots of anything was starting to sound like a good plan.

I was screaming at traffic by the time I got home and I still wanted nothing more than a good, strong vodka and club soda with a twist of lemon, my drink of choice.

The thing is, several of the prescription drugs I take really discourage drinking alcohol, so I try to abide by that.

With the holidays here and cocktails being served at so many events, how do those of us who can legally drink weigh the benefits and damages of something so seemingly benign as a glass of wine, decide when to say "Yes?"

The list of drugs that don't mix well with alcohol is seemingly endless and if you have any form of RA or its auto-immune cousins, you probably take one or two (or eight) of those medications.

If you're taking biologics or any class of drugs that are administered by IV, it's probably best to stick to water, tea or sodas, but if right now you're not in a flare and on maintenance meds, the occasional glass of something shouldn't be a game changer, but only you can make the decision that is right for you. 

I remember the days when I could have a drink or two and not think twice about it, but these days with wonky liver panels and kidney damage, alcohol is not something I like to imbibe, but some days...

I think a lot depends on each person. Every one of us process our prescriptions differently and different meds affect each of us differently. While one drug can put you to sleep, it may hit me like speed. Or, the opposite could be true.

I've been on some drugs for years and I have a very good idea how alcohol combines with them and what the consequences are.

That being said, there are times and situations when the only thing standing between me and a complete screaming breakdown is my favorite drink, sometimes with a judicious splash of cranberry juice. I know the juice loses all nutritional value when you add alcohol, but the color is nice.

I don't even keep vodka in the house anymore to keep me from temptation, but sometimes, this time of year, I will throw caution to the winds and have that drink, because  -- to paraphrase a line from Tom Cruise in "Risky Business" -- sometimes you've just got to say "What the heck!"

I haven't had that drink yet, but this time of year I am in and out of movie theaters all over the city seeing movie screenings for critic awards and sometimes the traffic is murder.

The clock is ticking.

 

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