Sorry, I just had to make that title as dramatic as possible. Did it work?
Something terrible has happened in my world, and although it’s pretty high up there as far as classic examples of first world problems–it’s still a problem.
For the last six months I have been the driving force behind what I’m sure is 99% of the sales of a product called Propel Zero Sport in Boca Raton.
On average I drank anywhere from 3-6 bottles of the stuff a day.
Now why would anyone in their right mind drink such an exorbitant amount of this sports drink? Because POTS and because one of the problems with this disease is low sodium and dehydration.
With a lighter taste than most sports drink, this drink offers around 312 mg of sodium per bottle. And drinking 3-4 bottles a day helped me maintain my sodium and keep me hydrated. With zero calories, this was a perfect solution for me and I have been the poster child for Propel Sport Zero ever since!
Then—just a few short weeks ago my local Publix put up a clearance sticker on the shelf. When I asked the store manager what that was about—he said that Propel was discontinuing the drink and that the product would no longer be offered at Publix.
Panicked—I called Pepsico’s Consumer Help Line and asked if this was true. John, a representative, told me this was not the case at all! Propel Sport Zero wasn’t being discontinued. Maybe the UPC number had changed from the vendor? He advised me to go back to my local Publix and have them check into it or to try asking other stores to order it for me.
He checked his system and saw that my local stores were not reporting sales of the drink and I suggested that maybe most of them were having the same problem and the product was showing up as discontinued in their system.
Couldn’t Propel contact them on my behalf? Obviously this was a problem on their part as well. Didn’t they care that a large portion of South Florida was no longer reporting sales?
No, guess not, because John advised me that they couldn’t contact the stores—and they couldn’t ship the product to me directly.
So for two weeks I harassed my local Publix manager until he finally called his vendor who told him the same thing all over again: It was being discontinued.
Seeing that I was getting nowhere, I went to my local Super Target and Winn Dixie. Neither answered my pleas to get the product on the shelf. And then on Thursday I sadly drank my very last bottle.
Exasperated, I put in another call to the Pepsico Customer Support Line and got the same answers: the product wasn’t discontinued–I just wasn’t looking hard enough.
By Friday afternoon I was desperate to find these drinks. Knowing they must be SOMEWHERE I drove to three Publixes, a K-Mart, and Walmart. On my way to the second Walmart I got a call. It was Propel’s Corporate office and they had some bad news.
Because not only had the product been discontinued--they’d stop production in November. Meaning anything that was on the shelves (the very empty shelves) was all that was left in the whole world.
And they weren’t making any more.
Devastated…dehydrated….I put out a plea on my social networks for assistance….
Thankfully my amazing POTSy pal Ashley is sending me a 12-pack from Kansas!
Unfortunately, I’ve been trying to adjust to life without the the drink for the past two days and things aren’t going so hot.
Water…Powerade…Propel Water…Beta Blockers. Yeah, I’m no scientist or drink-maker, but it was pretty easy to tell that getting my sodium under control was going to be as easy as boogie boarding out of the Bermuda Triangle.
In fact I fucked up my fluid levels so badly that I managed to all at once
- dehydrate myself
- flood my stomach until I was completely nauseated
- dilute whatever amount of sodium was already in my system
- …and drop my blood pressure down to 70/40 and bring my pulse up to 120.
So I popped up like a rose this morning and marched my ass to Urgent Care with my mom so I could get an IV to supplement the complete ass-hatery of my sodium depletion.
Totes how I wanted to spend my Sunday…. (For the record I normally wouldn’t go to Urgent Care but this particular clinic is almost always empty and the nurse practitioner there knows a lot about POTs and never gives me grief–so I use them as a back up during holidays if I’m desperate…or don’t want to wake Dr. Santa Maria up at 6AM on a Sunday!)
Anyways–I got home, slept for four hours and woke up to my blood pressure STILL being in the 80/60 range and my pulse at 117.
So I’ve been in bed all day trying not to black out. Happy has been a good co-pilot and R.J even tried his hand at concocting his own black-market version of Propel Zero Sport for me using zero-cal Kool Aid and buckets of salt….It’s almost drinkable…we’re not quite there…but…yeah…
Here are some things I tried and didn’t work for various reasons-the main being not enough salt to liquid ratio (the other being ingredients that threw me into a gastroparesis flare up):
- Nuun Tablets (Sugar replacement upsets stomach)
- Gatorade (sugar, calories)
- Powerade (calories!)
- Powerade Zero (not enough salt, tastes kind of like Golightly)
- Propel Water (not enough salt)
- Vitamin Water (No salt.)
- Spark (Caffeine.)
- Mio (not enough salt)
- Mio Sport (not enough salt)
- Prescription Salt Tablets (GP Flare for a month.)
- fludrocortisone (Did nothing. Like…nothing.)
Powered by Facebook Comments