A man in his 30s who lost both of his eyes to coffee is now living a life of constant fear and stress, as he tries to cope with his recovery and the challenges of an ever-changing world.
In a bid to help those suffering from coffee-induced respiratory distress, the New York City-based actor is embarking on a new documentary called ‘I Am Coffee’.
“I’ve been through it a few times,” says Chris, whose name has been changed to protect his privacy.
“When I first had it, I had to go to the emergency room.”
It was scary, especially after my first surgery.
I’m not very good with words and it was like, ‘This is crazy’.
“It’s been a very, very difficult journey.
It’s been pretty hard.
I’ve had to get out of the house for a long time and be home from work all day.
I’ve been doing everything I can to stay healthy.””
I don’t have time for these things.”
Chris, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), lost both eyes in a workplace accident in 2006.
“I’m not a huge coffee drinker,” he says.
“I’ve never been in one and never will be.”
My job is to look after people.
It isn’t a lifestyle, it’s a business.
“He says that, as a result of his coffee allergies, his life has become increasingly stressful and isolating.”
The stress is really getting to me,” he admits.”
There’s been this weird kind of ‘I am nervous I have to pee’ kind of anxiety.
“People ask me, ‘What is going on?’.”
And I’m like, I’m still a young guy.
I haven’t done anything wrong.
“But I am in a situation where there’s a lot of pressure on me.
I feel like I’m a burden to my family, my girlfriend, my parents.”
Chris says that when he first had the coffee bug, he was terrified of people looking at him and thinking he had something weird going on.
But his family are also worried.
“A lot of people are really worried about it,” he explains.
“They’re worried about what will happen to me when I get sick.”
He has been told that, should he start having respiratory issues, he could end up in the ICU.
“As soon as I go to hospital, my dad and brother are worried,” he adds.
“Because they know they’re going to have to pay for it.”
If I can’t afford to pay it, my mom and brother will have to.
“Chris believes that his ordeal has been far from over.”
For now, I feel very fortunate that my mom is with me,” Chris says.”
And that she has my dad.
It really does mean the world to me.”‘
It is so important for the rest of us to know what is happening’After months of work on the documentary, Chris has decided to tell his story to other coffee-sick people.”
What I’m doing right now is my own personal story,” he reveals.”
Like any other person, if I start having a little bit of coffee in my system, it can be scary.
“In the future, I’ll be doing interviews with other people.
I want to tell my story so that other people who are in the same situation can learn from my experience.”
Chris is now doing a follow-up documentary to ‘I AM Coffee’ which will air in October.
He says it is important for those suffering with coffee- related respiratory distress to know about the symptoms of coffee-associated respiratory distress and get advice on how to prevent it.