Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ahhh...caffeine...my old friend

I did something today that I haven't done in years. Literally - 9 years or so. I had a Diet Coke. While this may not sound like much, I'll fill you in and you can understand why this was a difficult choice, and also why it was necessary. First, the back story.

Years ago I stopped drinking caffeine in an attempt to make the female parts of me behave better and be nicer to the rest of me. It seemed to make a big difference, and was also right about the time that the coke folks (I don't mean just Coke - I'm from Texas so I don't call it pop or soda - it's all coke) started coming out with CAFFEINE FREE versions of their drinks, so it wasn't too much of a stretch. I have to admit that I drank a lot of Sprite and 7-Up as most of these new caffeine free drinks weren't widely available back then. But I trudged on and made my way out of that caffeinated world with very little trouble. (I am allergic to chocolate so that's not a source of caffeine for me at all.)

Fast forward to a few years ago. Tom and I were sitting in one of our favorite local restaurants (which they closed shortly after this - most likely because we said out loud to each other that we liked that particular restaurant) and I wanted some sweet tea. Now, growing up in Texas I drank Bill Miller's Sweet Tea like it was the only thing on Earth to drink. I had my HUGE mug that I'd get filled on the way home from work (at a restaurant that served sweet tea that I could have taken for free and didn't cause Bill Miller's was so much better...) and to and from school, etc. Bill Miller's was everywhere and their sweet tea tasted like heaven. There's probably also some genetic component there - I think if you are born and raised in the south that you have a sweet tea addiction from birth.

So, back to the story. I was sitting with Tom and having not had sweet tea or any caffeinated beverage for a few years, a surprising urge came over me. I wanted Sweet Tea and I wanted it bad. After he finished laughing at me (and not knowing the rest of what I'm about to tell you) Tom encouraged me to order said tea and drink up. I did - and it was a big glass of tea, so I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Then we discovered why I shouldn't ever again drink caffeinated beverages. Up until this point the most caffeine I'd had was that which was in decaf coffee. Yes, there's some in there but not massive amounts and I'd generally only have one cup. I had a very large glass of tea and the effects lasted for several days. I talked non-stop for three days, had trouble sleeping for several nights, and was basically bouncing off the walls. Thank goodness this was pre-kiddos or who knows what would have happened. After this Tom and I swore (me) off caffeine once again. I thought a few times there that Tom's head was going to explode from all the chatter. And so I did avoid caffeine...up until today.

Yesterday evening I developed a migraine. (And don't jump ahead here - it's not quite the end of the story). I used to take Imitrex when I got these and I'd sleep for a day and it would be gone and things would be back to normal. And I have the Imitrex here. But when I pulled out the package last night to down my first dose I was shocked (but also slightly relieved) that the prescription had expired in 2005 - OVER TWO YEARS AGO. The shock was that I was stranded on a Friday night without anything that could help me, and the relief was that it had been two years since I had had a migraine. I had been successfully avoiding all migraine triggers for two full years - and that's pretty impressive after years of having them.

So, lots of Advil, a hot HOT bath for my toes, and one very dark and quiet house later I fell asleep, and while having odd dreams, actually got a full night's sleep. I think I was so worn out that once I was able to get to sleep that it stuck. So, I woke up today with the migraine in tact, albeit at a slightly less irritating level. But, my face has been tingly all day - one sure fire indication that I haven't quite gotten rid of this pesky thing.

After Max's soccer game today I sat down for a bit while Tom messed with the blue van in an attempt to go get it inspected (which of course no one does here on Saturdays). We talked about taking some Excedrin but I wasn't excited about that, so Tom suggested that I drink a Diet Coke - a regular Diet Coke. Not wanting to call the doctor on Saturday (the meds don't work as well once you are this far into the migraine anyway) and wanting some relief I thought long and hard. Then I asked Tom if HE was ready for me to do that considering what happened the last time that I drank caffeine. He thought that I was so beat up that the little extra bit of caffeine in the Diet Coke wouldn't matter. He was soooo right. The vaso-constrictor did it's job and I got a bit of afternoon relief from the migraine, but have had no lasting effects from the caffeine. So, HAH to you Diet Coke. I'll go back to my Caffeine Free though - don't want to make those female parts mad again. And bummer - no incessant chatter this time. Well, maybe not so bad from Tom's point of view.

Oh, and remind me later to ask about how to explain what sanitary napkins are to a 7 year old boy. He asked today at the store. Yeah, told him I'd tell him when he's 15. Tom said 30, but when is a guy ever ready to hear that kind of stuff?

2 comments:

Christine said...

We had the tampon discussion when my son was six ... but I'm an "answer all the questions when asked" kinda' gal.

Then I let he and his sister "shoot" a couple of them at each other ... at which point I did the whole, "YOU ONLY TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF WITH MOM AND DAD! YOU DO NOT GO TO CHURCH AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS THAT WE SHOT TAMPONS AT ONE ANOTHER!!!!"

Paul C. said...

Caffeine Addiction - Caffeine Effects and Withdrawal part II

Caffeine addiction shows up when a person cannot stop consuming caffeine in high amounts, causing his/her body to demand the substance and react negatively if that no caffeine is intake. Caffeine may not be addictive in the traditional sense, but the body builds up a tolerance over time; some people find it very hard to function well without at least one cup of strong coffee or tea in the morning. The stimulating effects of caffeine are caused by a central nervous reaction, the heart rate increases, blood vessels expand and the brain receives more oxygen. These caffeine effects can last for up to 8 hours, and once they go off then the body feels extremely lazy and slow as a side effect.

Caffeine addiction can even cause death, mainly because the abuse of any stimulant can cause high blood pressure or and heart problems, so if you abuse of it chances are you put yourself at the highest risk of a heart attack.

You need to be careful with caffeine withdrawal because it affects your overall health and therefore, you need to control your consumption of caffeinated products to prevent your body reactions to caffeine withdrawals. If you need more information about caffeine effects and caffeine addiction symptoms or prevention, please investigate a little further on this topics.

You can find more info at: http://yourcaffeineaddiction.com/