Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Downside of Addiction

That really is a bad title for a blog post. Is there an upside to addiction?

If you are a fellow blogger, don't you have a whole bunch of ideas for blog posts swimming around in your head where they stay only for you to enjoy?

I've got many swimming around up in the brainsphere(is that a word?). They seem to stay up there due to a severe lack of motivation and drive.

Those of you that know me personally know what a "producer" I am. I am driven. I am motivated. I can get something done if I really need to or want to. This has not been me of late.

It all started after Madrona and I headed to Hawaii for vacation.

Due to a heavy caffeine addiction I have not been feeling well and have had a huge decrease in overall motivation and drive. In Hawaii I did not have my regular access to my espresso machine.

I love this machine. We purchased this (an older model) at Starbucks right after we got married. We bought a demonstrator machine which was something like 1/2 the regular price. It went on the blink before the warranty expired so we turned it in and got another one. This happened to us twice. Even though we had to pay a little bit of money each time, we were able to get the newest model. We've had the current one for at least 2 years now.

Anyway(I seem to get off track a lot-that is one of the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal-lack of focus) I didn't understand why some days I would have annoying headaches(not debilitating ones) and mildly nauseated. I thought it was something I ate because there was no regularity to my symptoms.

While in Hawaii, some days I would go to Starbucks and sometimes I wouldn't. On the days I didn't go I would just make coffee at the condo. I guess I wasn't drinking enough caffeine those days when I was feeling a bit under the weather. I was also trying to get off diet soda so I was really good about not having one in the afternoon. I'm beginning to wonder if I was feeling bad on the days I was trying to be good and not have a soda in the afternoon.

An added twist to this story is I also have acid reflux/gerd issues and have been on prescription medicine for about the past 6 months, post endoscopy. My father died of stomach cancer so once I started getting acid stomach symptoms I scheduled an endoscopy. Yes, I had inflammation and yes, I needed to keep it in check especially with my family history.

Since I have been back from Hawaii, some days I would have caffeine in the afternoon(in the form of a diet soda or espresso) and some days I wouldn't. I never connected my feeling "not like myself" to the caffeine, or lack of it.

Well, I began having the same symptoms I had prior to the endoscopy(nausea, acid feeling stomach, etc) and I thought I should look at the no-no list of foods for acid stomach.

One was coffee/caffeine. That is a big one. So yesterday morning I thought I'll try to go off caffeine. I only had one shot instead of two in the morning(I actually didn't even finish the one) and had nothing with caffeine in the afternoon.

Yesterday was a bad day, really bad day. I felt terrible. Big headaches(which I knew I would get) but also a whole host of symptoms(I had all of them). I woke up last night at 3am with a killer headache. I took my trusty little iPhone and looked up caffeine withdrawal symptoms while lying in bed. That was it!

They say to decrease caffeine consumption slowly. Take my advice, if you want to get off your caffeine habit, don't go cold turkey!

I am starting to feel a bit better now that I have had my regular dose of caffeine. I still feel a bit under the weather but I must be feeling well enough to do a post.

Can you believe I haven't even been knitting? I know I'm not feeling well when the thought of knitting doesn't even sound enticing. Maybe soon I'll feel like getting back to the things that bring me joy!


Joni said...

oh my I feel for you. I don't drink coffee so can't relate exactly but can imagine how horrible you feel. My husband weaned himself off of coffee over time. He used to drink several cups a day and now just has green tea occasionally. I suspect the secret is to decrease in small, incremental doses over time. Feel better soon - Big hugs...

Rhonda said...

When I quit smoking 12 years ago I gave up coffee at the same time - having a coffee made me feel like having a cigarette. Hell for a week but I felt so much better after I can't even tell you. When I thought I could have a coffee again I found I couldn't handle caffeine anymore - so it's been decaf (water process only) for me from then on. My acid reflux totally went away. Hang in there - you can do it. You will feel better in the long run. And you won't be a slave to your morning coffee anymore (but you can still have the great taste).

Elise said...

I know where you are at...GERD is no fun but medication does make it much better. While I am still able to drink coffee (usually 1 mug in the morning) my husband was getting more and more irritated by it. He switched to tea, so he can get the caffeine hit, but the acid reflux is not so bad. Citrus Earl Grey is quite good.

Unfortunately, other things that can upset GERD: chocolate, peppermint, tomatoes, spicy foods....these are all a regular part of my diet, but I do try to limit and eat sparingly.

So glad to see your posts though...I miss hearing from you.


Janine said...

Other mothers will try to guilt their children by relating stories of labor pains--I try to guilt Gingko with stories of going off caffeine while pregnant.... Nuff said.

It's a good idea to get this under control. I definitely feel it when I overindulge (luckily, I can handle a regular amount of caffeine).

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I went off caffeine about a year ago when I discovered it was giving me pimples! Yes, pimples. sigh. I have acne rosacea and one of the big no-no's is caffeine.

Anyhow, I actually found Excedrin to help a lot when going off of caffeine. It has caffeine in it, but it also has the pain reliever and for some reason when I went off coffee/soda the headache was horrendous, so I went "on" excedrin for a few days and then when I went off excedrin I didn't have the headache reaction. It must be an intermediate step.

Anyhow, I don't know if you can take excedrin with your stomach issues, but it was helpful for me.

BTW I haven't had caffeine for about a year and I feel much better not having the swings.