Friday, March 8, 2013

3 of 3: Caffeine

Change is in the air.

As it turns out, I am not considered a particularly heavy consumer of caffeine. I drink 16-20 ounces of caffeinated coffee in the mornings, and do not consume other caffeinated beverages with any regularity. I've had short-term binges where I made many pitchers of properly sweetened tea, and Lord knows that my deep love of chocolate is also a way that caffeine has entered my life.

But, when it comes right down to it, I am essentially a two-cups-per-day coffee drinker.

Sadly, that will have to change. I apparently am fortunate, in that the process of weaning off caffeine will be easier for me than for others because I do not consume as much as as I thought I did. But, honestly, I am scared.

The thing is, I am not actually sure what I am scared of. I remember one time when I inadvertently went cold-turkey off caffeine. The headache was miserable on a level that words fail to describe. I can only imagine what it must feel like for heavier consumers of caffeine. Lord have mercy on their souls!

Anyway, the medical guidelines for cessation of caffeine intake state that the patient should take absolutely no less than two full weeks to wean. And, oddly enough, my medical team stated without reservation that I can continue to drink decaf coffee. What a bizarre thing -- I'd've thought that the essential oils present in coffee would've been problematic, but apparently it is only the caffeine itself that concerns them. So, yeah. I'm going to give myself 4 weeks. The only question now, is... when do I start stopping?

I hear a voice in my head. It is the very matter-of-fact but compassionate RN at Kaiser repeating the mantra for these kinds of life-changes: start small, start today. Can I at least get through Holy Week first? Yaknow, be born into decaf as Jesus rises on the third day?

Thank God that my sardonic sense of humor is still intact.

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