Saturday, August 2, 2008

Caffeine-free blahs

My neurologist is a lovely man named Dr. Simchak. He is one of my heroes, as he has made it his life's calling to rid me of headaches. (not just me of course, but I like to think so sometimes) You can even Google him. On his group's website it says he "has a special interest in headache management, speaking frequently on this subject". Of course, it also says he enjoys house pets and wildlife. :) Anyway... he is great and seems to really care about his patients and their quality of life.
Until this week. My new name for Dr. Simchak is Evil Lord Darth Simchak (with-all-due-respect). He has forbidden me from caffeine intake. If you know me, that should be enough said, but of course, I am not going to leave it at that.
Here is the story: Ever since being released from the hospital I have been fighting pretty bad headaches. So I go to see Dr. You-Know-Who on Tuesday and after an update on my recent travails, he says "We are going to put you on Meclizine for 3 days to try to break up the headache. It is really important that you drink lots of water. And no caffeine". WAIT. Stop the presses. WHAT?!?! "No caffeine?" I innocently ask. "No caffeine for 3 days or no caffeine ever?" (We have covered this topic before and my understanding was to just try to be reasonable - so this was news.) He says: "Well I usually tell my chronic headache patients no caffeine". Chronic headache patient=Tricia. Unhappy headache patient=Tricia.
So I whined a bit and he did not feel sorry for me and sent me on my way. WHAT HE FAILED TO TELL ME was he was sending me off on my merry little way with an antihistimine that was going to turn me into a vertical version of myself asleep while at the same time taking away my beloved coffee and all of the fun coffee beverage variations. Yes, the Meclizine is Antivert, which is some antihistimine that one of my other doctors told me patients sometimes take as a sleeping pill. And now you know why Dr. Simchak is now Evil Lord Simchak. I must have been mean to him once or something.
It has been a long week of dealing with being amazingly tired, to the point I cannot even tell you how tired I have been; combined with adjusting to not being able to have caffeine. Many moons ago, I started teaching myself to drink caffeine-free Diet Coke, so I am hip to that, but it becomes very difficult when I leave the comfort of my home to find a beverage to drink. After good ole H2O, there are very few low-cal caffeine-free options out there in the out-to-eat marketplace. And, ironically, I went out 3 times this week. Grr. And I miss my coffee. I think decaf is totally pointless (although I am sure I will quickly come around), so I get to work and - no coffee. That has been the first thing I have done when I got to work for the past year and now..... zip. BLAH!!! My Starbucks card still has $$$ left on it! And the list goes on and on..
I am having big trouble adjusting to this whole no caffeine thing. Not from the physical side, but from the lifestyle and pyschological side. Today is Saturday and I got up and usually would have made a pot of coffee and curled up on the couch and drank my java and it was very annoying to not be able to do that today. (This is why I think I will end up caving and going decaf unless I just end up adjusting quickly) Has anyone else gone through this and has any tips/insight?


Jenibug7 said...

I decided to go "caffeine-free" my sophomore year of high school. There was no good reason behind it- I think I actually thought it would make me cooler or something. Anyway, after ,any years of sever-Cokes-per-day, I just dropped it cold turkey. I went to Sprite. I can't even stand Coke now, and if I drink real coffee I have a horrible stomach cramp reaction. I just always do decaf. People look at me like I am nuts getting my decaf at church on Sunday mornings, but that is just part of who I am now. I think you will find there are still lots of really yummy decaf things- I frequent Starbucks almost weekly...

Jenibug7 said...

All that said, I still have migraines.... (sorry!)

tricia said...

I was hoping you would say people would not look at me like I was nuts, but at least there will be two of us - too bad you are all the way in Texas!!