Friday, January 18, 2008

I Need Caffeine!

Coffee, iced tea, soda (specifically diet Cherry Coke), hot tea, Excedrin and chocolate. I have a problem: without caffeine, I am worthless. I try to function without it, but fail miserably. Take today for instance - I got over 8 hours of sleep last night and had a relaxing morning of showering, instant oatmeal and only 1 class but - this is the important part - no coffee. By 1:30 p.m. the headache tinglings began. Then the extreme fatigue set in - it is now 2:30 and I am using every ounce of strength to finish this post! I'm not sure what to do. I could go cold-turkey : no caffeine at all. I've done this before and have been mildly successful. It's not as hard as you think to find caffeine-free beverages that taste exactly the same as their caffeine packed counterparts. Here's my specific problem with being caffeine un-dependent: I live with mono consistently. Yes, mononucleosis - "the kissing disease." I've had mono so many times that the doctor diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome. Without caffeine in my system, I have no energy. At least not after lunch. I can function for about six hours after sleeping for ten, but after that, I'm finished. Do I continue my dependence on the most used mood-enhancing drug on the planet so I can get through an entire day awake? Or, do I clean out my system and just make time for a siesta every afternoon so I can make it through till bedtime? (This will be problematic if I ever get a full time job!) These are not rhetorical questions! I need advice! Please comment with opinions, suggestions or convictions on the subject! And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am heading off to nap for 1/2 hour - I'm not making this up people!


Dennis & Valerie said...

You know, Dennis mentioned yesterday that he thinks I might have a fatigue problem- I had never thought about it much... I thought it was normal to be this tired. I sleep for 7-8 hours a night and often (2 or 3 times a week) take a three HOUR nap in the afternoon. And then I'm still tired. In fact, I wake up from a full night's sleep tired. So I have no advice. I rely on caffeine for the energy to get through my morning and then crash at 1:30 after I put the kids down for their naps.

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie,
I saw your status and read your blog. Here are my thoughts for whatever it is worth. You can take it or leave it.
As far as caffeine itself is concerned, it really isn't so bad in moderation. So, if a little helps and there is no other reason to get off, then don't worry about getting off.
If you do want to wean off, tea, colas and mountain dew are roughly 50mg caffeine per 12 oz, coffee about 150 mg per 12 oz. So, going from coffee to tea or soft drinks may be a good intermediate step. If you don't have withdrawal symptoms, you can go cold turkey. Otherwise, slowly decreasing over time has seemed to work for me in the past.
I had symptoms similar to mono the first part of last semester (I tested negative) and I don't think I have ever gotten my full strength or energy back yet. I use about 1/2 cup coffee on days I can't seem to get going. I'm honestly not sure whether it is the caffeine that helps or my expectations.
I have been fully addicted in the past and have worked my way off of caffeine completely for extended periods of time. However, again for the sake of honesty, I had a cup of mocha with caffeinated coffee this morning after a short night and rough morning. I do not consider caffeine itself to be a big concern. Hence, the fact that I go back an forth between use and non use. My bigger concern with my use of mocha is the sugar content. I do try to reasonable, but I do not avoid it entirely.
Qualifying information: I am majoring in nutrition, so some of this information is based on classes. However, I am not certified to give official advice, so this is really just my own thoughts based on my knowledge and own experience. What works for one individual does not always work for others. So, what has seemed to help me may or may not be of any help to you.
I hope this helps some or at least gives some more ideas. I hope you get to feeling better and have a great semester!

Andi said...

HI hon! Oh how I know your struggle! You know how many times I've tried to give up soda! I either have 1 cup of coffee in the morning or I drink Lipton Diet Raspberry Iced Tea! It's awesome! Do you really have time for a nap every day? If you do, I say go that route! And help me figure out how I can have one! Love ya!!