To frame the following story, I should mention that I haven't had caffeine for years. Even when I did partake of caffeinated beverages, they barely qualified as such. I’d wave a teabag discreetly over the cup and friends laughingly refused to call the resulting pale liquid tea. Then someone told me that hot water with a small slice of lemon was really good for heartburn/an acidic stomach (a frequent side effect of RA meds), I tried it and discovered how true that was. That was the last time I had a cup of tea and was probably at least six years ago. Since then, the only caffeine I've had is whatever they put in Tylenol #2s to keep you from falling asleep instantly from the codeine and I suspect that doesn't really count.
Despite being uncaffeinated, I still have a fair bit of energy. OK, so I bitch about not being able to deal with The List, about fatigue issues, Mandatory Rest Periods, being out of spoons, etc., but if I look at it relatively objectively, I do accomplish things. I don't often look at it objectively, but am lucky (a-hem) to have others in my life who do that for me. My mother is always telling me I should do less and The Boy frequently talks about coming over to sit on me so I won't work and about how he has having trouble keeping up with me. I laugh when he says this, thinking it a grand joke that Mr. Ablebodied has trouble keeping pace with the disabled woman. He's told me that he might push the argument a little for effect, but really, it’s not that much of a joke. At which point, I snort and go back to work.
Last week, I got sick. Specifically, I got sick on Monday. Because Monday was the first official day of my vacation and of course I’d get sick on my first official day of vacation. It started out as being really tired and fuzzyheaded, but by the time Wednesday rolled around, the gastrointestinal extravaganza entered the fray and things got really interesting. The kind of bad that actually involved a fever that broke Saturday morning - I don't remember the last time I had a fever, nevermind one that required breaking - limbs like overcooked spaghetti, needing a nap after being up for an hour or two and not having the energy for conversation. Me not having the energy for conversation is like a teenager getting out of the bathroom in 2 minutes. Unheard of.
Saturday morning, we went out to buy Ontario strawberries and wandered through the supermarket finding things I might attempt to eat. I’d discovered raisins when I got up, which were a very good introduction to food after a good 60+ hours of virtually nothing. And it was in the supermarket it really became clear that I might have turned the corner, because the craziest things made it into our basket. As we wandered down the drinks aisle to get something for David, I discovered a-six pack of slim cans of Coca-Cola. Not the wee stubby ones that came on the market about a year ago, but smaller, thinner versions of a regular can, with about 100 calories worth of drink in them. I needed them. Haven't had Coke in ages, not since before the switch to no caffeine, but they were so adorable that I couldn't leave them on the shelf all alone. I mean, would you look at the cuteness
It’s a Cokette!
Brought them home, put one in the fridge, forgot about it until Sunday morning. Where after my shower, I was yet again as limp as a pile of noodles and had sludge for brains. The Boy opened the Cokette for his morning shot of caffeine and I had a sip. Giggled at the bubbles that fizzed through my mouth – did it always have that many bubbles? - munched on my breakfast, had another sip or two and started talking about going back to bed because I felt exhausted and….
And then the caffeine hit my bloodstream.
All of a sudden, my brain perked up, I could think, felt as if I had actual energy and although I was aware that underneath the top layer of perky, my body was still weak as a kitten, it didn't matter. Because I wanted to do things. Talk. Maybe take a look at editing the next chapter in The Book (languishing since last Wednesday morning when things Went Bad). Go for walk. Bother the cat. You get the idea. The inevitable marmalade/raisins/pop sugar crash was even nicely cushioned by the caffeine, made into more of a glide and there was a nap soon after, but whoa, Nellie!
I'd forgotten about caffeine. This is legal? This is legal! Do you know about this? I guess you do - otherwise, why would people be lining up at Tim’s every morning for coffee, but really! Why didn't someone tell me about this? Why don't I do this more often?
Can you imagine what I could get done if I caffeinated myself on a regular basis?