Tuesday, August 03, 2010

the caffeine addict

I have migraines.  I wrote about that quite a bit in my first blog, because that was back in the days when I was having "chronic" migraines (which, if I remember right, is defined as 15 or more migraine days per month, and I had months with 20-24.  Ugh.  It was awful).  I'm not sure why they were so bad back then, but I'm grateful those days are over.  I think it might have just been exhaustion-- I enjoy my children more and more as they get older, and the early days were, shall we say, not pretty.  I was definitely not one of those moms who treasured the baby days.  Give me a houseful of teenagers any day.  Wait, I'm getting off topic here.

So anyway.  For awhile, I was so grateful not to be having "chronic" migraines that I didn't mind that I was still having 8-10 a month.  But a couple of years ago, I got tired of even that and decided I had to do something, so I got off caffeine.  I've written about this before, so I won't go into detail here, but it was an unpleasant experience.  For awhile, I couldn't really tell if it had made a difference, because getting off caffeine (of course) resulted in having quite a few more, and more severe, migraines than I was having before.  But after I'd been off for a few months, I started to notice that although I was still having migraines, they were less frequent and much less severe.  In fact, by the time I'd been off a year, I was down to 5-6 days per month, and those were usually easily handled with a maxalt and half a percocet.  I still had migraines, but they were no longer debilitating.

But the thing is, I really miss coffee.  And iced coffee and lattes, and mochas, and frappucinos.  And Diet Dr. Pepper and iced tea.  And I never did give up chocolate, although I try not to eat it very often.  So I've been somewhat careless about the whole caffeine thing, I admit.  It was difficult to take it very seriously, because I was still having migraines, for one thing, and because there was never a direct correlation between ingesting caffeine and having headaches.  I would not have caffeine for a week or so, and then have some, and nothing would happen.  It didn't really seem to make much difference.

This summer I've been travelling a lot, and that's when it's hardest to avoid caffeine.  But since it didn't seem to make that much difference, I wasn't too worried.  By the time I returned from the second trip in early July, I had had caffeine every day for about ten days.  And-- I shouldn't have been surprised-- I was having headaches almost every day again.  Not too terribly severe, but bad enough.  So when I got back on a Sunday, I decided I had to get strict about it again, and by Wednesday, I was in bed all day.  It was that bad.

After two weeks of no caffeine at all (and no headaches), I had some on Sunday. And once I'd had some I figured it didn't matter if I had more, so I actually had, um....., well......, quite a bit.  Monday I was fine, but today I woke up with a migraine-- a fairly bad one, that has not responded well to the usual meds.

So.  It's finally occurring to me that I really can't have caffeine.  I'm slow.  It should have been obvious.  I hate it.  I want to whine and complain.  Everyone else can have caffeine, why can't I?  But there it is.  Grow up, AB.  thank goodness Diet Dr Pepper comes in Caffeine Free.


  1. I am also a caffeine junkie and have not been brave enough yet to cut it out of my life. But I am seriously thinking about it. I get migraines, though, and caffeine is one of the only cures. Sigh. Why can't Coca-Cola classic be as healthy as water? Hope your day gets better.

  2. Hi, Bona Fide-- yes, that is one of the tricky things. Caffeine often gets rid of my headaches, too. I'm still figuring this out, I'm not sure whether I'll still be able to take the occasional Excedrin Migraine or not. Are you from the South? Aspirin and coke-cola, the classic headache cure. :-)

  3. Yep, I am a southern girl. My grandmother taught me the Aspirin/Coca-Cola cure for headaches when I was little, and it almost always works.

  4. Hi, again BFB-- just in case you check back--I was starting to get a headache on Thurs so I had a Diet Dr Pepper with caffeine and a couple of aspirin and it took care of it perfectly. And no headache Sat or Sunday, so I guess I can still occasionally use the standard cure. :-)