Tuesday, July 15, 2008


About 2 months before surgery I gave up caffeine. I used to stop every morning on the way in to work and get a 24oz coffee / fake-latte from the gas station near my office. It was a tough transition to kick the habit and I did it slowly by first switching to a smaller coffee (16oz), then to decaf, then eventually to just water or hot herbal tea. That was 10 months ago.

I can't say that I've missed caffeine, per se. But I've missed the ritual of it. I'd been stopping for that coffee every morning for 3 or 4 years. I'd made "friends" with the folks who also stopped every morning at the same time and was friendly with the owner of the business. Eventually I stopped going to the station all together because it didn't make sense to just stop and buy a bottle of water when it was so tempting to just pour myself a cup of coffee instead.

Since surgery I've had the occassional latte from Starbucks (the one inside Barnes & Noble) or the local coffeehouse (Harvest Coffeehouse in Frankenmuth - love them!). My normal order is a decaf latte made with skim milk and some type of sugar-free flavored syrup. Yummm! But this was very occassional -- maybe two or three times per month. Although I do love going to Harvest on the weekends to hear their live music, so it's been a bit more often lately.

In the past month or so I've gotten into the habit of having a cup of decaf coffee in the morning when I arrive at work. Literally 1 cup -- probably less than a full 8oz since the cups are so small. Again, not necessarily for the caffeine (yes, there is a small amount of caffeine in decaf) - but for the ritual of it all.

This morning though... I had a mug of fully caffeinated coffee. For the first time in 10 months.

I was literally sitting at my desk struggling to stay awake. My eyes were drooping and my body just felt exhausted. I just wanted to curl up under my desk and take a nap. So I decided to try some caffeinated coffee to jolt me awake. I dug out my mug from a desk drawer (much larger than the tiny cups in the coffee-room) and I poured myself a mug of fuel.

I'm awake!

Guess the caffeine did the trick for me this morning. I'm no longer dragging or sleepy and don't have an overwhelming need for a nap.

So today's mug of caffeine worked the way I wanted it to. Will I go back to my daily coffee fix at the gas station? Probably not. And I'll probably stick with my usual choice of decaf coffee when I hit the coffeehouse. I don't need (or want) to get my body addicted to the caffeine again.


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