Famous last words #38: What could possibly go wrong?

Deutsch: "Kopfschmerzen". Die wohl b...

Deutsch: “Kopfschmerzen” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, my God.  Week from Hell.  Worst.  Week.  Ever!  to quit caffeine.  There needs to be some kind of Caffeine Anonymous program with sponsors you can call when things get tough:  “Man, I don’t know what to do.  I got three hours of sleep, I have ten errands to run after work, and my computer just blew up.  It would be so much easier to deal with all of this if I could just have some caffeine.”  “Take a deep breath, Little Blind Girl.  You can do this.  Just take it one day at a time.”

I made it through the week, more or less, with rather less in the way of running and rather more in the way of beer and Italian restaurants (sorry, Doc), but only a little more.  I thought I was safe on the weekend.  I’d done the hard part.  I’d gotten through Hell Week without caffeine.  It was Sunday evening.  What could possibly go wrong now?

Slight digression:  there are things you must never say, or even think.  They are as follows:

  1. I’ll be right back.
  2. Everything’s under control.
  3. It’s probably nothing.
  4. What does this button do?
  5. What could possibly go wrong?

Lesson learned.  No sooner had I said this to myself than my Darling Dad called and wanted to know everything about my savings and retirement situations right then over the phone, down to the last penny in the accounts and the tax consequences in the event that I predecease both parents but am survived by my step-nephew.  And he needed to know it immediately!  Slight exaggeration, but only slight.  I don’t have a step-nephew.  That I know of.

I dealt with Darling Dad, hung up the phone, sighed, and decided I needed a soda.  A non-caffeinated one, obviously.  So I started off to the convenience store across the street and what did I find hanging on the handle of my apartment door?  Was it the decapitated head of my pet horse?  A voodoo doll of me with a pin through each eye?  No.  No, it was something far worse, something calculated to cut through all of my defenses and bring me to my knees in mere seconds.

It was a bag of three bottles of Mountain Dew soda.

They were probably from my neighbor trying to be nice, after I’d had such a hard week and all (the nightmares may have clued him in, with me shouting “No!  I swear!  I’ll get the report in by Tuesday!” at 2 in the morning), but really I think it was the Karma Gods coming for me.  It’s only fair.  I knew better.

Now to publish this blog post.  So many widgets and banners and buttons on these blogs…what does this button do?

Mirage Volcano 2

Mirage Volcano 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)








I’ll be right back!

No! Take anything you want, but spare the caffeine!

Old Man Grieving - Vincent van Gogh

Old Man Grieving – Vincent van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As yet another part of a well-meaning attempt to preserve what vision I have for as long as possible, my doctor has finally gone too far:  he has ordered me to give up caffeine.

Now, there are a few issues this raises.  One of the first that may strike you is–how can my doctor order me to do anything?  The answer is that he was in the army before he went into private practice and, although he doesn’t say anything, I’m pretty sure he knows at least ten different ways to kill me with his bare hands.  I know he has a very pointed look when he asks if I’ve been eating enough green, leafy vegetables.  There are very few people who scare me, but he’s one of them.

The second, and ultimately more important issue is, is it actually possible for me to survive without caffeine?  I know there are people who can, but I think at this point I may be physically composed of caffeine in significant amounts.  I’m not saying giving up caffeine would actually cause my body to shut down, but I’m not eager to find out.  I don’t have the courage to say this to my doctor, however, so the caffeine (I can’t believe I’m saying this) has got to go.

Today is my first day without caffeine.  I found myself, once I was able to reassemble and reattach my skull, experiencing some unfamiliar emotions.  Thoughts popped unbidden into my head.  I started thinking, “I don’t really need to give up caffeine.  I’m fine!  Why is this happening to me?”  I progressed from these thoughts to ones such as “Stupid doctor!  It’s not fair!  This is his fault!”  From there, I went to “Maybe if I just offered to eat more fruit,” and “I’ll donate my life savings to charity if I don’t have to give up caffeine.”

I finally realized what was going on:  I’m going through the five stages of grief.

  1. Denial.  “I don’t really need to give up caffeine”
  2. Anger.  “This is my doctor’s fault!”
  3. Bargaining.  “Maybe if I just ate more fruit”

This leaves me with two more stages:  depression and acceptance.  I’ve already progressed to the depression stage.  “It doesn’t matter, nothing matters anymore.  Life is meaningless without caffeine.”  Wikipedia has this to say about the depression stage of the Kubler-Ross model of grieving:

During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage…. It’s natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage.

Sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty.  This is what I feel when I contemplate a Monday morning without caffeine.  A tad dramatic, you say?  Just imagine Monday morning at the office, in heels and hose, checking the seventeen messages that have accumulated over the weekend and remembering all those things that got put off from last week because it would all somehow be easier this week.  Now, add caffeine withdrawal.  Doesn’t that make you feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty?

I look forward to the acceptance stage.  I’m told that’s when I come to terms with the tragic event.  Caffeine, you’ve left me too soon.  When I think of all the manic unfocused energy you gave me and the sudden complete physical collapse that came as you wore off, it’s hard to imagine my life without you.  But our time has passed.  And, to be honest, I doubt I’ll lose any sleep over you.  That was kind of the problem in the first place.

Caffeine inhalers: breath of life?

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Image via Wikipedia

There are discoveries that revolutionize the world.  Fire, the wheel, penicillin, Megan Fox, these are all remarkable finds that have changed day to day lives the world round.  There is such a discovery about to bring light into our darkened lives right now.  Dr. David Edwards, a biomedical engineering professor at Harvard, has invented a caffeine inhaler that will deliver the same amount of caffeine as a large cup of coffee, but in a single breath.

Could this be the fabled breath of life?  Since I was a little blind toddler, I’ve dreamed of having an IV of caffeine that I could just wheel around with me as I go places.  I could lower or raise the dosage depending on whether I’m at an amusement park or in a meeting.  I read about this caffeine inhaler discovery and I thought, “My God!  This is fantastic!  I love this doctor!  I don’t know who he is or anything about him, but I love him.”  Surely, if President Obama can win a Nobel Prize for nothing anyone can quite put their finger on, then Dr. Edwards should get a Nobel Prize for this magnificent scientific discovery and service to humanity.

English: Independence Day fireworks, San Diego.

Image via Wikipedia

Strangely, I seem to be in the minority in this reaction.  When I learned the news, I was full of eagerness to tell my friends and colleagues.  I thought there would be instant rejoicing, perhaps all business halted as celebrations began in the streets and in town squares across the nation.  Instead, I got furrowed brows and mutterings of “health concerns,” “uncertain long-term consequences” and “potential for abuse.”  I was appalled; my spirits drooped; my friends did not share my joy.  How could this be?

Ok, first of all, I just want to point out that caffeine is currently available in pill form, so I’m not sure the inhaler is going to cause a spate of caffeine overdoses, for which you would need to ingest the equivalent of about eighty cups of coffee.  Second, people, people, this is fantastic news!  A shot of caffeine, anytime, anywhere, no need for any beverage, no brewing, no spilling, no cleaning.  Instant energy, available in packs of six.  One for every day of the week, still allowing for a day of rest–very Christian.  What could possibly go wrong?

I especially love the portability of the product.  The possibilities are endless:  I was thinking about buying several packs and stringing the inhalers together in a kind of belt, so that I’d always have one available.  Or, I could hollow out a heel in my shoes so that I can fit an inhaler inside.  Or, I could wrap an inhaler in ribbon, glue a bow on top and a clip on bottom and use it as a hair ornament.  Caffeinated from head to toe.  I may never sleep again.

I’m a little worried that my first reaction, before any other thought had time to occur, was overwhelming, giddy joy.  That’s not a sign of anything, is it?  Well, just like the invention of fire, I suppose caffeine inhalers can burn as well as bring warmth and light to the cold, dark, desolate night.  But, man, if this brings about the downfall of western civilization as a friend of mine suggested, what a way to go.  I bet with a caffeine overdose, it’ll keep you moving for so long after your heart stops that people may not notice anything until a week after you’ve died.  In fact, I bet I could get out at least three blog posts before someone catches on and buries me.  For all you know, this may be one of them….

English: Human Skeleton on Exhibit at The Muse...

Image via Wikipedia

Cold medicine and caffeine, or: look at all the pretty colors!

I came down with something nasty yesterday, and I was a bit out of it for a lot of the day.  Toward the evening, I started thinking, “Gosh, I haven’t posted anything on my blog today. I should post something.  All my lovely followers will be missing me!”  Did I mention I was a bit out of it?  I’d taken a fair amount of cold medicine, and as a result was even more unfit than usual to operate heavy machinery such as a computer.  Here’s me trying to post yesterday:

Little Blind Girl: (sitting at computer) I should post something.  What should I blog about? (enormous yawn) (lengthy pause) I should post something.  What should I blog about? (closes eyes) (falls asleep; wakes up) Why am I at the computer?  Oh; blog entry!  I should post something.  What should I blog about?

(LBG proceeds to spend the next fifteen minutes surfing the net for inspiration, eventually ending up on someone else’s blog, reading a post she’s already read.  After reading the same sentence three times, she shakes her head.)

LBG:  This isn’t going to work.  I know; I’ll drink some Red Bull!  Maybe then I’ll be able to think of a topic for my next post.

Half an hour later:

LBG:  You know, I’m really not feeling any effects.  I think I’ll drink another.

Fifteen minutes later:

LBG:  Oh, my God, this is going to be the most awesome post ever!  I’m, like, a total genius.  I should post about fish!  Fish are so cool!  I had a fish once…hey, that song I like is on the radio…(gets up and dances)

Fifteen minutes later:

LBG:  I love my blog!  (sings to self) I’m going to post to my blog now, going to post to my blog!  But first I’m going on Facebook–oh, man, all my friends are available for chat!  I’m going to chat to all my friends at the same time!  That’ll be awesome!

Thirty minutes later:

LBG:  I feel fantastic!  Why didn’t I think of drinking Red Bull earlier?  I bet Red Bull could cure cancer!  All right, time to post to my blog.  Oh, man, my floor is disgusting!  I should clean it…I’m going to clean it right now!  God, I rock!

Twenty minutes later:

LBG:  Where did I leave the mop?  Oh, well, I am totally going to write a blog post, now.  I’m going to write it about…shoes!  I love shoes!  Or socks!  Or kumquats….ooh, I haven’t seen this movie in a while.  Let me just pop it in.

Two hours later:

LBG:  Wow, that Red Bull is really (yawn) wearing off.  Come to think of it, so is my cold medicine.  I don’t feel very good.  I should probably redose.  Where did I put my medicine? (After twenty minutes of searching) Here it is!  I wonder why I put it by the computer?  Oh, well.  Here goes!

Within half an hour, I was asleep.  Sorry, peeps, but I’m pretty sure I spared you an enthusiastic but completely incomprehensible blog entry, especially since when I woke up the next time, my first thought was “Why is all my underwear on my coffee table?”  And this, friends, is why cold medicine and Red Bull should never mix.  Interestingly, I’ve been nominated for an award.  More on that when I’m sure I’m not going to pull a Sally Field.