I spend the next day feeling like crap, between hot flashes and cold flashes, guzzling water trying to fight what I fear might be the beginning of the flu. Or maybe it was the fish I had at Olive Garden on Friday? Do I have food poisoning? Oh God, what is wrong with me? I just hurt everywhere…. It must be the flu.
As the miserable day progresses, I wonder out loud to my husband if it might be the lack of caffeine.
“Why don’t you just have some coffee?” he asks me.
“Because when you’re going through withdrawals, the worst thing you could do is give in,” I tell him.
“You think that’s what’s happening?”
Withdrawals. That’s exactly what’s happening.
Later that night I spend some time researching and determine that that’s exactly what’s going on. I am going through caffeine withdrawals. These aren’t anything like what I experienced when I gave up smoking. I don’t recall feeling this way when I promptly quit drinking to go to boot camp. I’ve never experienced withdrawals like I’m experiencing right now.
Today is day four, or maybe it’s five. I can’t remember. I woke up this morning and my head didn’t quite hurt like it has, though my neck still aches and my joints are still a bit rusty. This after I spent the night freezing under a thick comforter with another thick blanket folded in half on top of that, wearing pants and socks and a t-shirt with a cardigan pulled snugly over my arms. My boys are running around in underwear telling me it’s too hot for clothes and I’m sitting here looking for a bigger sweater to pull over my cardigan and wondering if I have electric socks somewhere.
I can’t bend at the waist or knees without my body telling me it hates me. I’m thinking a little clearer today, but only enough to be able to plot the evil demise of the doctor that told me I have to give up caffeine.
Oh yeah, did I mention I’m doing this because I have to? Apparently I suffer from fibrocystic breasts- or lumpy boobs. Yeah- that’s attractive. Several years ago, my doctor and I discovered a scary lump and, two ultrasounds and a mammogram later, we determined that I suffered from this “disease”. A little more than 50% of women will experience this at some point, before “the change”. But it’s generally something that comes and goes with other hormonal girl issues. Mine is constant.
Additionally, I have a tumor on my pituitary gland. I happen to have a neurologist who, pardon my honesty, is an idiot. My last neurologist (who was amazing), made it very clear to me that, given my recent blood test results, should the tumor begin to grow, surgery would be impossible to avoid. MRI’s show it is growing. My current neurologist says he can’t open the file that the images came on and therefore I should come back and see him in 6 months. It’s a complicated situation, but a lot of my continuing to see him is because he’s the only neurologist in a 100 mile radius who will accept my insurance, and my insurance won’t let me go outside of that area for a new one because there is one here. I’m welcome to pay for it out of pocket. If only I had pockets that deep.
The tumor, should it continue to grow, will begin to secrete hormones. Hormones that will make my normal fibrocystic breasts even lumpier. And more painful. Which is where I found myself last week as I sat in my doctor’s office and she went through a list of the best things I could do at home to ease the pain. Aside from the medication that she prescribed, the other big thing was giving up caffeine.
So- here I am. Day whatever, taking my doctor’s advice because, let’s be honest- she’s a heck of a lot smarter than I am. I can’t see yet where the withdrawals are going to be worth having slightly less painful boobs, but that’s probably just the decaf talking.
At least I haven’t killed anyone yet.