Monday, October 05, 2009

I Really Thought I Was Sick

I called in today and am sitting at home because I thought I was sick. Everyone I know is sick right now so the odds were good that I was too. My head is killing me and I have slept for the majority of this weekend. My nose is running and my throat is sore off and on again. I have had no appetite this weekend at all and have forced myself to eat the little I have. It really does sound like disease, but it isn't: it is withdraw.

On my last trip to Eckard's....I mean CVS, I decided to check my blood pressure for the shit and giggles of it. My family was doing it too, so it was kind of a "oh, let me see mine" type thing that became serious out of the blue. My blood pressure was rather high and, given my family history, required me to go to a doctor for a check up.

My mother made an appointment for me (I don't know any heart doctors) and we found that, while not that high in the grand scheme of things, it is starting to rise and should be dealt with ASAP. While telling the doctor the details of my diet, I could see her face slowly morph into bewilderment as to how I have lived this long and her list of things that needed immediate changing was quite extensive: chief on the list was caffeine. Considering that my grandmother on my father's side died at 58 and his father, who lived much longer, did not enjoy the ride and died of heart problems, this was not something I had the option of ignoring and began making switches to my food shopping immediately.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am never far from a soda. This was true in High School, true in College, and true to this day. I don't leave my house without either a 20oz bottle of Diet Coke or enough change to pick one up within 3 minutes of leaving my door. If I could have a slow drip IV, I would eagerly and I hate needles, so that should tell you the depth of my Diet Coke addiction and it was hard enough to switch to Diet, but I was getting fat.

The thought of drinking soda without sugar or caffeine made no sense as it literally would be "just for the taste of it," but one must do what one must do and I did what I had to- three two liter bottles of caffeine-free Diet Coke entered my shopping cart last Thursday.

Did you know caffeine was addicting? Yeah, I didn't. I think I did, but ignored it like most addicts do by saying that standard line of "I can quit anytime I want to," but I was wrong.

The headache kicked in about midnight Thursday and I had a hard time falling to sleep. I woke up Friday feeling like Death had invaded my body, but was not in the mood to start its work yet. The day dragged on and I became convinced I had caught the illness going around. When I made it home Friday, I went to sleep immediately and slept to Saturday, where I woke up and could tell Death had started its work. My temples felt like Samson was inside and pissed as my eyeballs were the only things keeping them from crushing my brain. My throat was dry, sore, barren. I rose from my bed only to have my vision catch up a few seconds later. I was sick.

The weekend consisted of brief moments of being awake scattered between long moments of sleep from that point on. Saturday became Sunday became Monday rather quickly and each waking period was met with extreme lethargy. How could this not be sickness so Monday I woke up and called into work, waking up my sense of guilt who had been feeling under the weather too and slept all weekend as well.

The bastard sense of guilt reminded me that we were probably not sick at all, but suffering from a lack of a substance that has been in our system more than oxygen for the last 20 years. I say "bastard" because he couldn't have had that eureka moment BEFORE I called in sick today? Now I am home, still suffering from the Caffeine DTs, and also feeling guilty for not going to work today. It ain't easy being me.


nanc said...

well, until you get a good case of e.coli with it you haven't arrived - yes, it took me FOUR EFFING WEEKS to get over what you have - i'm so ready for the upcoming flu season - i refuse to give up caffeine, however, it KEEPS my b/p up to tolerable levels - usually 100/60 or so - that way the head rushes aren't so bad.

i hope you feel better soon.

your mother said...

What a great BP Mine was like that until I hit 60.....but thankfully I can still eat...workout eat work out but my low BP is gone forever....You are complex my son but I love your writing well put and good luck

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