21 April 2008

Strychnine, Arsenic, Cyanide and Decaf

I am about to confess something that will shock some of my readers, all the way from Seattle to my own neck of the woods.

I am drinking decaf.

Did you hear that? Somewhere in Seattle, a MommyBlogger just fell off her chair in shock. But wait, there's more, and this is even more horrific and appalling.

I am still alive.

Yes folks, it's true. Here's my sorry story.

As you know, I live by the rule "If I don't blog it, it doesn't exist." It is for this reason that I have been avoiding mentioning in this blog that my blood pressure has recently shot up quite worryingly.

Long story short:

  • family history of hypertension
  • pre-eclampsia while pregnant with Sonny Ma-Jiminy
  • pregnancy-induced hypertension while pregnant with Smoochy Girl
  • have been described by one doctor as "a sitter for essential hypertension"
  • blood pressure shot up after months of ongoing stress with bedbugs etc.
  • sent off for many tests to make sure it wasn't due to something ghastly
  • i.e., more stress
  • tests are clear
  • diagnosed with "essential hypertension" (which doesn't mean it's essential that I have it, it means "primary" hypertension: not secondary to something else wrong)
  • all settled down quite well with medication
  • and also ... dum dah dumm ...

  • My doctor said I should drink DECAF!
When the doctor told me, I thought I might wither up and waste away. Then I remembered that I don't drink coffee for its pick-me-up qualities, so if the taste wasn't too different I should be okay on decaf. And yes, I AM okay.

Wikipedia told me that coffee has over 400 compounds that give it its taste and admittedly, you couldn't remove the caffeine without altering the overall taste in some way. But if you're not a real coffee aficionado, you can drink it and come out okay on the other side of the experience. Real coffee is a bit sweeter and smoother, but I can handle decaf. I'm tough.

What I'm not handling though, is the reaction of others.

"Can I borrow some of your coffee?"
"Thanks." (pause)
"It's decaf though."
(Dropping it like it's a snake) "YUCK!! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?!?" (i.e., 'before I'd touched it with my hands'.)

"Mmmm, that coffee smells good!"
"It IS good." (pause) "And you know, it's decaf."
"I - er - um - okay, I guess I must be."

Really, you'd think that decaf was the most potent and quick-acting poison in the world, the way some people go on about it.

Trouble is, most 'coffee snobs' won't even try it. It won't pass their lips. They might try dishes from other countries made from the cuts of beasts that should have ended up on the slaughterhouse floor, but they will never even TASTE their favourite brew minus one little compound casually separated out from the 400-odd others. Not one sip.

It's not like I'm even drinking it by choice! Please don't kill me! You'd just better pray your blood pressure never decides to head on up for a little chat with mine, or we'll be drinking decaf together.

Five Star Friday


Anonymous said...

As someone who jokes about my 'annual coffee' to the point that when my fiancee was trying to point me out to a visiting friend at church and the V.F. questioned if I was the girl over there with the cuppa? Hubby-to-be immediately stated that it couldn't be me as I never touch the stuff - only to turn and see me cradling a mug (sore throat and cold day - purely medicinal); I also only used to have coffee at formal dinner at college because I like after dinner mints - which they wouldn't hand out without a cup of coffee - discrimination!!!!! (and by the way that was in a tiny coffee cup the size of a medicine glass, and I used to have half milk and about 3 sugars to get it anywhere approaching palatable)so it's more like 'warm, sweet milk with a tiny amount of coffee in it'... Where was I?

Oh yes, I can't actually imagine anything less sweet or less smooth than 'normal' coffee. On the other hand, it would not actually hurt me at all to give it up. So I can't understand the pain of a search for a permanent alternative.

I'm sure I was going somewhere with all this. I think my point was that ALL coffee drinkers have nothing to sneer at you about because they themselves ARE INSANE and could be arrested for cruelty to tastebuds. Tell them to get over it!!!

Your mate Jen who really shouldn't save this, but will because I'm just as insane as any coffee drinkers out there.

mommastantrum said...

I have a secret...I have to drink decaf after 12pm or I can't sleep that night.

I know, I know, smack me upside the head now.

It isn't that bad. But I couldn't get through the mornings without my triple tall nonfat extra dry cappuccino. (three shots of espresso with foam - and ONLY FOAM)

I am glad to hear you BP is on the mend, and that the meds have not made you a ZOMBIE. They tried them on me to help with my migraines and I was like the night of the living dead. But that is probably because my BP is low to begin with.

Givinya De Elba said...

Wow, I never knew! I was wondering if you'd stop being my friend and all, knowing how you love your coffee :) I'm relieved to know we're decaf sisters together.

Low BP does turn you into a zombie, I know! For me, that means a return to "normal" BP after a while with high BP - feeling faint, weak and sick. Yeh, bring it on (!?)

Givinya De Elba said...

So Jen, Were you saying that regular coffee drinkers are mad, and I'm slightly less mad, or slightly more mad? I'm not much bothered either way, as I seem to remember spending a fair bit of my college time doing maddish things with you. Good times!

Anonymous said...

You are all mad. You are possibly slightly more mad because, frankly, I'd rather give coffee up entirely than taste anything that was even microscopically more bitter than normal coffee - but how can you tell?


Anonymous said...

I quite like peppermint tea myself, as it's caffeine free to start with, but a dental assistant friend of mine gacks at the thought - she wants to know why on earth anyone would want to drink what is essentially hot toothpaste.

Crazy Sister

Givinya De Elba said...

Good point!

Givinya De Elba said...

Good point!