I honestly don’t feel any difference after 5 full days without coffee and nearly zero caffeine most of those days. What I believe to be stress-related phenomena, for lack of a better word because I don’t want to say “symptoms” or “issues,” have not abated yet.
My theory here is, if emotional stress is impacting my body to the point where my physical therapist says, “You are the most tense person I know,” and I don’t sleep well because of muscle spasms and tension in my neck – not to mention nighttime anxiety, then too much of a stimulant like caffeine can’t be helping my situation. Thus the idea of eliminating caffeine, especially coffee, has been enacted.
And it blows.
Day 6: the stress phenomena continue, I’m tired, and I have a caffeine withdrawal headache still.
I got out for a run today. It had been too long again. I hadn’t run since the first of the month. 29 days between runs is probably too long of a recovery period.
There’s a 3-mile trail loop 1 mile from my house. I can take a few streets through a nice neighborhood to run there. But running through those streets annoys me, bores me, demotivates me. So I’ve been driving the 1 mile over to the trail and parking my car on the street. I do the 3-mile loop and drive back home.
This is what I did yesterday and it felt so good. Aerobically it killed me for the first 15 minutes. But, man, it did my spirit a world of good! Three steps down that trail and I already felt the cares falling off my shoulders. You know it’s been too long since your last run when the feel of dirt under your feet brings happy tears to your eyes.
I need to get back to more regular running. I still have big running goals to achieve. Today I’m just happy to have gotten a few miles in.
My thanks to Lynyrd Skynyrd from whom I’ve stolen the title for this post. Here’s a great video of it.
I’ve had a headache right from the start of the day today. It’s 10 AM now. That decaf green tea shit isn’t cutting it. Why am I doing this to myself?
And who the hell publishes such an unflattering photo of themselves?
I don’t care. My head hurts. I swear it feels like a hangover again. It’s amazing how a chemical can have so much influence over my body.
Yesterday I didn’t feel so bad. It was a pretty good day. But now I wonder if that’s because I took those migraine pills with caffeine. Plus I drank Coke later in the day. Maybe there was sufficient caffeine in my system still to keep me from feeling too bad yesterday.
But today? Ugh.
UPDATE – 10 PM
I got through it. Headache went away after dinner. Only one cup of decaf green tea today.
I have noticed that I’m extra tired the past few days. That could also be an after effect of the migraine on Friday.
I was going to title this post “Zero Caffeine – Day 3.” But then I saw the Caff-O-Meter on the box of decaffeinated green tea. Day 1, I had a cup of regular green tea. Day 2, I popped 2 pills loaded with caffeine. Today, I thought I successfully had zero caffeine. Wrong. Decaf has really 1 – 8 mg of caffeine. Still no coffee. But I did have a tiny bit of caffeine.
Here’s the thing. A cup of coffee has 100 – 120 mg of caffeine. I typical would have at least 2 and often 3 cups of coffee per day. Plus, I’d often have other caffeinated drinks: Diet Coke, green tea, 4th cup of coffee. So I’ve gone from 400 or 500 mg per day to 8 mg.
It’s too soon to say if I see any difference in my physical tension or my emotional stress level. I need to give this experiment a sufficient amount of time. I’m thinking 3 months. That means I can have coffee on Christmas day. Oh, Santa! I promise to be a good boy!
That’s right. I had to be at physical therapy at 7 AM. I figured, since I’m not drinking coffee right now, there’s no point to getting up early. I got up at 6:18, showered, and drove to my appointment – almost getting killed on the way be some numbnuts who pulled out of the high school while I was passing someone on the right. No, it’s not my fault. I have no, well minimal, caffeine in my system.
BONK! Right in the Head!
At 10:30 AM, I noticed a little spot in my vision.
I was afraid this might happen if I inflicted this cruel and unusual punishment of no caffeine upon my body. A doctor once told me, “Migraines are finicky when it comes to caffeine. If your body is used to a certain level and you have too much more or too much less, it could trigger a migraine.” You have to keep your caffeine level steady, more or less. Rather, not more or less.
At the time of this writing, 2:51 PM, my condition is not too bad overall. My head hurts and I feel a bit wiped out. But I’m getting work done. (Actually, I’m not getting work done exactly right now because I’m writing this blog post.) I think I’ll live. AND the Mrs. Snyder and I are going out on a date tonight. So that makes me feel better too!
Defeating My Own Purpose
Here’s the kicker of this medical interruption today. I’m avoiding caffeine to see if it helps my body be less tense. My body reacts with a migraine. Then I take my pills so I can cope with the way my body feels. And guess what is in my pills… A TON OF CAFFEINE! I have defeated my own purpose today.
To be objective, there could be several different reasons why this migraine came today. Typically, when I get a migraine, the weather is nice and clear with a high pressure system. It’s like that today. Often I get migraines due to highly stressful circumstances. MY CURRENT LIFE = HIGHLY STRESSFUL CIRCUMSTANCES. Avoiding caffeine is one attempt at helping how I react to those circumstances.
I did have a cup of caffeinated green tea while writing this. What the heck now, right? But I’m not going to have coffee. That would not merely defeat my purpose. It would DESTROY it.
(Originally posted on the website Continuum...) Now doesn't that look comfortable? All comfy inside a sleeping bag with a nice soft pillow, sipping on Kool-Aid and not even needing to hold it. Well, that will be me in a few minutes. Only I'll be snuggled in bed with my favorite comforter and my own pillow. I've been feeling "migrainy" all Continue Reading →