Monday, September 16, 2013

We Called It Convalescing

Thirsty Basil, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013
1:15 PM

I've scheduled a massage, a same-day appointment. I've never done this. My hamstrings feel like rubber bands being pulled tight from both ends. This is also a first. Could it have anything to do with my giving up coffee? I cannot imagine what the connection would be. There was the funny jig I was doing last night to make Chris laugh. Perhaps I went a little too far. It would be odd if my hamstring situation had anything to do with the absence of coffee in my life, but it is the largest change I've made lately.

I only drank one cappuccino per day. Once in a while I'd drink a second, but it was rare. I have skipped my morning cappuccino due to travel or some other this-or-that and experienced the inevitable headache, but soon fed it with coffee of some sort and sent it on its way. I often thought about this unintended commitment. The way the coffee controlled me, to a certain extent. I didn't like it, but ignored the feeling and stuck with my morning caffeine ritual. I enjoyed it, most of the time.

Chris drank much more coffee than I did, 3-4 cups per day, and that was a decrease from his earlier habits. So on Thursday afternoon, about 3:00 PM, when he set his emptied coffee cup on the counter and said I'm done, I was shocked. Sheesh, I thought, a little quiet time in the country and the grand pronouncements begin. But then I saw it as an opportunity and said me too. Deep down I'm a joiner. I hate to miss out on a worthwhile experience.

I thought I'd skate by with a mild headache for a day and be free, but no.

My last cappuccino was sipped Thursday morning. Friday was my first day without and it went rather well. It was much easier than I'd imagined, until Saturday. Then the dark veil settled upon us. It began with general lethargy, and dull headaches that came and went. the headaches got worse and sleep worked better than acetaminophen, so we napped and read and napped and read. Motivation to do much of anything waned, so we called it convalescing and watched a movie. Atonement was our choice. The heaviness of the story matched our mood. The heaviness hung around for the rest of the day, gave me a brief break on Sunday morning, and then pressed down upon me again around 10:00 AM. Somehow Chris felt better on Sunday than I did. Go figure.

No headaches today, but I must admit to a sort of blah feeling coating my day. I woke up thinking what's the point? I really wanted my cappuccino. And that's why I didn't drink one. I don't need unnecessary dependence. Also, I believe I'm past the worst part. I heard 5 is the magic number. Make it past five days and you are golden. I want to see what's on the other side. Thoreau (8th paragraph) believes I'll be pleased. He better be right. We'll see.

26 comments:

  1. i gave up coffee a few years back but now have an occasional cup. i think what i missed the most was that smell in the morning. my body definitely doesn't miss it. i spoke to a TCM doctor recently and he had an interesting view of coffee. i should email you and tell you as i think it would help you with your cravings. ;)

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    1. I'd love to receive this email, Shari. I know nothing of TCM (I had to look up the acronym) and I'm intrigued. Thanks!

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  2. Coffee is a ritual ingrained by my mother who worshipped her cup every morning.
    My grandfather used to pour a tiny bit into my milk (much to my mother's annoyance) when I was young: I loved it even then.
    Coffee was so special and wonderful to my mother that she wouldn't let me drink it until I was sixteen and then took me out on my birthday for my first cup.

    I've given it up before, but it gives me so much pleasure in the morning, I drink one very strong cup a day and sometimes an iced espresso around noon.

    What I did give up was wine and wheat. We all edit out something in our lives to help us feel better, or to prove that we're not in slavery to some guilty pleasure in our lives.
    There IS life after coffee, or wine or sugar or whatever! You'll feel better soon.

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    1. My mother adored cappuccino when I was 16. I thought it was awful, at first, but then I grew to love it. I understand the pleasure you feel.

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  3. Oh, I love my morning coffee, the ritual and the aroma, as much as the feeling. Periodically, I give it up briefly (the headaches and lethargy pass after a few days) but it's the ritual I miss. Now that I have an expresso machine, my morning cup is very small and satisfying. Thanks for the Thoreau.

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    1. Yes. I've enjoyed this ritual for a long time. I get it. And Thoreau... Sometimes I like him and sometimes he seems a bit of a know-it-all ;)

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  4. I had to give up all coffee, tea, etc, even decaf (still drink herbal tea a little) for health reasons. I still miss it. ... That doesn't really help you, does it?

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    1. Well, I'd rather you didn't miss it one bit, but we cannot have all we want.

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  5. I gave up coffee (mostly) for the same reasons. I don't regret it. Some days I am tired and I think, "this would probably be easier with a cup of coffee", but I'm stubborn and don't give in. I don't like the idea that I need coffee to function. I find that green tea helps - it has a little of the caffeine and far more health benefits than coffee.

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    1. That need is definitely a feeling I wanted to shed.

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  6. being no coffee drinker myself i had no idea how hard it is to give up... but it sounds a bit like with sugar, you feel like going crazy for the first days and then it´s over, forever if you wish...

    all the best to you two!

    oh, and thank you for letting me know the parcel arrived - so good to know everything is safe:)

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    1. I'm not sure everyone has the same difficulty giving up coffee. Really, I shouldn't complain. Having a cold or the flu is a bigger challenge.

      The parcel is safe and my necklace and note cards are darling. Thanks!

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  7. I much admired Atonement, the book, but the plot shift in the screen version annoyed me so much I'd have needed several coffees if I drank coffee. May your headaches and down times recede. Is tea still ok?

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    1. I read the novel so long ago I didn't realize the plot shift in the movie. I'm feeling much better now. Tea? I've enjoyed a few cups of chamomile.

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  8. I am not sure why you think one coffee a day would be bad for you. I have one french-press cup every morning with a splash of almond milk. It is my ritual and in this often uncertain world is absolutely good for me.

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    1. I don't think one coffee a day is bad for me. I simply do not want to feel it is a necessity. I am at that point now and prefer it. I too like almond milk, especially steamed.

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  9. It's definitely a ritual thing for me. We gave up coffee around the holidays last year for about two weeks. I found that once it was given up the desire to drink it was no longer there. However, that desire did return.

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    1. My desire remains. I'm still undecided about how I will deal with this desire.

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  10. I hope the massage helped and the leg is on the mend. An image of you jigging -- hair flying and hiding your face, of course -- makes me smile.

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    1. The massage was awesome and my hamstrings are just fine now. The jigs continue. I was just in your lovely Seattle for a quick trip. I was able to sneak off to Bainbridge one afternoon and buy some yarn. It's such a great ferry ride.

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  11. at least a film such as atonement goes with tea, 'cos imagine if they'd be sipping coffee cafeine, it'd be a tease...
    am going coffee free in the mornings, since last week. funny serendipity, but i'm not giving up t-total. i wanna enjoy my small cup in the afternoon, which i do.
    brave you's, though!
    n♥

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    1. I'm unsure if I've given it all up for good, but I did drink the most interesting tea yesterday. It had aniseed and fennel. Very spunky. There is life after cappuccino.

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  12. A latte at 6pm - probably not a good idea but soothing. Now you have me thinking about my own dependence upon it.

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  13. Hats off to you and Chris - have your headaches subsided? I confess to being intrigued as to whether your tight hamstrings are linked to the halt in coffee consumption. Highly unlikely I realise, but it would be rather fascinating if they were... Either way I do hope the massage provided some relief.

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    1. Thankfully our headaches departed quickly. The hamstrings must have been a coincidence, but you never know... The massage was lovely, and I so enjoy their little dishes of dried apricots and chocolate chunks in the waiting area. It's all such a nice treat.

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