I'm only on a tiny soapbox.
Caffeine is a drug. It's a drug we like and we need. Still, a drug. I'm not sure I totally believed that until last week. Here's what happened.
Preface: I'm not much of a "period talker." I prefer not to go there. On a day to day (rather, month to month) basis, I don't start a conversation with, "so, Aunt Flow came again." I've always been secretly bothered by woman-friends that use "I'm on the rag" as an ice-breaker. I'm making this exception for the sake of a bloggable moment-slash-story.
History: Eighteen months of steroid injections left me with many, many side effects. One was that having injections mimicked menopause. Seems like a dandy idea . . . except . . . one period per month is much, much better on many, many levels than night sweats, hot flashes & growing a moustache that makes most Mexican farm workers envious. So, one year after the end of steroid injections, I'm well into peri-menopause when out of the blue -- kabam -- a period. I felt like I was 10 years old all over again. (Yes, 10.) Wha-bam!! All of the sudden, I felt like crap and was unexplicably grumpy as hell.
Coping: I dusted off the top of the Midol bottle and popped a couple. That, coupled with pain meds I was already taking for the back pain of last week seemed to make a dent in the red spiky bubble ball that swallowed me whole and caused me to grimace with movement. When bed time rolled around, I medicated and crawled in bed. I fell asleep quickly. For about an hour. And then I was awake. Hurting. Breathing. Can women really have labor every month? More meds. And as those Midol slid down my throat with a fat chaser of warm water, I suddenly had a nursing recollection. Caffeine. Midol contains a diuretic to help combat bloating. Caffeine. In my normal life, I'm down to one cup (of half-caff, even!) of coffee in the morning only. That's drastically down from close to a pot of java per day. So taking caffeine in midol threw my system into a tizzy. I was up at 1:09. And by 2:15, I was frustrated with trying to sleep, and continuing to fail. So I got up. I snuck downstairs and started pushing paperwork. I did some Christmas and birthday shopping. I balanced business banking accounts. I emailed reports. I generated a roster, updated the website, paid some bills, made some labels and totally, completely, busted out everything on my to-do list that could be done outside business hours. It felt great. I was energized and vitalized. At 5:40, I stumbled back to bed, thinking I should take a nap. Just as I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep, Mimi started calling from her bed, "Mama, Mama . . . I need you."
I was up again.
When she settled back into slumber, I got up and did 30 minutes of strength. Then took a quick shower. Then I made a kick-ass school morning breakfast. I was dancing in the kitchen, flippin' pancakes and singing "boom, I got your girlfriend" to Little, when suddenly, the exhaustion kicked in and I suddenly thought I was gonna die on the spot. It was 7:11 am. Oh, damn.
Lesson learned. Midol has caffeine. And, apparently, my system is pretty stinkin' sensitive now. It's been 4 days and I think I'm catching up from my impromtu, unintentional all-nighter. It's ALMOST too bad I wasn't earning money. Almost.