Monday, September 27, 2010


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.

1 comment:

Homestead said...

I can't remember my last period.... do tampons have an expiration date?

You were super-woman... it makes me understand all those soccer moms who turn to meth to stay on top of everything.....