I’ve been essentially caffeine-free for about five years now. After my stroke, when the migraines got progressively worse, all sorts of things that never bothered me before suddenly began serving as migraine triggers. Peanut butter. Bananas. Yoghurt. Onions.
Now, caffeinated soft drinks I can do without. In fact, I can do without soft drinks altogether. But I love, love, love coffee. So, I switched to decaf, ’cause I couldn’t go without. Over the past five years – no regular coffee, no caffeinated soft drinks, very rarely here and there a cup of tea. I know there is still a low level of caffeine in decaffeinated coffee but it’s nothing like a regular cup of coffee – about 5 mg of caffeine compared to 100 to 150 mg of caffeine for a regular cup. I drink about 3 or 4 cups of decaf throughout the day on weekdays, from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so I’m getting 20 mg gradually over 6 hours.
Last weekend, at the farmer’s market, I bought coffee beans – a local university had a table at the market to raise awareness about fair trade coffee. It was very cold and windy and I was in a hurry to get home and, unfortunately, I forgot to specify decaf. Once home, I realized I had a bag of regular beans. And I was almost out of my usual decaf.
I thought, well, maybe I can mix it and it won’t be so bad. I made a pot that was 30% decaf and 70% the new full-strength caffeinated stuff. I drank one cup.
And then I felt like I was high.
The top of my scalp felt tingly, and I felt almost euphoric. It was hard to sit still, because moving around felt like so much fun. My heart was beating faster, and at times I felt almost dizzy. At first the sensation was sort of fun but then I wanted to walk away from it, make it stop, and I couldn’t, and it became mildly distressing. No wonder the Mormons advise against the Demon Caffeine. Eventually, of course, it wore off and I was back to normal, but I didn’t drink any more coffee that day! I’ve laid in a new stash of decaf now, but I have no idea what I’m going to do with this bag of really lovely smelling coffee beans.