Dear Coffee; it’s not you, it’s me

Dearest, darling coffee. You know there’s nobody I love quite like you. We’ve been together for so long, in various stages. From cheap instant coffee, to a French Press trial (verdict: too complicated to use pre-coffee), to different brands and flavors and sometimes with cream and sometimes without, sugar, no sugar, shots of flavor….

Six months ago, I dialed back our love affair. My mammogram and ultrasound showed a cyst, and while there’s no concrete evidence because it appears that all women are different and react differently – go figure – one consensus is that caffeine may affect cyst development. I knew I was going to have another mammogram/ultrasound in six months, so I decided to dial back the caffeine and see if that made a difference in the size of my 3mm cyst (we can call him “Lenny”, from that episode of the X-files with the murderous detachable twin). So for six months I had less and less caffeine. It wasn’t as hard to give up fully caffeinated coffee as I thought it might be, but I found I couldn’t give it up 100%. I tried, but the medicine I take when I get migraines has caffeine in it and I noticed headaches the next day or two after that (caffeine headaches, not residual migraines)… so I got down to 2/3 decaf, 1/3 regular. That seemed to work for me. Not so much that I had the jitters, but not so little that I got headaches.

Last week I got my six-month follow-up mammogram and ultrasound, and while I got a clean bill of health, there were no changes in Lenny — he was the same size now as he was then. And you know what that means? Besides the fact that he is a round hypoechoic lesion and minimally complicated? IT MEANS I COULD GO BACK TO 100% CAFFEINATED COFFEE!

With a lilt in my step I was off to the grocery store, happy for a number of reasons.
– Coffee wasn’t the culprit, I could go back to being awake all the time!
– For reasons I don’t know but guess has to do with weight in shipping, a lot of decaf only comes in either bags, or plastic containers. Since Tim and I use metal coffee cans for bacon grease (and we eat a lot of bacon), I’m hoarding tin cans because I don’t go through the caffeinated coffee as fast (you can’t use the plastic ones for hot bacon grease. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.)
– Decaf coffee tastes like donkey balls (I assume; never actually had donkey balls, but they don’t sound appetizing, and neither is decaf). I prefer flavored coffee right now, and decaf pretty much comes in one flavor: ass. I have found one flavored decaf, a French Vanilla that smells vaguely like cat piss and thank god can be tempered with creamer, and balanced with whatever flavored caffeinated coffee I can find.

Needless to say I was oh so happy last Tuesday morning when I could put TWO scoops of regular coffee in my pot instead of one, bringing the decaf down to one scoop – until I run out of decaf and then, SEE YA! Wouldn’t want to be ya!

Fast forward to 3 AM Monday morning when I am wide awake at ungodly o’clock for the third or fourth morning in a row, having heard, oh, I don’t know… a dog fart three houses away, and I have to accept… I’m not sleeping as well, this week. I wake up at the littlest noise. I can’t fall back to sleep. I have trouble falling asleep.

I suspect it’s the caffeine.

I suspect I should go back to 66% decaf/33% regular.

It’s not you, coffee. I love the ritual in the morning. I like waking up with you. I like choosing a mug for the day (and collecting mugs… and making mugs…). But we might have to make some changes to our relationship.

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