It has been a while.
I am not sure who needs to hear this but…it’s okay. If you’re someone who can’t drink caffeine, it’s okay.
Disclaimer: if I’m not making sense, pardon me coz I’m literally writing this in bed at 4.19am. I’m physically pooped but my mind is awake. Ish.
Context: I drank a cup of Iced Teh C (less sweet) over the course of an hour at 10.30pm. And as I have recently figured out, my caffeine sensitivity has gotten a lot worse.
The pattern begins when I know I shouldn’t, but I’ll have a cuppa anyway. Said cuppa would be in the local context, where it is concentrated/strong black tea as compared to the weak stuff you get from a tea bag.
The clock starts after I’m done with my tea/coffee. About an hour later, I’d start feeling restless, anxious (I’m getting sick of this word tbh), irritable and jittery. Basically my anxiety symptoms get a turbo boost. On the worst days, it feels like I’m going crazy. Added with some chest tightness, shortness of breath and the occasional heart palpitations.
TL;DR: I feel HORRIBLE after tea.
This peak period lasts for an agonising 2 to 3 hours before I start to calm down.
Once the effects start waning, my mood becomes super meh. Its lethargy or just utter indifference. Physical symptoms at this point is just chest tightness, SOB and sporadic muscle spasms.
As of writing I’m in this stage.
How did it get soooo bad??
Things started to take a turn after having what in my body’s books was an overdose. It was a girls’ day out. Instead of high tea, we had atas coffee at Baccha Coffee. It’s essentially TWG but with coffee. It was a spectacular brunch menu (wah but really the food was grrrrrreat) that came with a pot of coffee. And I was so excited about the entire experience and being with my girls that I LOL- forgot about the fact that I can’t drink more than 2 cups of caffeine per day.
The pot was an equivalent of 5-6 cups.
So half an hour after finishing the pot, after my body realises that I am done going on a rampage, it triggered this intense nausea. Legit felt like puking right then and there, with acid pooling in my mouth. There was no buzz, no jitters, no SOB, no nothing. Did I puke in the end? Nope. Thank gooooodness. Vomit does not go well with the deco LOL.
But I did get a pretty intense diarrhea when we left the place.
It became pretty clear that my body was having none of it. Thank goodness we went shopping to kind of walk it out. Ever since then, my reaction to caffeine has been pretty severe. Coupled with the worsening of my anxiety (which got pretty bad when P2HA was announced).
Now that the COVID situation is getting better, my anxiety has been pretty manageable. However, my sensitivity to caffeine has not let up. The only time I can drink tea (coffee right now is pretty much unthinkable) is right at the start of the day. A cup during lunch time will send me into the crazy pattern mentioned above.
Having had an unsweetened decaf coffee once before and not suffering, it became clear that it really was the caffeine. Second, was sugar. (I recently had a coconut taro drink from Fruce – love it!! – but had a bit of a sugar rush on the bus ride home. Again, I felt HORRIBLE.)
But at least, I know the pattern now. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep by 6am HAHAHA. As much as I tell myself to stop drinking caffeine, it has become sort of a ritual, a way to connect with friends and colleagues, and have over the years enjoy the taste and aroma of a hot cup of teh and kopi.
My level now is drinking coca cola or a Lipton tea bag brew.
Its sooooo interesting though. I wonder what’s happening on a microscopic level. Is it my liver not being able to metabolize caffeine as easily or what?
No more, Sal. No more.
(is what I keep telling myself)
Till the next one,
Listen to your body, mai geh kiang.