Saturday, February 9, 2013

Enjoying My Coffee

This may sound like a complete no-brainer to "intelligent" people, but did you know that coffee can upset the stomach a wee bit?  I have a serious coffee habit - really, it's my only vice.  I also have a chronic gastrointestinal syndrome called Crohn's Disease.  It's an auto-immune disease where basically (fun stuff) my body attacks itself thinking that my intestines are evil Sith overlords trying to repress the rebel forces.  (Sorry, just finished the original Star Wars trilogy with the kids.) Imagine my distress when I finally made the coffee-hurts-guts connection.  I believe you can call this intense denial.  I've probably had Crohn's since I was a teenager; diagnosed right before my wedding at age 30 (one day you can read my memoir about this terrific time period); plied with pills for 15 years (6 a day right now, which is better than the 9 a day I used to take); and still, terribly symptomatic.  You know that scary lady at Party City or Target dropping sulphur stink bombs and pretending nothing is wrong?  That was me.  Still, I have to have my 3 cups a day.  Hell, I'm drinking a cup right now!  But some time this week I had an epiphany.  It went something like this:

Maybe coffee is hurting my gut. 

And then:

Nah.

And then I had to rush to the bathroom for the 123rd time that morning.

And then:

Maybe coffee is hurting my gut.

Followed by:

Damn, my coffee went cold.  Better top off that baby and zap it for 40 secs.

So, last night, out of curiosity and searing pain, I went to the trusty interwebs and Googled "Coffee and Crohn's."  Guess what?  Most doctors suggest Crohn's patients abstain from all caffeinated food products including coffee, decaf coffee (because it still has caffeine, stupid decaf), and (kill me) chocolate. 

This is freakishly cruel for the following list of reasons:

First off, I barely drink alcohol and I don't smoke and I don't do recreational drugs so give a lady a break!

Secondly, I have ADD.  Guess what's in every ADD medication?  You got it: caffeine.

Third, I'm prone to migraines.  Yes, I truly am a sad sack of symptoms.  Want to know what I take to make the migraine go away?  You guessed it: caffeine.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, I really don't want to receive a gift of sugarless gum instead of the best chocolate creams available in town (can I get a what-what, Dundee Candy Store).

I own this thanks to lebowskifest.com

And this is my Facebook profile photo

Coffee and chocolate have seen me through so many hard and happy times.  My entire courtship with with my husband revolved around coffee shops ("We met at Starbucks. Not at the same Starbucks but we saw each other at different Starbucks across the street from each other."), coffee walks in the park, and gifts of chocolate shaped like Homer Simpson.

Dude, I'm not going to go down quietly. 

Hold that thought.  I need to top off my coffee.