I just drank my last cup of real coffee. I’m not sure I can continue writing this blog, since life is not worth living anymore.
OK, I’m back. But extremely disgruntled.
I’ve been having a problem for about a year with atrial fibrillation in my heart. That’s a situation where the upper chambers of the heart, instead of pumping blood into the lower chamber in a steady manner, start fluttering and beating off rhythm. I’m taking several medications to cut down the risk of stroke and to smooth out my heart beat. Just another inconvenient aspect of getting older.
So I was at the cardiologist’s office yesterday, and I asked him if I needed to do anything else to help keep my heart from fibrillating, and he said, “You need to cut out drinking coffee, or eating or drinking anything with caffeine in it, including chocolate.” All right, doc, stop joking around…What? You’re serious? OMG!! How am I going to do that?
For years I have started my day with a big mug of thick coffee to get my brain jump-started, and then while I’m working at my desk I always browse on a bowl of dark chocolate. But apparently, no more.
I’ve given up things before. In my twenties I was a frequent marijuana smoker, but I stopped that when it started interfering with my life. And I dearly love the taste of Irish and Scotch whiskeys, but I’ve had to cut back to temperate amounts of beer and wine lately, and just dream of the good old days of aromatic liquor hitting the ice cubes in a heavy leaded glass tumbler.
But coffee was something I already drank in moderation, and thought I would be able to continue to do into old age. And what about chocolate? What am I going to do when the chocolate receptors in my brain start screaming about 3 o’clock this afternoon?
I know you’re probably thinking, “Frank, why are you making such a big deal about this? There are many people with much worse problems than you!” Well, it’s because I’m a terrible whiner. In the old days, I would be grumpy, stomping around and complaining for weeks, but I only annoyed my friends and made my wife tear her hair out. But now that I’ve got this blog, my bitching can fly around the world at the touch of a button, aggravating countless complete strangers with my petty concerns. Ain’t the internet great?
My doctor told me, “Oh, I know that seems rough, giving up coffee, but if you buy a good quality decaf, you can hardly tell the difference!” So I’ll be going to the store today to get some pitiful, weak, no-octane excuse for a cup of coffee to drink tomorrow morning. I guess it will help me live longer.
Or it might just make it seem longer.