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It’s the start of the third day of a caffeine-free zone. I’m not sure you want to be anywhere close to me at this point. Withdrawal can be ugly.

I am probably the least addictive-prone person you’ve ever met. I’ve never smoked, although I did try to start once in my misspent youth. I haven’t done drugs and, in fact, I have an amazing collection of left over pain medication from my various surgeries. Whenever I felt better, I just quit taking them. If I were that kind of person, I could start a second career out of my medicine cabinet.

Caffeine, however, is a different story.

I didn’t start drinking coffee regularly until I was about 25 and started programming computers. Then I went from zero to 25 cups of coffee a day. The last thing I’d do at night was finish my cup of coffee and set up the automatic coffee maker to come on in the morning. I’d have 3-5 cups before I ever left the house in the morning.

Finally my doctor explained that much coffee wasn’t good for me, so after three days of gagging on decaf, I gave up coffee altogether. Cold turkey. Just one day unplugged the coffee pot and stuck it in the back of the pantry. That was over 10 years ago. Since then I’ve eased back into a cup or so in the morning and the occasional cup after dinner.

Actually, I switched to cold caffeine in the morning some time ago. I’ve been starting my morning with a diet soda for several years now. Coke Zero has been the venom of choice lately. I used to have a Coke Zero in the morning to wake me up. Then recently I started bringing a bagel and yogurt to the office for breakfast, so I’d put a second Coke in my tote. Even so, two Cokes is nothing compared to the 25 cups of coffee I used to drink.

However, the difference between my normal perky personality and a warmed-over zombie is definitely the ingestion of about 50 mg of caffeine. If I have a drug addiction, caffeine is definitely it.

Given that my heart rate was pushing well over 120 this weekend, though, it seemed like a good idea to give my cardiologist’s recommedation of giving up caffeine and alcohol a shot. I’d already disposed of the second Coke Zero with my breakfast, and cut substantially back on the alcohol consumption, but apparently that wasn’t enough given my elevated heart rate.

So Saturday morning it was cold turkey.

It’s now Monday of a busy work week and we’ll see how long my will power will hold out. I will say that yesterday evening my heart rate dropped below 80 for the first time that I can remember in years.

However, being a draggy, grouchy, sluggish, grumpy, (did I say grouchy?), slug is not any fun either. I am hoping that this is simply withdrawal and sooner or later I’ll get over it. I’ll keep you posted, but in the mean time, you may want to keep your distance.

Hope you have some zip in your day. Thanks for checking in.