Once again, I am going to discuss something that I collect. Shocking, I know! But as I am packing up our condo into boxes to move into our new headquarters, I am always amazed at — though I’ve become the closest to a minimalist that I will ever be — how MUCH beloved things I have in my collections. One thing I have a googol of is coffee mugs! I looove coffee mugs! The reason why I love coffee mugs is because I love COFFEE. But here’s the cruel, cruel injustice & joke:
I am allergic to caffeine. ::thud::
Yessiree, I was diagnosed, in October of 2008, with a caffeine allergy. I didn’t even know this existed! As it was explained to me, initially, is that you can actually “poison” yourself by drinking an overabundance of caffeine over a stretch of time (not to be confused with a drug overdose, because caffeine IS a drug and this can happen, as well, but that is different than what I have). After learning this, I went out and did all kinds of research & homework. Sure enough, it is true! Because caffeine is a psychoactive substance, in *extremely* high doses it can become toxic and cause things as mild as allergies & as severe as death. Whoa. There’s a difference between an overdose and an allergy, though (as I already stated), and this can be determined by your physician — an overdose oftentimes mimics mental illness. Which, when I was in my early 20s — drinking copious amounts of Cafe Bustelo by the bucket loads — it was *thought* that I had Panic Disorder (chronic panic attacks). Ironically, they always got better/went away when I cut caffeine out while on health kicks. Catalog this under: Things that (should) made you go hmmm. Turns out I had no anxiety at all, I was having an allergic reaction! When they ran me through the symptom checkoff list, I was the poster child for a caffeine allergy kid! I had about 18 out of the 20 symptoms. It was an a-ha moment, and I was DEVASTATED! I had spent two decades living my life in coffeehouses, working off & on as a barista in random artsy cafes, and I consumed about 3 pots of piping hot java a day. I. Kid. You. Not. And I don’t like your typical medium roast blend of beans… I like my coffee like I like my men: strong, bold, stalwart, robust, daaark, and…… Italian, French, Cuban, Jamaican & Guatemalan. ::smirk:: No, seriously, though… I drink coffee that is powerful enough to remove industrial paint. If I turn the mud upside down, it takes about 30 minutes to un-adhere to the side of the mug. It’s not mud. It’s rubber cement.
Anywho, before I get going off about what this article was intended to be about, let me list what MY symptoms were, in case this could enlighten & inform any one of you. If you’re having ongoing issues with the same things, yet all your routine tests are checking out A-OK — but you know in your heart-of-hearts something is amiss — consider the possibility that maybe your body’s immune system is having a very real response to an IgE antibody. The tests to determine if you’re allergic to caffeine are simple — I had a basic skin prick test, but there are also oral tests. If either of these tests come back ineffective, then they’ll do a blood draw that’ll have results back in a week or two (7 to 14 days). Here were the things I chronically suffered with for almost 20 years: migraines, anxiety, lack of focus or ability to concentrate, glands swelling, heart racing/palpitations, severe fatigue, dizziness, extreme jitters, chest pain, numbness in hands, muscle pain, shortness of breath/tightness of chest, flu-like symptoms, mild vision problems, upper back pain (between my shoulder blades), and cold sweats, as well as hot flashes. Once I quit caffeine, almost every one of these symptoms vanished like a deadbeat baby daddy with a crack addiction, never to be seen again. #iloveagoodanalogy Though the diagnosis was harrowing, my quality of life came back, so I suddenly was forced to develop a newfound respect for Decaf, of whom I thought was a useless S.O.B. my entire life. Now decaf has mad street cred for having my back. Bros for life!
But here’s the amusing part… Since summertime 1993, my kitchen has been decorated in a coffee theme. It has not changed since the day I moved out of my mum’s house and into my first (seafoam green, Atomic age) apartment! I STILL love coffee paraphernalia; caffeine or no caffeine! So even though a lot of my kitchen decor is a couple decades old, I am still collecting — and what I collect most of all is COFFEE MUGS!
So, if anyone is ever my Secret Santa… ::bateyelashes::
Since we move into our new dream house this weekend, I took some pictures of my favorite mugs in my collection. I emphasize the word some because there were quite a few already packed up, like my Disney Villains, Bad Batz Maru, Boris Vallejo, Plan 9 from Outer Space mugs, etcetera, etcetera.
Most of these were gifts, but I will try and find links to similar mugs for you!
That, that, that’s all, foooooolks! (And yep, I have a couple Looney Toons mugs, too, but of course!)
Keep calm & CAFFEINATE on, Mavens!
(If you’re privileged enough to do those two things at the same time…)
~ Angelika Frangelico *Gros bisous*
<—- This would be me before quitting caffeine, and before getting my fix one morning at a downtown coffeehouse. That is not the happy-go-lucky Angelika Frangelico you want to meet in a dark alley. Phew! She was as fire-y as her hair!
But hey, that’s the price ya pay for finding Waldo.