So I have an ulcer.
I kind of had a feeling. The symptoms fit. I consulted with my esteemed colleague, PenguinShrink, who agreed, and confirmed with our esteemed colleague, Dr. Wikipedia. Two shrinks and a website can't be wrong.
Mercifully, I also had enough sanity left to consult my primary care physician. She listened intently. She took notes. She - wait for it - pushed on my stomach. I said, "ow!" She said, "I agree, I think you have an acid problem." She used fancy words like "esophagitis," which sounded even more wise and learned in her British accent. And she wrote me a couple of prescriptions.
And then.........but then she said.......
I have to give up caffeine.
When I came to, I asked if there was a specific milligramage of caffeine I should stay under every day. But my entire social life revolves around a coffee shop! My mind was racing. Okay, maybe I can live with decaf coffee - if I must - but half my fluid intake comes from iced tea!! She failed to grasp the gravity of the situation and waved me off. "I don't remember, but the more you can cut out, the better."
I blinked incredulously. I'm a doctor. I'm a fellow, for God's sake. How am I supposed to get through my day without caffeine? What, am I supposed to get SLEEP or something?! Does she not know what an insomniac I am?!
So I did a little research. Turns out, no one knows the caffeine content of my beloved iced tea. But an 8 oz cup of brewed black tea contains about 50mg of caffeine. As does bottled Lipton iced tea. My daily mocha? 160 mg. And when I think I'm being good and getting brewed coffee? At Starbucks, a grande coffee comes with a whopping 330mg!! Decaf coffee, in case you were curious? 13mg.
So, I'm gonna let the iced tea slide, for now. Because cutting down from 210 mg to 63? That has to be a big improvement.
My recently-pregnant officemate assures me, too, that she now is equally satisfied by decaf versions of our favorite afternoon ritual.
And I'm not real fond of this nausea and epigastric pain routine.
Hmm. I wonder what a decaffeinated Kate looks like?