Saturday, August 22, 2009

CAFFEINATED CONSEQUENCES

It's 3:55AM.

I used to be one of those people with more diet soda in their veins than blood. "Used to be" indicates that such was and is no longer the case. And it isn't. About a year ago I stopped buying diet soda at the grocery store, quit asking waitresses for "whatever diet you've got" when asked what I'd selected to slurp, and no longer made gas stations a regular pit stop for anything but auto fuel. My skin got better. I had to pee less frequently. Water became more potent.

What I mean by water increasing its potency: When tired, when really dragging, rather than sucking diet soda, I now turn to actual hydration to get me through. You'd be surprised how effective it is.

I travel a lot (too much), and because I live in the Reno area I am always slapped with an early, early initial flight taking me to whatever airport actually flies direct to my destination--even if my destination is no further than San Diego or Irvine.

When I have to arise at 3AM to be on time for my departure when I whacked the feathers only three hours before (I am an imbecile when it comes to meetings; I procrastinate the prework I have to execute and then find myself up cramming almost all of the night before), the fatigue is incredible. Caffeine seems like a reasonable boost for such situations, but--believe it or not--for my body, it's not necessary. A Clif bar and proper hydration when I get past security and can snag a liter of water does the trick. I learned that caffeine isn't the silver bullet I thought it was and was an unnecessary commodity in my day to day.

However, I like diet soda. I'm aware that, for a of myriad reasons, it's absolutely no good for the body I try to keep healthy, but I figure an inappropriate consumption of whatever suits me here and there isn't going to kill me quite yet. So over the last month I've had a couple diet sodas. Not in restaurants. Not purchased for the house. Not in a way that's going to reenter my existence as a vice. Just a couple here and theres.

Last night was one of the here and theres. Yesterday morning, The Husband went far beyond the call of marriage and labored in my storage unit. (No, not our storage unit. Mine. For work. It houses all my samples, clinical study reprints, patient education, drug trays, etc.--it's a climate controlled place to house my work paraphernalia. Most drug reps have one.) Up until yesterday morning my storage unit was a pit. It still contained a mountain of trash from the job I left six months ago, segregated from tidy stacks of my new job's samples plus box upon box of clinical reprints that I swear weigh 50 lbs. each.

The Husband ferried gorilla racks to my unit, donned his work gloves, assembled the racks, and hauled all the trash to his car for dumpster-deposit while I slogged through my monthly sample inventory and separated out all the clinicals by product on my new racks. Because spending time in my storage unit invariably leaves me looking like I army crawled through a dusty attic and I was clad in the day's worth clothes, I brought an apron to keep my dress tidy and had to opt out of the box-hugging task of relocating the mountain of junk to The Husband's car.

That means Mr. Megan had to do it all. And though I can often do a bang-up job with description, I can't be any sort of accurate in trying to explain just how much heavy refuse was stacked in my storage unit, so saying that it took the man (who is significantly stronger than he looks) 35 minutes of constant carrying and box breakdown is going to have to do.

When my racks were assembled, samples were inventoried, the day's materials gathered, and my hands filthy, it was time to head out into the wild and make productive contact with my docs. By that time, The Husband had completed the clean up and had earned himself a sweat. For me.

He sweat and slaved for me. It's not like that's unusual--I told you just this last Tuesday that he lives and loves to serve me, but it made me awfully grateful nonetheless. He did for me what I really didn't want to do, did it on his day off, and offered to help without my asking. So, although my day was long, my feet hurt, and I just wanted to crash when I got home from work last evening, when I arrived at our 'lil residence after the workday was through and located my spouse, I told the man that to thank him for his incredible help I wanted to take him to dinner wherever he'd like to go. (The significance of "wherever he'd like to go" is that I am an incredibly finicky eater and as he is as accommodating as I am finicky we rarely end up at his first-choice restaurants.)

If you live in the nether regions of Sparks as we do, you're 20 minutes from the freeway and getting to whatever out-to-dinner place you've selected is a noteworthy time commitment. Thus we spent the next 10 minutes brainstorming ideas of where he wanted to go. That one's too far. What's even around here? That food isn't even good. How far do you actually want to go? I'm sick of that. That one's way far too. We should stay around here. It isn't worth the drive. I went there earlier this week.

In the end, The Husband, even more tired than I and not keen on making our way across town for an evening out, said that rather than dinner he just wanted a giant diet soda and an ice cream cone. His choice, so I went along. I had one of the few diet sodas I've had in the recent past. A hefty one. So, wide-eyed, wired, and too mentally fatigued to be productive, I'm here to say that when you don't drink the stuff any kind of regularly and the tolerance you'd developed when it was a daily staple has dissolved, caffeine really punches you with the energizing ka-pow! it's rumored to possess.

Therefore sleep is not an option. Late last evening I [unwisely] had a big, fat diet soda and now, at nearly 4AM, a snooze is nothing more than a fairytale.

UPDATE: It's now 8:20AM and I've still not discovered slumber. Good thing I've no obligations to keep me from falling asleep sometime today. I hope.

8 comments:

Misti said...

I will have a rootbeer or a sprite on occasion, but I used to be a diet soda and regular soda junky. My caffeine of choice is now coffee, but I keep it to mornings and am switching to decaf. I was once a Mountain Dew addict in highschool, and had it readily available at the Subway I worked at. Let's just say, it induced some nasty heart palpitations and I have since avoided it.

Brandon and Julie said...

Ew. Good luck.

rookie cookie said...

You changed your comment form. You must have been bored. Oh yeah, and I have a new header, probably thanks to the caffeine.

All of this reminds me of how I need to stop drinking soda. I think I really will now.

meg said...

Yes, Rookie, you were the beneficiary of my inability to capture some shut-eye. I like your header.

Still haven't slept. It's 2:15.

Seriously drop the habit. I can't believe how bananas this stuff has made me.

tom lindsey said...

I have a friend, a 'singular' but entirely delightful character, who assures me that a caffeine enema is where the real action is. Curious, disturbing, and potentially lucrative.

Consider the following facts:
1. 90% of North American adults use the stuff every day.
2. Mormons are advised “against the use of any drink containing harmful drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit”
3. Mormons are habitually late. I assume it has to do with the above statement.

Because you are in sales, and I assume good at your job, I am going to let you in on the ground floor of the next revolution in caffeine technology. Our new product will increase the percentage from 90% to 99.9% of all North Americans and the good news for the wise but habitually tardy Mormon, it can be enjoyed absolutely guilt free.

Caffeinated Charmin

meg said...

Sweet, Tom. Maybe as a launch there could be some kind of promotion wherein if customers purchase two 24 Jumbo Roll packs they'll get a free caffeine enema. And if customers are LDS and produce their temple recommends, we'll throw in a free branded watch.

What's especially fun about your comment is the fact that I was once employed by P&G, the makers of Charmin. Each year we'd look forward to the Christmas box, which contained samples of some of the newest products. It's a shame I won't be around for when they include the Caffeinated Charmin.

Linda said...

I love you, blogs and coffee..
That's what keeps me awake and rescue me from sleeping on my desk every morning.
I am curious about the caffeine-thing though. How come you are not allowed to drink coffee?

meg said...

Linda, I have no idea whether or not you'll fall upon this comment, but I don't know how in the world I missed it. I hate that I'm not responding until now.

I guess the answer is simple and not simple. We Marmens aren't to drink coffee out of what I'll call faithful obedience. We're not given any kind of medical reason, and it's certainly not because of the caffiene. We have a rule, so to speak, of how we consume. We call it the Word of Wisdom. It's guidelines and commandments in regard to what we put in our bodies. Lots of grains and vegetables. Eat meat sparingly--in winter and in times of famine (a guideline that pretty much everyone flauts, making me feel awfully superior for my vegetarianism). No booze. No tabbacco. And no "hot drinks," excluding herb tea, which I drink like crazy; coffee falls into the category of "hot drinks."

So basically, the reasons aren't clear. Essentially we don't drink coffee 'cause God said so. If I were really wanting to drink coffee, if that were one of my "temptations," I might question the direction more and seek a better answer as to why not, but I have never had the desire to drink coffee, so I'm totally okay with going without.

Over the years our church leaders have helped us to interpret the direction, making it more accessible to us linguistically.

Here is a link to the actual Word of Wisdom, should you find yourself so inclined to read it: http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/89

Again, I have no idea whether or not you'll ever find this reply comment, but if you do, I'd like to make sure you at least get my apology for the delay. So sorry!