22 August 2008


Today I found out the difference between energy from caffeine and energy from iron.

I have been steadily getting more tired this week. I was getting enough sleep at night but still felt like I could use way more hours of sleep. It has been deep sleep at night as well, not that yucky broken sleep. So I knew that I was well rested, but couldn't figure out why I felt so draggy-assed. Every day my limbs felt like lead and my blood felt like molasses chugging through my veins. It was getting more and more difficult to make it to bedtime before crashing. And conversation? Not possible in the evenings. No power of thought at all. And each day brought just a little more grumpiness. I was getting ready to bite some heads off, anyone anywhere would do :)

Today it occurred to me that I've been taking my iron pills wrong. I'm not supposed to take them with caffeine, dairy, protein or grains. Pretty much rules out breakfast right there. So I take the pill at my first coffee break at work. But I've been hungry as well so I've been eating cereal bars at the same time, convincing myself that they are too fake to be a grain. And cake. I eat cake on my breaks. I said to S that the very air itself seems to make people fat at work (I've watched a few put on the pounds over time). S said "the air, are you kidding? How about the cake, could it be that you are gaining weight from putting cake in your mouth?" Ok. So the cake is making me chubby. Moving on.....the cumulative effect of not absorbing the iron pills seems to be exhaustion. Deep, unrelenting, moving-through-tar, sleep-around-the-clock exhaustion.

Today I decided to change the way I was taking the pill. I took it early - two hours after I ate my breakfast - and waited an hour after that to have my first break. Oh my goodness did I notice the difference. Slowly the molasses turned to blood in my veins and was able to move easier. My muscles even lost the jello feeling and I was actually able to lift things without too much problem. So this means I was actually taking the pills wrong and my body never did build up the store of iron it needed. Now I'll have to remember to take them without any meals at all and I can enjoy a world of non-exhaustion. This also means planning as I like to eat whenever I feel like it. Not whenever the clock says I can eat.

Caffeine has a very different energy. Where iron seems to be a body-related, endurance type of energy, caffeine is an instant mind-altering energy. When I take a Midol or Tylenol with caffeine I am instantly jittery. My mind zips off in a hundred directions and starts to plan all the things it could do. It doesn't seem to consult my body about whether or not these plans are actually possible, it just commands action right now. So with my heart racing and my mind zipping I complete tasks I would otherwise not have the energy to do. Like cleaning. Or yardwork. Or skipping for waaay too long. In the end I pay for it with sore muscles and a crash of epic proportions. The caffeine also resembles the Up feeling of Bipolar. The idea that anything is possible, that I am capable of accomplishing grand things in a short time, that whatever I don't know I will learn quickly to get the tasks done. This can all be had in a little pill or a steaming cup of coffee.....

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