Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dentural Wisdom

So I got my wisdom teeth yanked out of my face last Thursday. Why are they called "wisdom teeth" in the first place? I mean, you only notice them when they are hurting you, or the dentist takes an x-ray and says you'll have an orc-mouth if you don't get them pulled immediately (yeah, right doc), so I don't really see the wisdom in their presence. Maybe in the long long-ago we used to get our back teeth knocked out real easy by chewing on bark and rocks and such and they were like shark-replacement teeth for our hairy ancestors. Either way the result today is that I gotta miss two days of work while my jaw swells up to the size of a cantaloupe and I get hepped up on grams of ibuprofen and prescription narcotics.

I decided not to let the extreme pain-killers go to waste on just getting my teeth pulled though. I figured as long as I'm taking multiple 600 mg Ibuprofen tablets and get a nice shot of who-knows-what to dull the pain of my jaw being partially broken for a day or so, I might as well take this opportunity to deal with my major bad habit (note that I only have one because I am otherwise flawless -- pride doesn't count).


I know what you're thinking, "But Cory, with all the problems facing the world, what with the oncoming economic collapse, peak oil, and zombie plague, how is caffeine a major bad habit? Its cheap, easy to make, and keeps your brain power cylinders operating at the expected 4000 rpm to optimize your superhuman productivity!"

True enough, you, but how about this: have you ever had to make a fire in the cold? Know how much that sucks? Now try to make a fire in the cold...with a killer headache. Yes, you can stockpile coffee (as I have), but when the mutant zombie bikers are roaming and the fallout is coming down you don't want to have to venture out to super-duper mart, putting your life needlessly at risk, simply because you need coffee!

Anyways, I got the two-birds/stone idea from Mary's dad, and I gotta say so far its working splendidly. Its been a solid four days without caffeine. Doesn't sound like very long to you, huh? Let me give you a synopsis of my intake at work each day last week, and you'll understand what kind of withdrawal that is:

Cory's average work day:

- 6:45 am -- Make one pot of coffee. Drink one tall travel-mug full (+4 cups) with breakfast (I put a couple ice cubes in it to cool it down).
- 7:45 am -- Refill travel mug with coffee, drink on the walk to work (+4 cups).
- 8:30 am -- Crack open one of the Monsoon energy drinks (lo-carb) I brought from home, drink it up (+1 energy drink).
- 10:00 am -- Refill travel mug with crappy coffee from breakroom. Drink until lunch (+4 cups).
- 11:30 am -- Eat lunch with Mary. Drink a small styrofoam cup of coffee with lunch (+1 cup).
- 1:30 pm -- Crack open second Monsoon energy drink I brought from home. Milk it until 2:30pm (+1 energy drink)
- 3:00 pm -- refill travel coffee mug with crappy coffee from breakroom before maids clean it out. Drink for rest of day at work (+4 cups).
- 5:30 pm -- Get home, rewarm remaining coffee in pot. Drink the rest of the pot over the course of the evening (+4 cups).

Total average intake of coffee per work day: 21 cups and 2 energy drinks (lo-carb, of course, gotta watch my figure). And by "cups" I mean the English measurement of the cup (8 fluid ounces).

Now, most of you probably think that's an inhuman amount of caffeine to take in, and you'd be right. Some of you may not even believe me, but that's only because you didn't know me back when I polished off an entire 12-pack of pepsi in one sitting while playing Fallout (the first one) in my parent's basement. Cullen remembers. I lost a Constitution point that day and gained about six pounds on the spot. Either way, that's not good for humans.

Considering that chocolate is not good for dogs because the caffeine could kill them (well, theobromine kills them, but its a caffeine derivative so stop being so technical), I figured I'd stick this guy in the bud.

I've felt the headaches, but it hasn't been too bad thanks to prescription pain killers. I'm such a cheater. I have gotten a little nauseous from not having coffee on Saturday and today, but I think its passed now. I have noticed a major increase in my desire to nap. Tomorrow is my first day of work with no coffee, we'll see how it goes. I'm sure my coworkers will be put off by my non-buzzed personality and general laidbackedness.

I know other people break their coffee habit the old fashioned way with perseverance and cussedness, and I think that's great. Having the fortitude to go ahead and shake off the effects of addiction with pure willpower is to be commended.

But I'm a chemist, and I fight alkaloids with alkaloids.

The moral is: When you choose the battlefield, you can overcome any obstacle!

...with narcotics!