I spent most of this week in a headache fog, obsessing over food and migraine triggers, eventually coming to the conclusion that I might have OCD. (Okay, you can all stop laughing now.) I definitely feel that my headaches have evolved over the years. They are mild yet persistent, and this week I was exhausted, my sinuses hurt, and, as stated above, I felt rather foggy.
Feeling foggy and murky always drives me to frantically flail around in search of solutions. This week, I did what I said I might in the last update. I gave up caffeine. I gave up chocolate. I tried not to eat any of the other foods on the list that are triggers but that I don’t eat that often anyway. (Except onions. Onions is on the list but they are ubiquitous. How do you eat and not consume onions?) I bought caffeine-free coca-cola because even though I gave up Coke for this experiment, I don’t know what to drink when I’m not drinking tea and I want something more than water. I decided this was an extreme circumstance that allowed for deviation in the experiment. However, I’ve been through this charade of giving up caffeine, thus tea, before, and each time I replace regular tea with un-caffeinated sodas. This is when the voices in my head get very loud. The voices in my head think this is a terrible idea, replacing a non-caloric beverages with proven health benefits that’s been around for millennia with a product of the modern, evil food industry. Beyond that, iced tea is a part of my identity now. It took the place that Coca-Cola once inhabited. What the hell am I supposed to do if I’m not drinking tea? Decaf is inferior and I don’t know what the hell herbal tea is supposed to be. Is it supposed to be good? Because it’s not. Herbal tea is to tea what white chocolate is to chocolate. It may have the same name but it’s not the same thing. And even if caffeine is the culprit behind my headaches and I switch to caffeine-free Coke, drinking liquid sucrose is not exactly going to make me feel good, is it?
So what did I do? After a week of not drinking caffeine and still not feeling good, I went to Starbucks and got myself an iced tea. It was a good decision. I didn’t regret it, I didn’t question it. I drank the tea. I felt good. Normally I drink jasmine green tea, which is low in caffeine. Only tea that’s lower than green is white. I drink in the neighborhood of 3 cups a day. I sometimes mix it with oolong tea, in a 3-1 ratio, which raises the caffeine content from mild to moderately mild. I think, as anything food related, the solution is to cut back, not out. I was probably on to something when I laid out my rules to replace one cup of tea with water, so as not to overdo it.
So I’m still reading some headache books and making decisions. I haven’t eaten chocolate yet, and the moratorium was a good one because with all the leftover Halloween candy, I was over consuming. The obsession over my headache ate up most of my brain power for the week, which is why when I started this experiment, I didn’t lay down too many ground rules for food. Thinking about food consumes me in a way that I am not sure is healthy, and it leaves little room for any other thoughts. I really need a better hobby.
Speaking of hobbies, I lost a couple of ideas this week because I didn’t write them down. I was out walking or otherwise occupied and didn’t write them down, thinking they were so good and so powerful that they would be semi-permanent fixtures in my brain. They weren’t. They never are, and I don’t know why in those instances I don’t lean on my phone more. I use it for stupid stuff but taking a note when I don’t have paper would be a good use of that technology, don’t you think? Here’s hoping those thoughts come back to me, and that I’ll have something to say next week that isn’t about headaches.