Caffeine is my kryptonite

I love coffee and it does terrible things to me. It gives me low blood pressure. Yes, low. People look at me like I have a [insert crazy item here] growing out of my [insert body part here] when I say that, so I’ll explain.  Here’s how it happens:

My blood pressure runs low all the time, and especially when I am pregnant. It runs so low that on a bad day it can cause a migraine. On a good day, it approaches normal levels. Maybe this is why everyone thinks I’m so mellow and easy going?  Because I’m smiling at the stars swirling around my head in pretty patterns whenever I stand up too fast?

Doctors and midwives tell me that low blood pressure is a good problem to have, except for the small regrettable detail where my head explodes from a migraine. At least I won’t be having heart trouble or a stroke when that happens.

When I drink coffee, it raises my blood pressure into the normal range of a living, non-comatose human being. My body appreciates this and readily latches onto the habit. A fourth of a cup for 2 days in a row, and I’m hooked on caffeine. I mean hooked in the sense that I roll over dead from a caffeine withdrawal headache if I don’t get my 1/4 cup fix on the third day.

I think this is because my body no longer feels a need to keep my blood pressure out of the semi-comatose migraine-range since caffeine is doing the job instead. But take away the caffeine and what do you have? Semi-comatose migraine lady, of course.

And so I learn my lesson the hard way… again.  Drink decaf. (mmm…coffee…) Drink herbal tea.  (mmm…coffee…)  Drink cocoa.  (mmm…coffee…)  Never drink real coffee two days in a row.  Or if you do, keep drinking it forever.   For-ev-er.

By the way, just for fun, can you fill in the blanks for my crazy-head simile at the beginning of the post?  Extra points for originality and good clean shock value.


  1. I also have lowish blood pressure, and was terribly adicted to caffine, never put the two together. I quit last fall (with coffee) because we were hoping to get pregnant…not happening. 🙁 I had no idea how much coffee meant to me! For weeks after the headaches were done, I craved coffee so bad, I had a hard time getting up in the morning because I knew there would be no coffee…I eventually went with decaff. I still miss the real stuff something fierce, but I have to say that I feel better without all that caffine (I drank a ton, all day long), and don’t want to go back to that crabby, headach-y (if we went somewhere and I didn’t have coffee for a while) way of life again. So I hear ya! (And good for you!)

  2. How about a Starbucks growing out of your ear?

    Mmmmm, coffee! While we do have the odd Starbucks around here in Canada, our real major coffee shop would be the Tim Hortons. Go to any city, town or village and there will be at least 4 of them!! I LOVE their cafe-mochas!! coffee and chocolate and even whip cream with chocolate sprinkles on it…What could be better than that?!! 😉

  3. My first thought was

    …another child growing out of my hip!

  4. A third arm growing out of your chest?

    I can’t give up my caffeine. But it isn’t blood pressure related. It is just needing to stay regular. Soda is so much tastier than most fibers, lol.

  5. Oh man, I don’t know what I would do, I cannot function without caffeine and sugar, isn’t that horrible?? Even pregnant… I am pretty sure I would probably be a totally different person without sugar and caffeine (maybe a good thing? hehehe)
    anyway, how about
    …a foot growing out of your forehead

  6. “…Bouquet growing out of my gut!”

    I could go on…
    As soon as I saw that my mind immediately started thinking up crazy things… thanks for the little Mad Libs moment. 🙂

  7. People look at you like you have a monkey growing out of your nose when you say that? Weird.


  8. I too have always had low or borderline low bp…and lower during all my pregnancies. Never knew that migraines were connected with that…I grew up with several migraines a week as a child (with no reason found). I now wonder if it was from low bp as a child even. Never know…hmm. That whole decaf withdrawl..OUCH! I hear ya there! I get that BAD if I have caffiene…gets worse each time too! Here’s some simile fill-ins: Rams horns growing out of your temples!

  9. How ’bout “baby growing out of my belly”…oh wait! That is happening! Ok, for grins and giggles I’ll say, “thumb growing out of my forehead!

  10. “Semi-comatose migraine lady” that just describes me perfectly without caffeine! I have yet to completely nix the Cokes during a pregnancy. Thankfully, my children have all turned out healthy and not (overly) hyper. Ha. I cannot handle the regular coffee during pregnancy either, it makes me all jittery. I hope you find satisfaction in your decaf! 🙂

  11. I have the low blood pressure/lower in pregnancy/can’t drink regular coffee thing too. Never met anybody else like that. At least now I know I’m not crazy, LOL.

  12. Wow….that’s really interesting. You’ve described me to a T…except the part about being pregnant and the crazy thing growing out of somewhere..:) I’ll have to investigate this migraines and low blood pressure thing further….

    P.S. Leanne^- Longview, WA?? We used to live in Rainier, OR….

  13. An extra eyeaball growing out of your forehead??

    yeah, it’s weak, I admit it….but this was my first thought: an extra finger growing out of the middle of your head!!

    Hoo…..I’m weird!

    I love coffee too, but if I have caffeine I get short of breath, I mean, really short, and my heart just can’t take it! But I love the taste of it. My favorite are blended Kona Mocha big trains, decaf, with a shot of coconut flavor! mmmmm!!

    I’m still in the loop for the left coast get together, meaning I’m still getting emails, and I’m still privy to all that’s going on, and sooooooooo sad I can’t be there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll be thinking about you when I’m at the doctor, getting poked and prodded and stared at and talked about and who-knows-what-else!!!

    Well, take care……..hope you’re feeling well at this stage of your pregnancy!

    Leanne in Longview

  14. how about a coffee plant coming out of your brain

  15. fly swatter coming out of your cerebral cortex

  16. well, if misery loves company, at least you are not alone!

    I have the low blood pressure thing too, but just when pregnant, normally it runs from normal to hmmmm, bit on the low side, but once I am pregnant, watch out.

    Yesterday I made myself a latte to help myself feel human again, and I had such a wonderful little caffeine haze all morning, it was great.

    It almost killed me not to repeat again today, but like you said……

Don't just think it: say it!

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