Posted by: Lauren Gaskill | December 8, 2010

Coffee’s Curse

Picture retrieved from Google

I love coffee.  I love the smell, the taste and everything about it.  To satisfy my fix next semester at a cheaper cost, I made sure to put a coffee maker on my Christmas list.  There is something about those warm cups of flavored goodness that always manages to brighten my day.  Coffee lovers, you can sympathize with me.  You know where I am coming from.

Now I face a big dilemma.  I am torn between continuing or quitting my caffeinated coffee addiction.  Why, you might ask?  Well, as many of you probably do not know, I have a slight heart condition called non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT).  In other words, sometimes my heart will go into episodes of rapid beats (more than 100 beats per minute).  Episodes consist of three or more beats which originate from the ventricle.  These episodes last fewer than 30 seconds, and although they are not life-threatening, they cause discomfort.  So how does this relate to coffee?  Well, caffeine agitates the NSVT.

When the doctors first told me I may have to give up caffeine, I blocked it out of my mind.  Until recently, I was in denial that it was affecting me.  As a college student, however, I have increased my coffee intake (non of which is decaf might I add).  I can no longer deny caffeine’s adverse affects on me; this is a terrible affliction to endure!

Tonight tipped the iceberg.  I happily purchased a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks to compliment my dinner. Two hours later, I was in the gym working out.  This was a bad decision. No. A really bad decision.  The caffeine/exercise combo sent my heart racing, and I started to get a little worried.  I continued to work out however, trying to ignore my heart and developing shortness of breath.

So now, I have a decision to make.  I could always resort to hot chocolate or decaf, but it would never be the same.   As Bob Irwin once said, “decaffeinated coffee is kind of like kissing your sister”; in other words, it’s disgusting.  Giving up my caffeinated coffee would be a huge sacrifice.  Not to mention, I could suffer from withdrawal!

For now, I think I’ll just decrease my intake.  I can downgrade from a grande to a tall.  Baby steps, right?  After all, it is never easy to give up something you really enjoy.



  1. For many of us, coffee is just a way of life and I can’t imagine a morning not starting with my favorite cup of coffee. I have little advice but I hope you find your way back .

    Good luck!

  2. And what advice is this?

  3. Judson- I have found my way back. I brew my own every morning! By the way… you never told me your advice.

    Hope all is well with you.

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