Drink more water, you noodle!
April 21, 2021
I really picked a heck of a week to reduce my caffeine consumption.
Since I’ve been at the Saratoga Sun, it has not been uncommon for me to drink anywhere from three to five cups of coffee in a day. Often, if the pot is a day old and there’s still some coffee left, I’ll just reheat it and drink that.
That’s not counting the two or three sodas I was drinking, either.
Or the occasional double shot after a long meeting the night before.
It’s not like I didn’t drink any coffee before this job, though. It seems my two previous jobs also led to increased coffee and caffeine consumption. Yet, it seemed as if coffee and newspapers just went together.
So, imagine my surprise when, last year, I’m sitting in a session at the Wyoming Press Association Winter Convention and Dave Perry—yeah, that Dave Perry, formerly of Carbon County—tells the journalism students and professionals that drinking coffee all the time is not exactly healthy in this job.
Here I thought that coffee was a prerequisite to being a journalist or editor.
Honestly, at the time I couldn’t imagine doing this job without a cup of coffee near my left hand as I typed. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only time the office got a break from my rapid, and sometimes rough, typing on the keyboard was when I stopped to drink my coffee.
Type-type-type-type-type-type. Sip. Sip. Sip. Type-type-type-type-type-type.
All that changed about two weeks ago. After two of my staff members were out sick, I felt the only responsible thing to do was to take a rapid test at one of the clinics. While that test ultimately ended up being negative, the question I was asked during the intake process brought on a whole new feeling of anxiety.
“Is your blood pressure normally this high?”
Now, hypertension does run in my family. I’m working a job that comes with plenty of stress, at the time we were still preparing to switch presses, I’d been informed that two staff members were out for an unknown amount of time, I was preparing to take a rapid test and I had just imbibed a cold coffee drink with extra caffeine and energy stuff.
Even after taking my blood pressure several minutes later, it was still high. I don’t remember what it was, but I remember recognizing that the top number was a little high. I was later told that while it wasn’t “Don’t let him walk out of here” high, it was “cause for concern” high.
So, as I’m writing this it has been a week since I’ve had a soda. I’ve scaled back my coffee intake from around five cups to two cups. Now, instead of a coffee cup or a soda to my left, I have water, juice or green tea. The comedown has been a little difficult as I feel far more tired at the end of the day than I think I have any right to be.
While I know this will all be for the better, in the long run, I’ll say it again; I picked a heck of a week to reduce my caffeine consumption.
Both last week’s paper and this week’s paper have been put out with only two people in the office. Honestly, I have to give a lot of credit to Amanda Shepherd. While I was working on articles over the weekend, she was coming in to make sure the layout and everything else was ready to go. Though I had been trying for a smaller paper for our first run, it didn’t turn out that way and we put out a 16 page newspaper with a new layout and a new deadline.
Yet, we got it done with time to spare.
As I continue to drink less coffee than I used to, and less caffeine, I certainly feel better. A little less like a dehydrated noodle and a little more human.
But boy, did I pick the wrong week to reduce my caffeine consumption.