Eddy Yanto

Caffeine Woe

Jan 23, 2014

I don’t remember when was the first time I became aware of my body’s unusual resistance to caffeine. It was probably around my late primary or early secondary school. I was then living in a small town in the equator, to the east of Sumatra. Coffee, the caffeine infusion was quite abundant there. At home, black coffee was readily available, prepared in the morning and preserved to last throughout the day in thermos flask.

In the afternoon, people would take rest from their activities and enjoy small bite-sized snacks like buns, banana fritters, spring rolls, fried dough and cookies. Consumed along with these snacks were coffee and tea. Personally, if I was having fritters or cookies, because of their dryness, I would dip them into coffee first to soften them before I eat. Eating them that way would give a juiciness in the mouth when I chew on them.

The effect of the caffeine would came not long after I finished the whole cup. In fact, the cup size I consumed wasn’t really big, it is like those thick flower patterned cups with matching plates you would find on most coffee shops in the past. It could probably hold less than 100ml but enough to inflict giddiness in me that would last for a few hours.

The giddiness I had then is considered mild compared to what I would experience now. Just a few weeks ago, I had quite a rundown with caffeine. Tempted by the smell of a rather thick black coffee in the cafe, I had a cup too.

Slowly, the effect of the caffeine began to build up after I finished the cup. I started having colic at first and it continued bugging me until evening. As I tried to lay down to sleep that night, I still felt uncomfortable with my stomach. The food and drink that I had didn’t seem to go along well, they sent a ripple-like sensation in my stomach whenever I move or turn my body. After a while, nausea kicked in and it slowly rose to my throat. When I could no longer hold the built up, I rushed to the toilet and threw out all that I had in the afternoon.

I still don’t know the exact cause of my body’s unusual reaction to caffeine but it was obvious that there is rejection when it entered my body. Maybe it isn’t exactly an illness but a kind of allergy, a rather uncommon one. And what I do know to lessen this stimulant from affecting me that much in future is to regulate my intake of this drink, consuming it in a much smaller amount while still be able to enjoy it, to prevent the caffeine from triggering my body defence mechanism.