Head in the Clouds

Wake up. Drink coffee. Make breakfast for Dylan. Wake up Dylan. Feed Dylan. Dress Dylan. Shower. Brush teeth. Kiss wife. Drop off Dylan. Go to work. Drink coffee.

Even on weekends, my day starts with a cup of coffee. Some people have cigarettes. Others heroin. I have my coffee. I love it. I can say without a doubt that I don’t know what I would do without it, which is more than I can say about a lot of things. This morning, I skipped that step, and I almost lost it.

We ran out of the coffee, but I figured we had some at the office, so I could wait until then to get some. That was a big miscalculation on my part. I woke up this morning, head in the clouds, confused about what the first part of my day started with. My patience with Dylan was extremely short. The poor kid, had half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast. He wore two different socks to school and had the other half of the peanut butter sandwich for lunch. The carline seemed even longer than usual, and before I knew it, I was late and had to sign Dylan in and get him a late pass.

Coffee, more specifically caffeine, is perhaps the most widely accepted substance of abuse for good reason. It keeps people sane. Aside from that, there are a number of health benefits that are associated with it. Studies have found that drinking moderate amounts of coffee, or about three cups, was associated with having a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and  Parkinson’s disease.

Traffic sucks in South Florida, but without coffee, it’s horrendous. As I pulled onto the freeway, there were a few crazy drivers, weaving in and out of traffic, one of them cutting me off. I yelled angrily, knowing full well that he couldn’t hear me. I slammed on my horn and blurted some four letter words out. I started following the black Honda Accord with the missing tail light through the lanes, feeling my blood start to boil. After a few seconds, I realized that my episode of rage was starting to get the better of me, and I slowed down, turning up the music instead. A slow Chevy Impala took the Honda’s place in front of me, frustrating me even more.

Of course, it was not always hugs and kisses with coffee. Coffee has gone through one of the greatest flip-flops in medicine. At first it was bad. It stunts growth. It can give you a heart attack. It can give you cancer. And now, it’s good. It actually reduces heart disease. It reduces mortality. And while the World Health Organization, or WHO, removed coffee from the list of potentially carcinogenic offenders list in 2016, because it is a hot beverage, there is a small risk of esophageal cancer when drinking it fresh out of the pot. In addition, coffee can potentially cause jitteriness, palpitations, insomnia if consumed in high amounts. Coffee can also cause heart disease in a few select people with a genetic mutation for slow caffeine metabolization.

While there are some pitfalls to drinking coffee, I gladly accept them as the benefits seem to outweigh them. By the time I get to the office, I’m desperate for my first cup. I have my second cup within the next twenty minutes. Coffee has been shown to improve cognitive and physical function in moderate amounts. As I took another sip, all became right with the world again. I had my feet firmly planted on the ground again.

By: Dr. Juan Borja
Original post: https://yourdoctordad.com/head-in-the-clouds/

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