Medicine News of the Weird Personal

Too much coffee!


In my grant writing frenzy the last few days, this could easily have been me:

Jasmine Willis, 17, developed a fever and began hyperventilating after drinking seven double espressos while working at her family’s sandwich shop.

The student, of Stanley, County Durham, was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, where doctors confirmed she had overdosed on caffeine.

She has since made a full recovery and is now warning others about the dangers of excessive coffee drinking.

Ms Willis, who had thought the coffees were single measures, said the effects were so severe that she began laughing and crying for no reason while serving customers at the shop.

She developed a fever and began struggling to breathe after being sent home by her father.

Good thing I don’t drink expresso. I just drink regular coffee, which means I’d have had to drink an awful lot to reach such levels. Frequent trips to the bathroom to empty my bladder would probably have kept me from reaching such toxic caffeine levels. That makes it harder for me to turn into Too Much Coffee Man. On the other hand, yesterday it was like someone turned on a switch and the pollen assaulted my sinuses, inflaming my hayfever, causing my eyes to gush torrents and in general making me miserable; so, unable to stand it any more, I finally broke down and took some Sudafed. Nothing like Sudafed and coffee, is there? Of course, I wouldn’t have done it if I were operating today; Sudafed and coffee aren’t exactly great for the steadiness of hand needed to operate. Coffee alone, as long as it’s not that much, but combining the two is bad.

In any case, the grant’s done. I was up quite late last night putting the final touches on it; all that’s left is one last run-through and then the upload and submission, which I will take care of this morning. My mind is fried, and at times like this I’m so tired of it that I don’t even want to think about my own research anymore, even though normally I consider it fascinating enough to devote my career to it wholeheartedly. Last night, though, after I finished this monstrosity (on all-too-short notice, I might add), even though it was nearly 3 AM and I was utterly exhausted and sleep deprived, I was still too wired and wide awake to go to bed right away, yet too whacked out from my mental effort to write any serious medical or scientific posts for today. Don’t worry, though. I have a couple of short (one might even say “non-Orac-ian”) odds and ends that will appear later today that I’ve been meaning to post and never quite managed to. I also took the time to slap down an annoying troll, which always makes me feel better after the torture of a grant application.

Just hope against hope that the submission website doesn’t go down when I’m finally ready to upload in a couple of hours.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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