No. More. Coffee.

Scary right. I hope some of you didn’t fall or anything when reading that. What the heck would possess me to say something so outlandish? No more coffee? Obviously I’ve hit a new level of insanity. I feel like I have.

For the past 6 months or so I’ve been battling with chest pains. In January they got so bad that I went to the doctor. I was hooked up to all the machines. I could have sworn I was going to die by chest implosion. She said I was fine and sent me home with some blood work to do. A week later, there was no doubt in my mind that my chest was indeed going to implode so I went back to visit my doctor.

This time she told me she thought I had heartburn. Heartburn? Seriously? Doctor you have to be shitting me? There is no way heartburn is going to cause such an explosion in my chest. I got the look from her that let me know I was being a ridiculous baby and that obviously I had no clue what heartburn was. Indeed I’ve had lots of heartburn in my time. Never had it tried to implode me. I was informed it could be a hiatal hernia, heartburn, GERD, Acid reflux, etc etc. Any one of those, or some combination. Here take these pills and stop being a baby.

Normally I hate to take pills without knowing what is wrong but at that point I really just wanted the pain to go away. It was getting hard to function. So I’ve been taking the pills as faithfully as my scattered little brain will allow. I just picked up one of those pill organizers so maybe I’ll be able to remember if I took my meds or not.

The coffee banishment…
Last week, I forgot to take a pill. I didn’t realize I forgot to take a pill until the next day when I had my morning cup of coffee. I drank half the cup and all of a sudden my chest started to implode again. Coffee bad. Right then and there, I realized I needed to say good bye to the coffee. I almost threw the cup across the room. I remembered that I like the mug so I simply poured out the coffee, cleaned the mug and made myself a pot of tea.

 **edit** it’s not the caffeine that gets me, it’s the acid in the coffee.  Plain and simple, there is too much acid in regular or decaf coffee.  It’s like drinking a cup of vinegar, which is another story for another day.  Decaf is just an insult. It’s not as good as regular and it still makes me hurt.  Sadly, coffee is out as a daily good morning.

I told that long story to give you a tutorial.
Yes, I know a bunch of you skipped the boring story to get to the pictures.

Now that I’m drinking tea I needed a cozy to help keep the pot warm. I needed the cozy now. I’m far to impatient to just knit one. Not when a pile of winter hats is staring at me from the corner. I’m using this opportunity to give a hat a summer life and I’ll get to make myselfa new hat next year. All pictures can be enlarged with a click.
Teapot and hat to be transformed (Fake isle hat)

I stretched the hat over the teapot. My very scientific way of seeing how it will fit.

While the hat is still on the pot, I start to pick up stitches and crochet a single chain around where I want the cut to be for the handle. Basically this is just doing a crochet steek technique. Make sure if you are using a fair isle item that you ar grabbing the carried yarn in with your steek so you don’t end up losing stitches when you cut. You can also sew and then crochet your edge if you are being really careful.

Then I cut!
I fit the hat onto the teapot again and do the crochet and cut steps for the spout.

It sort of fits. The bottom is too long and I want it to be felted anyway. Into the washer it goes.

All done!
The longest part of this was the washing machine filling with hot water. It was excruciating. I’m that impatient. Now I have a prettly little teapot cozy. The poor thing has a little Grizzly Adams thing going on and will need a bit of a haircut at some point. For now it’s just happy to be sitting on my little teapot.

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47 Responses to No. More. Coffee.

  1. Leigh Ann says:

    My future mother-in-law actually had to quit caffeine for a similar reason. She drinks a half-and-half cup of regular and decaf mixed together, and that seems to work out. She had gone to the hospital thinking she was having a heart attack, but it turned out just to be caffeine aches. My fiancee will get them, too, but he doesn’t consume a lot of coffee anyway, so it doesn’t really affect him unless he decides he really needs to stay awake.

  2. Sara says:

    I was going to mention something similar to Leigh Ann… my mom had to give up caffeinated coffee for the same reason. Her heart would start to pound and race and things got so bad she was having nose bleeds all the time (the doctor told her that since her blood was pumping so hard it was breaking the sensitive blood vessels in her nose). She’s drinking decaf now and hasn’t had any problems since.

    The cozy is super cute, though… although I am still scared of steeking!!!

  3. duchess says:

    Oh dear, I’ve been being treated for GERD for 10 years now. Imagine my 18 year old brain trying to process the fact that I was SURELY going to die. I know the feeling, I’m so sorry. I had all ready stopped drinking coffee at that point for different reasons, it was green veggies and OJ that it pained me to forsake. I hope the pills and the switch to tea solve all your chest explosion problems.
    I LOVE the tea cozy, and I LOVE that you made it from a hat! Very clever.

  4. Heather says:

    Aw, sweetie! I am so sorry to hear about your pain! Literally — live w/o coffee??? I have been having major headache and neck issues for about 2 years now and the docs just keep giving me pills, too. Finally got one to send me to PT, and I am hoping I am on the right track. So sick of PILLS! Love the cozy — such a pretty hat to start with, too.

  5. Bron says:

    I’m really glad you found out the root of your problem, but I’m sorry you’ve had to banish coffee. That said, I love tea and that cozy is just TOO cute!

  6. no-blog-rachel says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I went through the same thing about a year ago; and since I’d recently completed cancer treatment, you can imagine the things that were going through my head. I lucked out though – it wasn’t the coffee – it was the cinnamon stick I was putting in the filter basket with the coffee that caused it. Now that I’ve stopped that habit, I can handle almost anything; but I do have to be careful about what I eat/drink first thing.

    Seeing your blog entry really brought the whole thing back – it does hurt like hell, doesn’t it?!

  7. Bad Hippie says:

    I know what you mean about heartburn…I never really knew what it felt like (or that I had it) until I mentioned it to my gastro. Once I explained the symptoms, he looked at me like: “Duh! It’s heartburn! Watch your acid intake!”

    Have you tried Yerba Mate? It’s some weird thing you brew like tea, that can take the place of coffee, without all the acid. I read about it on an IBS forum and bought some a year ago, but I personally didn’t like it. My husband does, though – he can drink it and thinks it tastes good!

  8. Tonia says:

    Well I am glad that it was just the coffee that was giving you the trouble. Sorry you have to give up your morning coffee.

    The tea cozie is very cute! I don’t think I would be brave enough to cut up a hat like that, but it worked so awesome for you.

  9. Norma says:

    I have the same thing. Well, I’ve never had the chest-implosion feeling, but the acid (or some other substance) in the coffee does a number on me — makes me voraciously hungry and crazy in the brain! (think Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde) I love it, but it doesn’t love me. And it’s not the caffeine, it’s something else. Hats off to tea!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Heartburn is so painful! I gave up coffee several years ago because of the bad stomach mojo it gave me as well. I’ve never looked back. Tea has antioxidants too.

  11. margene says:

    How cool you figured out what caused the pain! AND you are so creative and smart. YAY to tea and there is such a variety!

  12. Weaver says:

    I have enough heartburn and the like to say that I sure am glad I don’t drink coffee!

    Glad the lack of coffee makes you feel better. Imagine our pain and trauma if it was wool or dye that you had to give up!!! Now, my chest feels like it’s going to implode! :)

  13. Lynn says:

    Coffee bad. Tea cosy good. That sounds like a reasonable compromise to me!

  14. Nan says:

    It runs in the family I drink mine half milk and half coffee I still want that coffee kick in the morning

  15. Rebekah says:

    Not to tempt you to try a different coffee but have you tried the low-acid coffee. My husband often likes us to drink it because he gets heartburn, although nothing as severe as what you describe, from coffee.

    And I like your tea cozy very much.

  16. Nonnahs says:

    Oy, coffee. The acid gets me, too. Well, at least you know what to avoid, bummer as it may be. Love the creative tea cozy!

  17. I’m sure giving up the coffee was a crushing blow, but at least you like tea. And really, if that is your only problem (coffee too acidic) thank the gods.

    And it also gave you a chance to repurpose a beautiful hat. Very clever.

    So, what about chocolate covered coffee beans? Are they evil too?

  18. Magpie Ima says:

    So sorry the coffee’s out. But hey, if you like tea (which is also acidic) then there’s hope, right? I’ve just added more cream to my coffee as I’ve aged but now it’s decaf only for me because of my heart. Love the tea cozy!

  19. MaryEllen says:

    I can totally sympathize with the coffee situation. I’m addicted to Dunkin Donuts caramel lattes (they’re made with crack you know), even though they make me feel terrible afterwards. I’ve limited myself to one a month and I just suffer through the later discomfort. Otherwise I drink tea.
    Have you thought about about trying Folgers “Simply Smooth”? It’s supposed to have less acid – I haven’t tried it yet, so I don’t know if it lives up to its claims… Good luck

  20. Gina House says:

    I don’t drink coffee myself, but I can understand how the acid could be so horrible. At least you can still have tea…..right? Do you like tea? I LOVE green tea and peppermint. Did you see that they have Spinner’s Tea???

    And, I am so impressed that you adopted your hat to a tea cozy…I mean, that is genius! And it looks so fantastic! I’m going to knit the tea cozy “dress” from Knit2 Together…in, of course, pink. Must get a tea pot now!

  21. loribird says:

    Ah, so sorry you have to quit coffee… but if it helps stop the chest implosions, well, it’s for the better.
    At least you get to use beautiful tea pots and knit them gorgeous accessories! :)

  22. Lisak says:

    Love the cozy! Ice water is very good. I have GERD. Life is very good on medication. I can eat or drink anything in moderation. But, it isn’t just “heartburn” the pain and condition are very real and are not cured with tums or “toughing up”.

  23. Wendy says:

    A week after Mom died I woke up at 2 am, my mouth full of that foul acidic saliva and my stomach roiling with bile. I swayed groggily on my knees in front of the toilet and spit. And spit. I hate spitting. I hate throwing up. I felt like I had to throw up, but nothing was coming up. I was so tired. My heart squeezed in my chest.

    For a week I put up with the sudden attacks of incredible pressure and seizing pain in my chest, and went around with that physical ache that’s hard to describe now. It really felt like a broken heart. I knew what it was though, really, and it made it worse because it tied to a really strong memory of childhood. I used to get awful heartburn as a little kid, and I’d cry thinking I was having a heart attack like my dad did, and my mom would just lay next to me and rub my chest and it sort of helped.

    So I almost didn’t want the pain to stop, since it felt almost right that I should carry this physical pain to match the emotional, that I deserved it for not being with Mom when she needed me, that taking care of it was like denying something.

    But as you know, the pain is incredible and stops everything, even when you are trying to be a brave & stupid masochist. So I started taking some over the counter stuff and within a week I stopped having the attacks and I’ve been fine since, knock on wood, and there’s no way I was giving up my coffee. (Have you ever seen the Simpson’s episode with the screamapillar? That’s me without coffee [my husband does a great impression, but here’s a youtube link to hear it: ]so that wasn’t an option. ;p )

    Sorry for the overshare, I guess it just boils down to “f%ck yeah, that sh!t hurts!” But I love me some screamapillar.

    (also sexually attracted to fire)

  24. Amy says:

    screamapillar rocks!

    Ok, back on topic. At least you don’t have to give up the caffine. I am not sure I could function with out it.

    It is by cafeine alone that I set my mind in motion.
    It is by the beans of java that my thoughts aquire speed.
    The hands begin to shake, the shaking becomes a warning.
    It is by cafeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

  25. carrie says:

    Prettiest little tea cozy I have ever seen =) Nice work

  26. Julie says:

    Hi! So sorry about the coffee. I may have a solution for you though! If you coldpress coffee it *greatly* reduces the ammount of acid in the coffee. Intelligentsia coffee just came out with a nice cold press coffee maker —
    Might be worth a try if you love your coffee!

  27. del says:

    So sorry about the coffee (though, you’re doing the best thing for your health, obviously)! The cozy is too cute (I’d never be that brave, to cut into a perfectly good hat).

  28. DeeAnn says:

    I hear you! I’ve gone through the gamut including LPR – reflux to the point where the acid got to my vocal cords and I couldn’t speak for 2 months. I can drink Starbucks Yukon for my occasional fix – I know a lot of people are anti-Starbucks but it doesn’t have the acid level that causes me problems, and all my fiber-cystic issues disappeared when I switched to it. Other than that, I had to switch to tea too. I sure hope you are feeling much better!!

    Tomatos are another really bad one. If you add sugar (not to the point of making it sweet), it cuts the acid. When I make anything with tomatos, I sautee finely diced sweet onions and carrots until they start to carmelize. Mash them or puree them up and mix them in with the tomato sauce – cuts the acid with natural sugars and if you puree it, no one knows there are carrots in their pasta sauce or salsa :)

    After I got things under control with the doctors little pills, I started taking Milk Thistle instead. Herbal/organic feels much better to me than chemicals. It works for my uncle too.

    Love the new tea cozy! What a great transformation idea :)

  29. alice says:

    my mom had a hiatal hernia, and she felt just like you described. obviously, if you couldn’t get diagnosed in person, i have no chance in doing it over the internet! but i figured i’d throw in my 2¢. i’m a massage therapist, and one of the crazy things i did to try and help her was a full-body stretch. i grabbed her ankles, my brother grabbed her wrists, and we just PULLED. ever had this done? it feels SOO good. and if you take a few deep breaths in this position it can help put things back in their right places in the abdominal cavity. if anyone in your family is willing to stretch you like the Rack, give it a shot :) even if you dont have an h.h., it feels darn good :)

  30. Julie says:

    Okay, I never, ever thought I’d say this, but that is one cute tea cozy! You are just too clever.

    As for the no more coffee, you’d just have to kill me.

  31. Joni says:

    omg, Amy! I really feel for you. I really really do. Way to go, making the best of it with the teapot and cosy and all (Love the cosy idea! I’m sooo raiding our winter clothing supply for an unloved hat, if I can ever find all the stuff we never used this winter). Still–not cool! I used to drink chocolate rice milk when I was pregnant but that’s sugary and I know sugar is a no-go too. I can vouch for Postum as a more full-bodied drink but I can’t remember what it’s made with–probably grains including wheat. Crap! I would probably have cried (and possibly broken the cup). I’ve typically used caffeine as a way to avoid Sudafed when all stuffed up and foggy-headed from allergies. I think if I couldn’t have coffee or sugar I’d just have to resort to the occasional caffeine pill. At least it’s pure, right?

  32. LaBean says:

    Oh well. No more coffee. But with soo many great TEAS out there, you’ll stop missing it in no time. So it WAS heartburn. ouch.

    You FELTED your HAT! Ok, it’s YOURS to do with what you please, but I had to cry a little. But hey, double duty is the plan! The Fake Isle is a good design for a tea cozy anyway, so it was a good choice!

  33. Lynne E. says:

    Sorry for your loss (coffee). Fortunately, there are many, many intriguing teas to try. The tea cozy is darling, and I’m so impressed that you converted a hat! Today I received my first Spunky Club roving, and I love the colors! So far the membership is working as planned–to inspire me to practice and really learn to spin this year.

  34. Holly K says:

    Why not just felt the hat first and then cut? It wouldn’t need the crochet edge thing, and it will never unravel after felting…

  35. Dunno what scares me more: steeking or the thought of life without coffee. Probably steeking. I admire you for making the change. I just love my coffee too much. At my age, I have so few vices left, you see. Must preserve what I have…

    But that is a pretty cute little cosy, so maybe I can have some tea every once in a while.

  36. Kelly says:

    ack Amy your too creative but I feel so bad for that FAIR ISLE! If I ever attempt fair isle I will NOT use it as a tea cosy :)
    Worked great though, and i’m glad you found a fix for your “heart burn” :)

  37. Monika says:

    Nice tea pot cozy! I had to give up coffee years ago. Almost the same feeling as you’ve got, just wasn’t for me. But I LOVE the smell of coffee! Now I’ve been drinking tea for a long time, love that too. ;o)

  38. Brenda says:

    It would be a sad day indeed if I had to give up coffee. I love the cozy though, it might make the tea drinking a little more fun!

  39. Katie says:

    I had something similar happen to me when I was in college. I wasn’t a coffee drinker, but I had to cut out sodas – some kind are also very acidic! I’m glad they figured out what it was and you’re feeling better!

  40. spyderkl says:

    Eep! I’ve been able to cut back on my coffee consumption, but not able to quit. Good luck! I hope it goes well – crushing chest pain can’t be fun. If it keeps you from having to take the pills, it’ll be worth it, I think.

    The tea cosy looks terrific! I’d think Fair Isle would work great as a cosy. You won’t need to line it, that’s for sure.

  41. Emily says:

    I feel your pain on the coffee. Im trying to cut back, just because I am such a cranky person these days without coffee. I have been slowly cutting down to half a pot per day from a whole pot (yes, I have a serious problem) but today I lost my will power and drank a whole pot again… and now its 1 am and here I am reading blogs! Dangit!

  42. bookgrump says:

    Poor thing… I can’t imagine giving up coffee. But if it makes you feel better, then I’m sure it’s a good thing. It’s great to see you making lemons out of lemonade… Or tea cozies out of hats. (Same thing, isn’t it?)

  43. Elise says:

    I feel your pain. I was a coffee addict and had to give it up about 2 years ago because of Gerd. It was really hard. I’m into tea now, but sometimes I miss coffee, even though the smell and taste put me off. Also if I need a big caffeine jolt I drink energy drinks like red bull, not on a regular basis, but if I’m dragging it’s a great pick me up.

    Tea is most likely better for you anyway and there are so many yummy types of tea out there. You should treat yourself and get a few different ones to try.

  44. Adrian says:

    Rockin’ tea cozy!

    I am SO SORRY about the coffee. Damn. Tea’s good, though. I drink an awful lot of white tea.

  45. You are WAY braver than I am. I recently decided to try to have a baby and the first thought that ran through my head was “But I’ll have to give up coffee for 9 months……”
    You know there is alot of low acid coffee that is out there, not decaf, different brands carry it. You could google it, I just did and a good bit came up. Maybe it would be enough to be ok to drink for you. Just a thought, I guess I would find every way imaginable to not have to quit. In fact, I’m off to grab my morning cup now.

  46. Tea can be good too. (don’t hit me!)

    It is the prettiest damn tea cozy I have ever seen. hehe

  47. Carol says:

    I was diagnosed with heartburn/GERD four years ago. I’d had to give up coffee and regular tea with caffeine anyway, because I have a heart arrhythmia and the caffeine made my ticker go nuts. But I find I can drink a cup of green decaffeinated tea (and some other decaffeinated teas too) if not made too strong). Another favorite of mine is rooibos (red or bush tea) made from the honeybush plant., with chamomile. It’s an African tea that turns a beautiful red and has a mild flavor. I add honey or Truvia to it and drink it iced or hot. (I got it at a local Sentry grocery store. The brand name is Kalahari and it’s a blend of rooibos and chamomile flowers.) Sometimes I vary it by adding just a splash or two of grape juice or another juice I can tolerate. I thought I couldn’t live without coffee, but am doing very nicely. Besides, both the green tea and the rooibos tea are rich in antioxidants.

    I wanted to mention that peppermint and other mints are bad for those with heartburn because mint will actually cause the valve at the top of the stomach to widen, allowing more acid reflux into the esophagus. I know…I love mint in any form and used to grow it for home-made mint tea. And peppermint is so good for irritable bowel syndrome, which I also have. My doctor was the one who told me to stop drinking my mint tea. I didn’t listen…he was right. I had a horrible attack of heartburn…twice…before I believed him. So, you might want to skip the mint.

    That being said, it seems that not everyone has the same heartburn triggers. I go out to eat regularly with four girlfriends. Three of us have heartburn and take meds for it. My friend Mary can eat a small amount of any food with tomatoes or tomato sauce in it and not have heartburn. I can’t. But I can eat some chocolate (even a brownie now and then), with no trouble and Mary gets really awful heartburn from it. Then there’s Rose, who can drink a small glass of orange juice and get by with it. Neither Mary or I can do that. And we can eat a very small amount of french fries too, as long as we don’t over do it. The one thing all three of us absolutely can’t have is carbonated beverages. I get such a craving for root beer sometimes that I let half a glass sit out for awhile, until the carbonation is gone. Then I dilute it just a little and drink it. How sad is that? LOL.

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