September 29 was my due date as determined by the doctors at my birth in 1986. It was also National Coffee Day according to one of this week’s writing prompts at Mama’s Losin’ It. What connects these two is that I received caffeine treatment at some point during my neonatal intensive care stay. I don’t know why. A quick online search found that caffeine citrate is used as a treatment for apnea (breathing trouble) in premature infants, so that may be the reason. My parents joke that my getting caffeine early in life was the reason I drank coffee from age six or so on.
I started drinking coffee with milk and sugar. My parents liked their coffee with sugar and I had to use cold cow’s milk both to cool the drink a bit and to prevent me from getting too much caffeine in me. There is a photograph I remember vividly on which I’m drinking coffee with a hideous grin on my face. I still look like I am drinking shampoo when I drink coffee, even though I like the taste.
I never stirred the sugar into my coffee. Rather, I would drink the coffee with milk and then eat the sugar from the bottom of the cup with my spoon.
At one point in I believe it was 2001, so I was fourteen, I dreamt a particularly scary dream. In it, an evil uncle or some other relative who wasn’t in our lives much, exchanged the sugar in the sugar pot for poison that looked exactly like sugar. Please note that I don’t have any eviel uncles or the like. It was just a dream, but when I awoke, I couldn’t shake the thought. I decided not to drink any sugar in my coffee anymore. It didn’t make much of a difference since I never stirred the sugar through my coffee anyway.
I think I got rid of the milk when I went to blindness rheab, but honestly I have no clue. I remember drinking my coffee black in the independence training home I went to out of rehab. When a psychologist came to visit me because I was having behavioral challenges, I judged his personability by the fact that he drank his coffee black too. Not that it could’ve been any different, because I think I didn’t have sugar or milk in my pantry or fridge anyway.