Right now I just want to rip my head open and squeeze my brain until it stops pounding. The eyes are burning too, in the back.

Under order of my physician I’m no longer allowed to ingest the “chemical poison” (her words, not mine) commonly known as caffeine.

About an hour ago my world started crashing all around. I can now see the Matrix, dogs and cats are speaking to me in loud human voices, the sky is green — sometimes purple and Canada just announced they found a mad cow.

What a rotten day.

This all started on Saturday morning when I felt my heart do a few jig against my rib cage. It happens from time to time but for some reason I thought this irregular heartbeat was signaling the big checkout. Things calmed down until yesterday morning when it happened again, so I immediately headed for the doctor, making sure not to speed or pull an illegal u-turn.

Upon an examination that included being wired to several machines and printers, I was diagnosed as fine but needing to loose weight, eat more vegetables (expect white rice, corn, and potatoes), exercise, and, oh yeah, no more caffeine.

The doctor actually had the nerve to suggest drinking herbal tea as a great alternative.

Herbal tea? I had to pinch myself to make sure I hadn’t died and landed in the sixth level of hell.

Man does it suck to get old.

This morning I thought maybe decaf would do the trick. Perhaps the taste of an iced latte would induce the placebo effect but alas tickling the senses is not enough.

Now I just want to world to sink into a dark room where I can get some peace and quiet and not be tempted to drive down to Starbucks for a quick fix.

Mad cow indeed.