I think I finally realized the source of my increasing fatigue.
You see, I am an addict.
There, I admit it. Now that's the hardest part, right?
And now since I've taken that first step, let me explain. I've battled this caffeine addiction for years. It started when I was in high school, innocently, with a sporadic cup. By the time of junior year I would go through phases of an entire pot of coffee a day.
In college, I was largely caffeine free, which I suspect had something to do with the fact that if I was drinking something, it was almost always beer. If it wasn't beer, I wasn't drinking it.
But since medical school, me and coffee have been best buds. There have been a couple of short-term caffeine-free phases, but none for several years now.
At the end of last week, I took a caffeine count. On average, I drink about 40 ounces of coffee and about 24 ounces of diet Mt Dew each day. WAY. TOO. MUCH.
I think my caffeine levels stay so high that any little dip during the day makes me feel tired. And thus, I declare myself an addict.
Friday morning I put it down. I finished my coffee, and that was it. Done. Finished. No more.
Saturday I felt awful. Slept the day and night away, and when I wasn't asleep I was a zombie. I didn't get the headache, but only because I was alternating tylenol and ibuprofen every few hours.
And then, this morning, I woke at 0800 and felt almost great. I've felt little fatigue, and I still haven't had a headache despite having no analgesics since this morning.
I'm hopeful that I can continue caffeine-free. It will help my training by letting me feel a more honest fatigue so I will know easier when to rest. It will help my wallet by avoiding all those damn Starbucks trips.
And it will help me, because I don't want to be an addict to anything.