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Year's Wrap Up and Confessions of a Doctor #2

We are often horrible patients and make poor health choices years end My running plans for 2017 did not exactly pan out. As my work life has intensified (a good thing, my regenerative medicine practice is exploding, thanks to many grateful patients who are avoiding surgery and spreading the word, as well as our affiliation with, becoming their exclusive Idaho provider), my running life has had to take a back seat. I love the long 100 mile distance in the mountains and had hoped to run a rugged mountainous race in Idaho (IMTUF) in September, but a wedding hijacked those plans, and so I had planned to run my beloved Bear 100 for a 4th time, celebrating amazing fall colors and ability to move vast distances through the mountains under my own power. Training, though more limited than in the past, was going well until the end of July. I was hitting some good volume weeks, feeling strong and motivated. But in August it all began to fall apart. I was tired and worse, unmotivated. Every athlete knows what it feels like to lose your mojo, it SUCKS. It is one thing to perform poorly, but much, much worse to not even want to perform. I finally dragged myself into the doctor in early September, only to find out that my thyroid numbers were in the toilet.

Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) can cause fatigue, low motivation and extreme cold intolerance. Seeing that I was wearing down jackets in July and had virtually stopped running, this fit. Unfortunately, this was a self-inflicted problem, as I knew I had a thyroid problem, but had weaned myself off of my thyroid medication in the early part of the year. I should have known better, but thought (hoped?) that with my overall good health and eating, I could get off the thyroid medication. Six weeks later, back on thyroid medication, I am feeling significantly better. Lessons learned: don't self-treat as a doctor. Respect, rather than fight, challenges in your health. Take care of yourself and make your health a priority (I already believed in these principles for treating patients but needed to accept/apply them to myself). I don't know what 2018 will bring in terms of running. I'm finishing out 2017 grateful for my health and ability to keep running, skiing and adventuring in the amazing outdoors. Best holiday wishes to all and wishing you the best of health! Dr. V and all staff at EISSR

About the author

Sarah Vlach