This week, we are featuring guest posts by one of my patients, who was thrown into surgical menopause at a relatively young age. Many women may recognize the signs and symptoms Erin experienced. Like Angelina Jolie, she is sharing her story in hopes of helping others.
The shock and impact of surgical menopause are immediate on the body. Symptoms I was assured would be “minimal” by wearing a hormone patch quickly began to manifest themselves in more and more physically detrimental ways. By January, I was back on my feet, but feeling very off. While visiting family back east, I found myself standing outside on my brother’s porch in sub-zero weather, over and over, day and night, without a coat. And I was sweating. As a longtime desert dweller who finds anything below 75 degrees to be on the verge of freezing, something was seriously wrong.
As time passed, I couldn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. My night sweats got worse. I felt as if I wasn’t quite tuned in to the frequency of life. It was becoming more and more difficult to find words or to complete a cohesive thought, and as a writer, that was a major problem. I had no focus or short term memory. I was tired all the time. My entire body hurt. I was gaining more weight. My skin was thinning rapidly, and my hair became dull and brittle. Soon, I could barely get out of bed each day without a pot of coffee to jolt me into something remotely resembling a human being. I was dragging, had no energy and was easily confused, and it showed.
At my post-surgical clearance several weeks later, my doctor determined that I was allergic to the adhesive on the patch, so my body was not absorbing the hormones. It became necessary to move to oral pills. A couple of months after starting the new regimen, I wasn’t feeling much better, so I began researching hormone replacement on my own. What I found was startling. As I learned more about the differences between pharmaceutical and bio-identical hormone replacement therapies, I became very concerned.
I wanted to move to a bio-identical option that was well researched, tested and widely accepted and prescribed in many other countries. My doctor didn’t share the same viewpoint, and didn’t have as much information as I would have expected. As much as I liked her, I knew it was time to make a change. Her practice focus was more on pre-menopausal women and childbearing years, and I needed someone who specialized in post-menopause and its effects. The search was on. And my quality of life depended on it.
Recognize any of these signs or symptoms? Call our office for an appointment: 480.619.4097