Sunday, December 03, 2006

On the Road to a Happy Hysterectomy

You want to know what grinds my gears, chaps my ass, and burns my britches? Watch out, this grumpy old bitch is going to blow.

I had to go and see a psychiatrist and a counselor to stay off work for an extra three weeks while my hormones leveled out (via Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT) after a complete hysterectomy. I was experiencing, panic attacks, hot flashes, night sweats, sleeping problems, lack of libido, mood changes, diarrhea, and memory problems. I would forget words. While conversing, it was like playing charades trying to get the other person to figure out what word I was trying to convey. How frustrating!

No, it wasn't a medical disability, it was considered a mental one. My male gynecologist came to that conclusion. You see, after a hysterectomy, it is common that a women can experience depression. He went on to explain to me how I may wonder why I'm feeling this way when I have nothing to be depressed about. Then he went where he shouldn't have. He wanted to prescribe me antidepressants. He started describing to me how the brain works and what a chemical imbalance is.

I stopped him dead in his tracks. I told him, “I studied Psychology in college. I know what a chemical imbalance is. I don't think removing your ovaries causes a chemical imbalance in your brain.” I asked, “Don't you think it could be a hormonal imbalance instead, that maybe I have been thrust into menopause at an overwhelming and alarming rate of speed?” Honestly, he acted as if he didn't know what I was talking about. He said he didn't specialize in hormones. Wouldn't you think a gynecologist would know a little about the subject? I felt as if had been thrown back into time and Freud was diagnosing me with hysteria.

Besides antidepressants, gynecologists also have prescribed Premarin and Provera. These are synthetic hormones that are a sad substitution at best. Provera is a synthetic progesterone and it is not nearly as safe as natural progesterone. Premarin is derived from pregnant mares urine, hence the name. Ladies, we should be sick of this horse piss!

At my insistence he referred me to an endocrinologist. He prescribed bioidentical hormones, which is truly hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormones have the exact molecular structure of the hormones a woman produces naturally. In other words these hormones are no different from what a woman makes from age 12-51. Bioidentical hormones are more effective at eliminating symptoms of menopause and are likely safer as well. In this day and age it is shocking that doctors would rather prescribe horse hormones instead of the hormones a woman's body is familiar with. Just say no to horse piss. (Imagine hearing a horse whinny here.)

My endocrinologist obtained blood levels to see what my baseline hormone levels were. An individual blend of hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) were prescribed and were filled at a compounding pharmacy. It comes in a cream form that I rub onto my inner wrists. (You know, like perfume.) This allows the hormones to be absorbed directly into my bloodstream at a slow rate. This reduces fewer peaks and valleys of hormone levels. Much more normal than pill form which has to absorbed by the stomach and taken directly to the liver.

I noticed subtle changes within 3 days and significant changes at two weeks. It has been three weeks now. My panic attacks are almost nonexistent. My libido has returned, no night sweats, no sleeping problems, and I have much more energy. I have an occasional hot flash, some memory problems, and I'm still moody. But hey, I've always been moody. I mean, come on, I'm a grumpy old bitch.

I will go back to my endocrinologist in two days and we will tweak what ever we need to according to my current blood levels. Not everyone is a candidate for HRT due to current medical problems. I strongly suggest this alternative to be considered by all woman who are experiencing what I have. If you experiencing these problems due to a hysterectomy or even menopause and your gyno is jerking you around, seek an endocrinologist's opinion. I can't even tell you how much I feel like my old self again. It's wonderful!


Blogger Cheryl said...

Bloody men!!!

Glad you are picking back up.
I have separately heard:
1. That you should vary the place where you rub the cream in
2. That it calls collagen to the site and is great for wrinkles.

I want some.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Useful transsexual trivia fact No 237:(!)

Premarin is often a hormone prescribed to transitioning male to female people. That's about all I know about it.

Sounds like you had some serious exposure to Pompous Asshole Doctor Syndrome (PADS) here! It's the same the world over. Strange how they are always men ;-)

7:37 PM  
Blogger beckyboop said...

I should ask my doc about all the areas I can use my cream. I know you are supposed to use in the thinner skinned areas. Maybe under my eyes....

8:10 PM  
Blogger fineartist said...

First, ya probably need to take off those burnin' britches, as they seem to be chapping your ass, and grind your gears on over here any time girl, I needed a good laugh.


Well said.

There ya go, down with it; just say no to the horse whiz. I mean it. Just like Crystal said a few years back, "You grab that doctor by the stethoscope and tell him that you are tired of that horse piss, or panther piss or what ever kind of piss it is, and you want something that really works, let him drink horse piss if he wants to, you're not having any more of it!"

Second, I want some of that cream too, for my cataracts, oops I mean wrinkles, not that I have a bunch, you know with the hemorrhoid cream and all that I've been using for the last couple of years under my eyes. Like Cheryl warned me, I may go blind but my under eye area will be lovely.

What the hell is with a gyno who doesn't know anything about hormones? What is that guy a company doctor? You'd think at&t, oops southwesternbell, would have better doctors to care for their employees, I mean really? Sounds like you, Cheryl and Jo know more about hormone replacement therapy than he does, there's something wrong about that.

Glad to hear you got your mojo running all smooth again. A girl's gotta protect her mojo.

Mega love, Lori

8:14 PM  
Blogger zilla said...

I'm proud of you! Way to insist on proper treatment, Becky!

You can rub the cream on any hairless area. I do the insides of my upper arm or thighs, or my belly, whatever. I don't do HRT, I've got a natural progestin-only cream that helps with perimenopausal symptoms. Works great!

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Good for you! Speaking as someone who had to insist that she was referred to a gynae and turned out to have endometriosis when my GP told me I had a touch of wind.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

This is all new to me, but I'm glad to find out about it. Bioidentical hormones throught the skin. Modern medicine is a great thing, but you have to pretty much do your own investigation! Thanks for posting this.

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen, MI I say "could you give me the shelton pony piss please" being on 2.5 of premarin for 7 years put me in the nuthouse now my family thinks I belong there. I weigh 100 pounds. I think I should have talked the pharmacist. I was only 34. Since off the premarin I'm not quite sure where I've been. Can anyone help me find my way back to who I was?????

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I have the shetlon pony urine please. I was 34 and weighed 100 After 7 years being on 2.5 a day can anyone help me find my way home? Colleen Akens, South Rockwood, MI 48179

11:20 PM  

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