Yesterday, I went to see my naturopath. He is the doctor who prescribes my thyroid medication as well as my hormones.
The visit went well, as always. Not going into details, but my blood work is excellent as always. My cholesterol is fantastic, same with the blood sugar. Thyroid levels are a little low, but I’m not experiencing any hyper- or hypothyroid symptoms, so I’ll stay where I am. Magnesium levels are much higher than where they were the last time I checked, which is a good thing.
He strongly recommended that I get a pelvic exam from my other doctor, something I agree with, just to verify that nothing else is going on. (Which I’ll set up today.)
In his opinion, IF nothing else is going on, chances are, this is just hormones.
I’ve been seeing my naturopath since 2006. I went to see him about hormones (more on that in a bit). One of his specialties is hormones. He’s focused on that. So he’s seen a lot of women over the years going through something similar to what I’m reporting.
Past performance is no guarantee of future performance, etc. However, in his experience, what happens is that a woman has a month or two of hormones playing silly buggars. Then they go back to “normal” for a short while. However, that “normal” is likely to be different than the previous “normal” – either heavier or lighter. Then the hormones will act up again. And so on.
This sort of cycle can happen for years, but he’s guessing that mine will probably only be a year or so, possibly less, based on my age. We’ll see.
(And yes, today is a bad day. Feels as though my period is going to start again at any time now. I’m traveling tomorrow – possibly no blog post – so of course my period is going to wait until the least convenient time before showing up.)
Anyway. A bit of history.
I started perimenopause back in 2001, when I was 39. That’s the year that as far as I was concerned, my internal thermostat broke. I was living in Tuscan, AZ at the time. I remember it being 110 outside, and I’m sitting on my porch with jeans, a sweater, and a blanket on, absolutely freezing. Then the opposite, inside with the AC cranked down and a fan blowing on me and still sweating. I had horrible night sweats at the time as well.
Of course, the male doctor I was seeing at the time told me that I was too young to be starting menopause. The implication was that I was lying about my symptoms.
Yeah, that still makes me mad.
Fast forward to 2006. I’ve been spiraling down. I know I’m sick. It got really bad that spring. I ended up spending three days around the time of my period curled up in a ball, crying.
Anyone who knows me knows that ain’t right.
When it happened a second time, I vowed to go find a good doctor. This had to be hormone related, as it was only occurring during my period.
So I went looking for a naturopath who specialized in treating hormones.
In addition, I started educating myself. One of the books I read was “What your Dr May Not Tell you about Menopause”. (I don’t remember what the other one was.)
It was amazing to see my symptoms described there on the page, frequently using the exact same words that I was using.
Armed with this knowledge, I went to my first visit with my naturopath. I actually had the books in my backpack, intending to make *him* read them if he didn’t think I had a problem with my hormones.
However, that first visit was amazing. He told me that he saw a lot of women who suspected they had hormone issues, but didn’t know. The first thing he always insisted they do would be to read the books I had brought with me. He wouldn’t prescribe anything until the women had educated themselves. (He actually had handouts, things that he’d copied from those books and others, that he’d brought into the room because I had been asking about hormones.)
Since I was already so far ahead of the curve, he would prescribe something immediately for me.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to A) be listened to and B) be believed.
Plus, the hormones made an insane difference to my life. I hadn’t realized just how far I had spiraled down until I started climbing back out of that hole.
I will tell you one other story about this doctor. We made another appointment, he listened even more, and ordered blood work regarding my thyroid. (I had no idea that I might also be having thyroid issues.) When the lab results came back, he told me that the numbers showed that I was borderline in terms of needing thyroid medication. However, listening to my symptoms, he wanted me to try some thyroid medication, just to see if it would help, even though the numbers didn’t strongly indicate that I should be taking it.
Again, that was a life changing medicine for me.
I wished at the time, and I still fervently hope, that every woman can find a doctor like this and have at least one good experience in her lifetime, so she knows what to look for from then on.
I’ve had bad medical doctors since then. Ones that I’ve had to fight in order to advocate for myself and my own health. (I didn’t see them frequently or for too long.) I have a good medical doctor right now.
And I still go and see my naturopath on a regular basis, despite the fact that he moved his practice and is now over an hour away.
It’s worth it, to have a doctor who not only cares, but who listens.
Dr. Dean Neary: http://www.wellnesscentermonroe.com/