Special Request By Special Reader
I have been asked to write an article about HRT, hormone replacement therapy, by one of our loyal readers. I must say up front, and repeatedly, see your doctor. I am not a physician. I can not diagnose or treat any medical condition. I will offer information that is commonly available and I will also share my experience with HRT. This could turn into comedy.
Disclaimer and “Just the Facts”
Let’s cover the facts first and then we will get to the entertainment. According to WebMD, the benefits are that HRT will give most women relief from night sweats and hot flashes and may help in preventing osteoporosis, thus lessening the chance of a broken bone later in life. According to this same source, the risks of combined estrogen and progesterone therapy include the possibility of raising your risk of heart attack, blood clots, breast cancer and stroke. The real kicker here in this discussion is that there are many forms and combinations of HRT, so again, see your doctor. It is possible, if you have a great doctor that he/she will hit on the perfect HRT for you. This was not my experience.
Into the Wild
I was complaining of various female maladies that seemed to be brought on by a lack of proper hormones and a friend of mine suggested that I try HRT…and I did. Mind you, I did not go to a reputable gynecologist and ask his/her advice. I strutted into my local General Practitioner’s doctor’s office, who was known for writing whatever prescription you asked for, and asked for a specific brand of HRT. With little ado, he gave it to me. Oh my, I thought, this stuff is gonna be great! I’m gonna be “normal” again, I thought. Well, for starters, I have no idea what made me think that… can’t say that I’ve ever been “normal”, whatever that is…and furthermore, I was living in hell. It was gonna take more than a pill to fix that. More on that later… I wrote previously about how menopause completely erased my personality. I was an empty shell for a season. I was in this desperate state when I thought that I’d found the answer. I would have tried anything to ease the suffering of that emptiness. Little did I know that there is a reason why it’s really best for a physician who knows all about you to make this decision. I should have known. I’m a nurse and a bona fide health freak but I wanted to feel different, FAST! and I did. Again, this is merely my experience. See your doctor. HRT may be great for you. It was God to my friend. It was Satan to me.
I got that script filled ASAP and took my medicine, anxiously awaiting the “rush” of hormones. Well, nothing happened, which is logical. Most legal medicines have to build up in our bloodstreams before we actually “feel” them. Hell, I just wanted to feel anything, good, bad or ugly. It didn’t matter. I just wanted to know that I was not freakin’ dead.
The Joy of The Lord
I mainly wanted a return of joy in my life. I had come to the point that there was none and puh-leese… don’t interject here that joy comes from the Lord, yes, I know that. I’ve had every position that you can name in church and done it all, and me and Jesus are one on one. He sustains me. This is NOT spiritual. This is physical, emotional, psychological and mental but it is absolutely not spiritual and if you try to treat it that way, you won’t get the help that you need. I’m not a doctor, but I am saved and believe me, your salvation will sustain you but it won’t make you contented in this time so don’t even go there. HRT did not increase my joy. It made me a raging lunatic at times. Raging lunatics aren’t usually real happy. I kept taking it. I wanted those “mones”.
What Was THAT?!?
I slammed so many doors while I was on that stuff that I still have torn up things. I slammed a steel security door so hard that to this day, the doorknob is jiggly. I slammed the doors on the car that I had then so hard that my car began to rattle…and it was a new car… Whenever I entered into an argument, I could feel the blood rush to my face and I would get dizzy. I was angry. Oh well, I felt something, right? The HRT that I was taking was a combination of estrogen and testosterone. Apparently I didn’t need the testosterone. And to top it all off, I had terrible food cravings just like PMS gives you. Damn, I hadn’t had those in years. Oh, this was an improvement… I stood at the kitchen counter and polished off cartons of ice cream and bags of nacho cheese tortilla chips, with salsa…and velveeta…and sour cream. I gained about 15# pretty quickly and still wouldn’t quit those pills.
HRT is supposed to help insomnia but the opposite was true for me. I was wild as a bat all night long. One night I couldn’t sleep, even though I had asked my doctor for sleeping pills and took them, and I cried and prayed all night. By daylight I realized that none of those pills had fixed my problem. They seemed to have made it worse. I threw them away and never regretted that decision.
I have always been a health freak and I knew that a healthy diet, vigorous exercise and quality sleep could stabilize and repair a lot of things. At this point I was desperate enough to use common sense and give it a go. I went back to Weight Watcher’s, lost the weight, which by now was 45#, and walked deeper and deeper into healthy living. I had been on Maintenance for a year or so when I discovered David’s Way. Part of The Way is stress reduction, which David refers to as “making your world small, getting rid of clutter, all kinds of clutter”. I was under way too much stress and I got out of the hell that I was living in and recreated my life. This Methodology has worked for me. I have more personality than ever. Life is rich. I am the strongest that I’ve ever been. I work a hard, full-time job by choice. I play hard. Life is good. David’s Way is a holistic lifestyle that turns all focus on health and wellness. I discovered an interesting fact about female hormones. Estrogen is not only made in the ovaries which try to bail somewhere around 50. It’s also made in the adrenal glands. Stress can overtax the adrenals to the point of making them ineffective which is known as adrenal burn-out which is a life-threatening condition. It can be fatal. Stress can take the last bit of estrogen from you…Since I fixed my life, I’m more vital than I’ve ever been. I’ve always had a very stressful life, until now. David’s Way has changed that. Everything that I wanted from those little pills has been given to me by living healthy. I feel better than I did at 21 and I take no medication whatsoever. I’m 62. What will David’s Way do for you? I can’t answer that. I only know what it has done for me. I am not a doctor. I cannot diagnose or treat any medical condition.