I never wanted to harm myself, but I told the doctor on call that I understand why women want to, and do, harm their children. It was a holiday weekend, September 2004; my husband had just left me in bed, exhausted from crying for “no reason” all morning, as had become my weekend ritual, and intending to take a nap. As soon as he pulled out of the driveway I felt overtaken by an intense fear of being alone, and unable to be behind a closed door. I felt as if I was possessed, as if something had taken over my body and my head and I had no control over it. I was sobbing and dusting because I did not know what else to do. I was alone in the house, my neighbors were not home, and I needed someone to talk to and stay with me because I was so afraid of what I was feeling. I called the OB and the doctor on call said I was “cycling” and it would pass. She made sure I was not suicidal, assured me she was a phone call away if I needed anything. I continued to dust and sob until I was dehydrated and worn out. My husband came home and stayed with me, talked to me, comforted me and got me through the day. The next day I was in the psychiatrist's office. He told me he would fix my head and the OB docs would fix my body. I was given Xanax, Lexapro, and several follow-up appointments. I had officially entered the hell that used to be someone I knew and liked.
At age 36, I had all except one ovary removed. It seemed to be functioning well for about 10 years, at which time I started on a weekly patch. Right after my 49th birthday, April 2004, people started telling me I was “bossy”, “crabby”, and not so much fun anymore. I had not felt “right” for a while and decided to see about dose adjustments for the patch. I went to the OB almost every 2 weeks, each time being given a new patch, dose, etc.
Finally, my levels were drawn and my estrogen levels had skyrocketed. My ovary “woke up” and sent me into a tailspin. I had 4 doctors, sonograms, abdominal CT, and blood tests. Surgery was scheduled to remove the ovary, which had a cyst, but an adrenal tumor had to be ruled out first. I was put on birth control pills, which made my moods worse, so they tried another patch. In the mean time, I gained 13 pounds, had a grease pit zit face, and went up a bra size. I was going through puberty at 49! I was horrible to my husband, and acted like he did not exist. I was emotionally non-functioning. I remember so clearly standing in front of the toilet throwing my wedding rings into it, thinking I will never need these again. Why did I not flush them down? I do not know. He saw me do this and did not say anything. How he put up with this for as long as he did and said nothing is still something I can not understand. He said to me several times, “this is not you, I am waiting for you to come back.”
After I “flipped out” in my house, the sonogram showed that my cyst had ruptured. The female endocrinologist said my problems were over and cancelled the surgery. Since she has the same parts I do, I listened to her. My male gynecologist said, “No, this will happen again.” I felt much better for about 2 months. Christmas morning, 2004, I started the sobbing again. My husband reached for the Xanax, as he had to do several times before, and I got through the day. I had sonograms, other cysts, and finally, surgery in February of 2005. My mood swings were surfacing again, and I decided to get off the Lexapro. (I had not needed the Xanax for a while.) Of course, everything got worse. My goal was to be well for my 50th in April 2005. This was March 2005 and it was not looking too good. My estrogen level ON THE PATCH was well below what it should have been. The patch was basically doing nothing.
I had been asking for bio-identical hormones for some time, after attending lectures given by Drs. Hotze and Sheridan, listening to tapes of the lectures, and reading all I could about them on their website, as well as reading Dr. Hotze's book. Bio-identicals are not used much here, they are called “nonsense” and some call the docs that use them “quacks”. Finally, my OB agreed. I felt better but still not right. I was back on Lexapro against my better judgment, but I needed it to get me through this. My co-workers had been walking on “eggshells” for several months now, gently telling me I was insulting the patients, (I am a nurse), watching me be in la la land at work, and having to cover for me a lot.
In March 2005, I went to another meeting and listened to the talk again about bio-identical hormones, thyroid, etc., and read Dr. Hotze's book again. I did everything except go to Texas. I was now so tired all the time and would picture me falling asleep crossing the highway in traffic. My moods were better but other problems were now surfacing more than before. I asked for thyroid antibodies to be drawn, and when they were abnormal, the primary care doc said let the OB take care of it, and the OB said let the PCP take care of it. Neither of them knew what to do with the abnormal results, and the endocrinologist said nothing was wrong with me, except I was SLEEP DEPRIVED!!! I did not know if I should laugh or cry, so I cried because I, once again, was at a dead end. I really felt as if nobody here could help me, and I could not take much more. I was past 50 by now and not doing much better. My family was so worried about me, for a year they watched me go through this. My 23 year old only daughter was so worried she would have this someday and, believe me, it was on my mind also. My boys would call my husband first and ask how I was before talking to me on the phone. Of course, at 25 and 27, they did not understand all of this.
Finally, I went to Texas. What a breath of fresh air that was. Sheri was with me for many hours, and gave me so much information my head hurt. The staff was wonderful, they explained everything thoroughly, and everything about the visit was wonderful. I knew when I left there that I would be “me” again soon. I found out that one reason for my extreme fatigue was the dose my OB prescribed of the bio-identical hormones was 3 times stronger than what Dr. Sheridan started me on. In 5 days I felt more alert, and by 2 weeks I felt almost wonderful. I was laughing, having fun, sleeping when I should be sleeping, and awake when I should be awake. I have lost the 13 pounds I gained when the estrogen spiked, and 12 more. The Armour Thyroid, hormones, vitamins, dietary modifications, and all the information that came with them made such a difference in my life. I am a better person than I was before; I am calmer and can tolerate stressful situations much better. I again have a wonderful relationship with my husband of 30 years. I can not thank him enough for his patience, kindness, and unconditional love, which was tested many times during this. I am out of the hell I was living in. If my daughter ever shows signs of anything, I know there is help for her. She will never have to do what I had to do to get well.
Thank you, Hotze Health and Wellness Center, for giving me my life back!
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