Run! Don’t walk to Bio-Identical Hormones! I am living proof that they will bring health, healing, and happiness to your life just like they did mine! Come on this journey with me and examine yourself along the way to see how you too can get your life back!
I am 46 years old and as I look back on my childhood, preteen, teenage, and young adult years, there truly was never a time when I did not have a health issue. As an infant I had ear infections and colds. In elementary school I had to have my tonsils removed because they were so large and affecting my speech. In 5th grade I remember vividly playing kickball on the playground and starting my period. There was no celebration of “womanhood”, just the beginning of a lot of pain and suffering. In junior high, I began having headaches that would not go away unless I would sleep and my periods were so painful that I would miss a day of school each month. I played all the sports, basketball, volleyball, and track… I loved being involved and looked at painful cycles as something to endure. (My mother had these when she was a teen, so my sister and I had inherited “the curse.”) In high school these problems persisted and added on to them was allergies and sinus infections at least twice a year, August and December. My cycles of antibiotics were a way of life and I thought this is just the way it is. After all, I had to get back to school, sports, and my social life!
In 1978, I went off to college and unfortunately my persistent and painful cycles had gotten worse to the point of missing three days of class each month. I had headaches and my cramps were so excruciatingly painful I could not get out of the bed. It was really the first time that I thought I cannot live like this anymore and so began my long journey to find answers. I called my Family Practice MD who prescribed a new drug at that time called Advil. Wow! I was so excited – At least it gave me some relief from monthly pain. However, my headaches, PMS, and everything else continued. My cycles of antibiotics also continued – sinus infections, strep throat, mononucleosis…. I could not stay healthy for any length of time!
In 1983, I met my husband and we married within the year. He was the love of my life; however, I do not believe that we realized that our vows, “in sickness and in health” would rule our lives for the next 16 years. I began taking birth control pills six months before our wedding to get my system “adjusted” and that brought a whole new set of problems. I fought with bladder infections, yeast infections, but most of all MIGRAINE headaches. They became so severe that I would be in the bed and in the dark for 12 – 15 hours. I believed they were hormonally related but when I asked my OB/GYN he said that it was not the birth control pills and that I should see a neurologist. I saw the neurologist and of course he found nothing after tests, scans, and a lot of money! He sent me home with drugs and told me I just had to learn to “manage” them. Exactly what does that mean?
I changed OB/GYN docs and decided to go off the pill because my husband and I were ready to become parents. After one year and no pregnancy my doctor decided to run tests and do a laparoscope to see if he could find any reasons. All my tests came back fine so we decided to look for a “Fertility Specialist”, one at the top of his class, “a doctor’s doctor”. We were referred to Dr. S, an intelligent man and one who truly wanted to help us achieve a pregnancy. So began our journey with infertility. After batteries of tests, medications, fertility drugs, procedures, laparoscopes, thousands of dollars, and six years with no definitive reasons we could not conceive we decided to back away from it all.
In February of 1992, we adopted our precious son. He was the answer to our prayers, the most awesome blessing of our lives! Even through all the pain and hurt we believe this was God’s plan for our family. I was a stay-at-home mom that first year with a home based corporate gift basket business and I continued to deal with migraines, painful cycles, heavy bleeding, extreme PMS, and fatigue. My husband had to work at his job and then come home and take care of our son. When I had a migraine it was so hard to lie in the bed and listen to my husband feeding, bathing, and rocking our little guy. That was supposed to be me! I felt imprisoned in a body that would not allow me to live a healthy life!
In the next two years, my problems escalated and I ended up with a complete hysterectomy. Pockets of endometriosis had “exploded” in my body and which caused an infection and landed me in the hospital for 5 days. (More antibiotics!) My OB/GYN said he had never seen anything like it. He said these things just happen. He put me on Provera to shut down my cycle. It was like being in menopause for 4 months. I have never felt so hopeless in my life! My body was dry, lifeless, and shriveling up! I was a WITCH!! I felt so guilty about it but I felt out of control. My poor husband and son were suffering right along with me! My mother took on the day to day gift basket business which had moved out of my home to an office.
Finally, the Hysterectomy! The answer to all my problems had come! (So I thought.) My new rollercoaster ride began that day. When they rolled me from recovery to my room, they slapped an estrogen patch on my hip and said this was going to help me to feel better. Of course, I went through every patch the drug companies made and I had problems with all of them. Finally frustrated, my doctor said to take this pill and you will not have to worry with a patch. It is a safe drug, approved by the FDA for women called Premarin. I took this for 6 years and suffered abundantly. I gained 35 lbs., blood sugar problems, anemic at times, but worst of all MIGRAINES! Now they came on several times a month, lasted longer and were so painful I had nausea and vomiting. My OB/GYN wanted to prescribe pain medications for the headaches but never addressed them as a hormonal problem! (He was the top of his class, the specialist, a doctor’s doctor!) He was always trying to give me antidepressants as I walked out of his office. “Susanne, just try these they might help.” I politely smiled, took them and trashed them downstairs. I WAS NOT DEPRESSED!!!!
The headaches became so severe I went back to my medical doctor and asked his opinion. He told me about a new drug that was helping migraine sufferers called Imitrex. I knew there were possible side effects but I decided to try the injection. My migraine would disappear— Voila! Miracle? No! Although they did stop the migraine, they started coming on more often. My neck muscles would be so tight that it triggered more headaches. I was having three per week. I knew I could not continue this cycle for my family, my health, and my business.
In 1999, the answer to all my family’s prayers finally came one day as I was waiting at a hair salon here in Houston. I picked up a magazine and saw an ad for the Hotze Health & Wellness Center and it had a woman’s story. The woman sounded just like me! I remember thinking “Lord, is this the answer to my prayer?” I wanted to cry. I believed from that moment that this was it! I went home armed with the information in hand and told my husband about it. He was skeptical (which I totally understood.) He had been let down so many times through the years he did not want to get his hopes up. I called them the next morning. I was impressed with their professionalism but more impressed with the new guest consultants when we began talking. Just by listening to my story they could tell me more about my conditions than all of my specialists, top docs, and doctor’s doctor. It was like they had been with me through these last 16 years and knew what I knew! It was unbelievable!
When I came to the center, I was impressed with the facilities; it did not feel like a doctor’s office. It was beautiful and very relaxed and everyone knew my name. I met with Dr. Hotze, he was so friendly, and he was so interested in all my problems. He listened and responded and I was so shocked when he said, “Susanne we can help you.” You are not alone, we see patients like you every day and they are living healthy lives. I was a little skeptical but I was willing to do whatever it took!
He put me on a regimen of Bio-Identical Hormones, Amour Thyroid, Cortisol, Vitamin Supplements, and a Yeast Free Eating Plan. The hormones quickly gave me a calmness I had not had. My energy perked up some, but my big test was seeing if they affected my migraines. It was a godsend! I had some migraines in those first few months but they begin to subside and I would hold my breath thinking this cannot last, can it? My optimism began to take the place of fear and I started believing that I could live a healthy life. I felt great! My moods improved. I had more energy; I did not have to plan my life around my migraines! I felt like being outside with my husband and son. We went on walks, had picnics on the patio. I was able to grow my business! This was a healthy life!
I read all the information I could on the philosophies that the Hotze Center talked about. I wanted to be informed and knowledgeable and learn for myself. I believed the words, “whom much is given, much is required” and I wanted to take a responsible part in my own personal health, not just for me, but for my family, my loving, steadfast and faithful husband, my precious son, our loving parents and everyone that has stepped in to help us through this journey. It is now 2006 and as I write these words, I am moved to tears, not of sadness, but thankfulness first to God and then my family and friends at the Hotze Center. You have taken the years of suffering, pain, and hopelessness and brought me to this place. My thanks are beyond words.
If you are reading my words and have examined yourself, your daughter, your sister, your mother, or friend and they are suffering with any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate. Take charge for them and share with them what you have read from all these stories. You can help them to change their life just like I did. It is quite possible you will not just help them to feel better today but you will help them to “Get Their Life Back!”
Can you relate to Susan's story? Contact us today and let us help you get your life back!