When she came to Hotze Health & Wellness Center Lisa was a 29-year old wife and mother of two small children and recently became the proud owner of her own business. She had the beautiful family she had always hoped for and fulfillment of a life-long dream in owning her own business, yet she was not able to enjoy of any of it. Lisa felt like she was sitting in front of a black and white TV watching her own life pass by in slow motion, void of color in hues of gray.
Her brain was constantly in a fog. It was more than just being scatterbrained as she used all of her energy to concentrate and focus, yet she still could not think clearly. The fog just wouldn’t clear. Her daily short-term memory loss and muddled thinking had become either the center of jokes or the source of someone’s aggravation. She had to laugh at herself because what else could she do? It was getting harder to laugh it off and becoming increasingly embarrassing. With two young children and the business, it was definitely a juggling act, but feeling like this at 29? She wanted to feel “on the ball” instead of constantly running to catch it.
In her early twenties, Lisa had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was placed on Synthroid. Despite not being confident in her doctor’s experience with hypothyroidism, Lisa was a “good patient” and did what she was told. She took the medication which did make her feel slightly better and pulled herself up by the bootstraps determined to get on with her life.
After the birth of her second child it was apparent that all the optimism and will power in the world was not going to bring her health back. At 29, she just could not fake it anymore. The brain fog, memory loss, PMS, allergies, chronic exhaustion, stomach problems, hair loss, anxiety and insomnia were just too much. She coveted sleep and obsessively counted the hours of sleep she would be able to get before it was time to wake up each morning. Lisa told her husband that the only thing she wanted for her birthday was a night at a hotel alone to sleep.
She could handle being embarrassed in social situations, but it was beginning to affect her family. It had gotten so bad that at one point Lisa fell asleep while feeding her baby in his high chair and woke up thirty minutes later. She would nod off while reading to her boys and give her toddler empty answers to his questions because she didn’t have enough energy to give a focused answer. Her toddler wondered why Mommy couldn’t play anymore and so did she. It was breaking her heart to think of the things she was missing out on. She was trying her best, but she just couldn’t be the mom and wife that she desired to be.
When she did visit her obstetrician for a follow up appointment she was embarrassed to tell her everything that was going on so she just hit the high points. Lisa almost fell off the table when her physician offered to prescribe her an antidepressant. She wondered if things had gotten so bad that she was not speaking coherent English because she could not remember saying anything about feeling depressed. She told her physician that she was not depressed, she was sick. She refused the antidepressant and did what women do: put on a smile and kept going despite her debilitating symptoms. She began to think that she must be dying from a terminal illness and that it was going to be discovered too late. If she was terminally ill, she would rather just get a diagnosis so she could accept it and at least get on with her life. Worse yet, it scared her to think that if this was what she was like at 29, what would she be like at 40 or 50? She didn’t deserve this and neither did her children or husband. She needed to find a solution.
She bought as a gift for her mother, only to have her mother re-gift it back to her saying that she was the one who needed to read it. After reading the book, hearing from other patients, researching and looking at websites about women’s health and hypothyroidism, Lisa decided maybe this was the answer to her prayers. She made an appointment and began her journey to regaining her health and her life.
At her first appointment, Lisa was hesitant to tell Dr. Ellsworth about her symptoms based on the experiences she had with other physicians. She was tired of doctors dismissing her symptoms and feeling like a hypochondriac. A few seconds into her visit she realized that this was going to be a completely different experience. He actually listed to her symptoms and most importantly he had solutions. Lisa’s treatment regiment consisted of natural desiccated thyroid, bioidentical sex hormones, natural adrenal support, vitamin and mineral supplementation and a yeast-free eating plan.
Two days after her initial appointment the fog lifted. Instead of feeling like death warmed over, Lisa woke up feeling alive. The entire day she waited for her symptoms to show up and prepared herself for the afternoon “slump hour”, but the symptoms never came, nothing hurt and she sailed through the afternoon with energy. She called her friends and family to tell them how fantastic she felt. Instead of watching her life on a black and white TV she felt like she was living in Technicolor and instead of standing outside watching her life pass by, she was actually in it! She no longer counts the hours of sleep before it’s time for her to wake up and now just looks forward to waking up.