“My life is a lot like television”, I told Dr. Ellsworth when he called to check on me a few days after my first visit to the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Before visiting the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, it was almost as if I was standing outside of a black and white television (remember those?) watching my own life pass by. Everything was moving sort of slow and in hues of gray. I could not seem to think clearly. My brain was in a sort of fog. My short term memory loss and inability to think clearly were either the center of a joke or the source of someone else’s aggravation on a regular basis. This was becoming an embarrassing problem for me. I own a business and have two small children, and I was finding it difficult to keep juggling all the balls. The constant gastrointestinal problems, sinusitis, daily fatigue, PMS and joint and muscle pain were becoming quite frustrating and worrisome.
Read on to find out how the television is operating today!
When I was in my early twenties, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. When the nurse from my doctor’s office called with my lab results, she said “your lab results show that you have a thyroid problem and you will need a prescription for Synthroid. I’ll call it in to your pharmacy today.” I asked her exactly what a “thyroid problem” was and was mine too high or too low. She said she did not know, that thyroid tests were really confusing to her and that I should just take the medication and she was sure I would be feeling better soon. This was all pretty scary. A nurse that did not understand thyroid “problems” would be calling in my medication. Since it was pretty clear that the doctor would not be calling back to explain it to me either, I was the “good” patient, took the medication and did indeed get a little better. I did what I was told, pulled myself up by the bootstraps, drank the occasional cup of coffee and got on with the program.
After the birth of my second child, it became apparent to me that all the optimism and willpower in the world was not going to make me well again. I was losing my hair, totally exhausted, experiencing terrible stomach problems, having joint and muscle pain, suffering from memory loss, brain fog, PMS, allergies, inability to cope and anxiety over what in the world was wrong with me. I had begun obsessively counting how many hours of sleep I would be able to get before time to wake up. I coveted sleep. I even asked for it for holidays. I would tell my husband all I wanted for my birthday was a night at a hotel (to sleep, alone).
I visited my obstetrician for my follow up appointment when my baby was six or eight weeks old. Honestly, I was a little embarrassed to tell her everything that was wrong with me, so I just hit on the high points. I almost fell off the vinyl covered table when she told me that she could prescribe an antidepressant for me and that I should be exhausted – I had two babies and a business. Who would not be exhausted? I started to wonder if maybe I had stopped speaking English, too, on top of everything else, because I could not remember saying anything at all about feeling depressed. But then again, I could not remember much. I told her that I was not sad, I was sick. I refused the antidepressant and went home sick. I did what women do and I kept going. I put the smile on when I needed to and I kept up the juggling act the best I could. I started to worry that maybe I was dying from some terminal illness that was going to be discovered too late. I began to think that if I was terminally ill, it would be nice to know, so that at least I could accept it and get on with my life. I fell asleep one morning while my baby was sitting in the highchair eating his breakfast and woke up thirty minutes later. He was still just sitting there, thank goodness. I would nod off while reading to my boys and give my toddler empty answers to questions he asked that I was not paying attention to.
I felt like my life was passing me by. I was missing out on my children because when I was there, I was never really there. I made a concentrated effort to start paying attention, to live in the moment, to participate in my own life. This just required more energy I did not have. I wondered why I could not “get it together.” I was 29 years old, had a beautiful family and my dreams of having my own business had come true. Everything seemed to be going my way. I began researching and looking for books and websites about women’s health and hypothyroidism. I began praying that God would send me help. My mother’s birthday rolled around and I bought Dr. Hotze’s book for her as a gift. She re-gifted it back to me and told me that I was the one that needed it. After reading the book, hearing Dr. Hotze speak, and receiving numerous recommendations from current “guests” at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, I decided that maybe my prayer was being answered and I had better take the next step.
I was so excited after speaking with the woman who scheduled my appointment. She gave me hope that I was going to get better. On the day of my appointment, I very hesitantly revealed my problems to Dr. Ellsworth. I was worried he might think I was a crazy hypochondriac. This feeling only lasted a few seconds before I realized that I was safe and that there was someone who was actually going to listen to me and maybe even help me. My patient, kind and caring doctor created a treatment regimen specifically for me that included bioidentical hormones, vitamin and mineral supplements and a yeast-free eating plan.
The Brain Fog Lifted: Living in Technicolor
Two days after my appointment I woke up feeling “alive”. I sat up in the bed and waited a few minutes, sure that it was just in my head that I was feeling this well. I waited to feel worse, but pretty soon it was lunchtime and I was still feeling great. The afternoon “slump hour” arrived and I sailed right through it. I called everyone I knew to tell them how fantastic I felt. Nothing hurt. There was color in the television set again. I was living in Technicolor. My life had almost instantly become one of those beautiful, clear, colorful digital flat-screen TV’s. And instead of standing to the side and watching it pass by, I was in it. I was going to be living my own life again. When Dr. Ellsworth called to check up on me, he was thrilled to hear my good news. He inquired about my yeast-free eating and I told him that I would eat raw collard greens for every meal for the rest of my life if that is what I had to do to feel this well. I do not even have to do that! I no longer count how many hours I get to sleep before time to wake up, I just look forward to waking up! I now realize that being sick for so long was actually a blessing because I appreciate and value my health so much more. I am so grateful to be well. It is such a gift to have my health and my life back. Thank you, Dr. Ellsworth. Thank you to everyone at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center for your care, concern and the work that you do to give women back their health, their dignity and their lives.
Watch Lisa tell her story: