The one advantage to aging is retrospectively looking at your life with the ability to cut and paste! So many choices we make have such a profound impact on our lives and those in it! I can certainly say now how important it is to take the responsibility for your health, at any age. Research, “Google”, read, discuss and never stop at one option or diagnosis!
My husband, a dental student in San Antonio, was about to graduate in 1979 when we were delighted with the news of our first child on the way! I was being monitored with cervical dysplasia at the time. A year after the birth of our daughter, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in situ and told I had within one year to have another baby. We had a son and six weeks later, I had a partial hysterectomy. At the time, it was not a problem to me – no more periods to contend with! We were hoping to have had one more child but we had two wonderful children, so life was good! It was good for many years but what was going on within my body without necessary hormones that was not visible was a slow destructive process.
I was put on Premarin – the answer to all unhappy females with the same complaints.
Around the age of 40, I began to heat up unexpectedly and the clothes began peeling off. By the time I was half naked, I was cold! Then the wonderful night sweats surprised me. I was already not happy with the fuzzy vision and “not so cute” readers so all of this was beginning to get very irritating. None of my other friends were going through this at 40! I was put on Premarin – the answer to all unhappy females with the same complaints. It makes perfect sense – take the urine of a pregnant horse and give it to women. I should have had a clue – my mother had been on Premarin and subsequently had a stroke, heart attack and osteoporosis. It was my understanding that Premarin claims to protect you from all three! Therefore, I stayed on the little yellow pill for several years.
In 1994, our 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a malignant tumor of bone in the sacrum. We began a year-long regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. We were in West Texas and drove to Dallas for all of her treatments. We lived in and out of the hospital and on the road. She was a vibrant, athletic young woman with an iron will and continued all of her school activities. She was a cheerleader, so during radiation, we would leave Monday after lunch so she could attend half a day of school, and make the last appointment in Dallas. We would stay all week and take the first appointment Friday morning so she could make the pep rally and game back home. She set an amazing example to many, me included! However, six months after her treatments ended, she was diagnosed with Acute Mylogenous Leukemia from the chemotherapy and radiation to her hip area. Thus began another long year of stronger chemo and more radiation. I lived in the hospital room with her six to seven weeks at a time. After an unsuccessful year of looking for a bone marrow donor, we used her father for a stem cell transplant. During the entire transplant, I lived in the isolation room for four and half months with her. I had forgotten about my symptoms and they seemed to be irrelevant.
After three and half years of battling the disease, she relapsed and passed away in 1997 at the age of 17. It was a marathon for our family with many ups and downs. I had lost 20 pounds of muscle mass and the stress had taken its toll. I know now that I had adrenal “burnout” which caused my muscles to atrophy. I did not know how physically destructive stress could be. I had stomach issues, no energy and did not care to even get out of bed. To say I was depleted was a stretch! A bone scan showed I had osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. I was put on Actonel which I took for a year. I had another bone scan, fully expecting improvement and now had osteoporosis in my spine. That is when I decided to find another way since I was spiraling in the wrong direction.
My husband had been involved in integrative, biological dentistry for many years and the health aspects had opened my eyes. I began to read books about natural hormone replacement and sought out a doctor that had this approach. I stopped my Actonel and Premarin and thus began my search for hormone therapy the healthy way. My husband and I drove to central Texas to consult with a doctor he worked with. I was given natural hormones in the form of troches – Bi-Est, progesterone and testosterone cream. I was also started on Armour Thyroid. I began to see results but did not particularly care for the “under the tongue” troches. I eventually found a doctor in Fort Worth. She took me off the troches, at my request, and I tried the hormones in cream form. I still was having hot flashes and night sweats so we tried different dosages. A year later, I was seen by a doctor in East Texas and was put on natural hormones in pill form. I continued my Armour Thyroid, which helped with my energy. I continued to improve but was not where I wanted to be. I still had occasional hot flashes. I thought this was the best it was going to get. I found that a partial hysterectomy, when ovaries are left intact, can cause many problems. Ovaries do not work the same after the uterus has been removed, so therefore, natural progesterone supplementation is vital. I was at risk of osteoporosis, and much more! It threw me into early menopause. My situation could not have been avoided but the result could have been treated differently.
Two years ago, I read an article in the Southwest Airline magazine about the Hotze Center in Houston. The article made sense to me. At the time, I was not familiar with the term natural, bio-identical hormone but I felt this was finally my answer!
My husband and I made appointments and flew to Houston to the Hotze Center. We were treated like guests at a resort, which made the entire process very enjoyable. I was able to ”fine tune” my current natural hormone therapy. I learned that “bio-identical” hormones are made to fit like a key into the female’s cellular structure. They were compounded on site in their pharmacy and I left with my new hormones. Within a week, I experienced no more hot flashes or night sweats and my energy level was up. The Cortisol gave me energy, solved my fatigue issues and began to support my adrenal glands. My natural thyroid hormone dosage was also readjusted. I went on a “yeast free” diet for two months to rid my body of yeast that had built up over the years. I was already on vitamins, minerals and ate in the “Zone”, a diet that balances your protein, carbohydrate and fat intake. When I realized that food was a hormone, I began making wiser choices on what I consumed and began buying more organic products – free from hormones, pesticides and chemicals. My improvement was worth all the research, time and money to feel great again! I finally felt like all my problems were addressed and taken care of in one location! I recently took my 23 year old daughter-in-law to the center so she could enjoy a life without all these issues. I think women should start earlier so they will have a base line to fall back on as they age – gracefully, of course!
We are responsible for all aspects of our health – what we do to our bodies will directly or indirectly affect our immune system, our overall health and well-being. Preventive measures we take at any time will have long-term advantages in our lives. There is a place for physicians that diagnose, perform necessary surgeries, and help to cure diseases! Thank God, however, for “wellness” doctors who help us to prevent debilitating diseases with diet, exercise and more natural approaches. This has been in place for centuries and worked; so why we think it does not now is far beyond me and countless others. The natural bio-identical hormone therapy I received from the Hotze Health and Wellness Center Got My Life Back on track at 53! If I had only known at 30 what I do now!
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