I’m a 39 year old business professional of relatively sound mind and body….well, after being treated by the Hotze Health & Wellness Center that is. It certainly wasn’t that way 6 1/2 years ago when my own personal nightmare started.
I was 33 years old when on July 21st I came home from work and felt like a switch in my body had been thrown. It was the beginning of a decline into what became a nightmare for me. I started feeling fatigued and lost all sexual desire, and knew that shouldn’t be happening at my age. I literally came home and was asleep by 7:30 / 8:00 p.m. every night. I eventually stopped exercising because I was just too tired.
After another year, I gained an incredible 65 pounds and was experiencing problems with my memory. When I say ‘memory’ problems, I mean I couldn’t remember details of meetings I attended in the morning by the time the afternoon rolled around. I took endless, extensive notes to refer back to, and even developed my own version of “business appropriate” short hand to try and capture every word possible in a meeting. I had to do it so I could accurately complete the projects I worked on.
I spoke to my OB/GYN at length about all of this at an annual visit. I will never forget his words in response to this: “You need to learn to deal with stress in ways other than using the refrigerator. Stop eating all of that bread and dessert.” I was speechless. I just communicated what I thought were valid problems, and I was blown off. I remembered thinking that I did like bread, but not enough to cause a weight gain of 65 pounds! As for dessert, birthday cake at family-celebrated birthdays alone wouldn’t cause the weight gain I experienced. At this stage I thought, I’m not the crazy one, I have a doctor with the wrong attitude. So I found a new OB/GYN for my next annual visit.
Another year passed with more testing for hypothyroidism performed 2 more times at my request, because I have a family history of it, by our family doctor. Results communicated by the doctor stated there was “no problem” with my thyroid. Researching the symptoms for hypothyroidism was turning me into a hypochondriac, he said. Why didn’t I think of that?? I obviously must have some deep, repressed feelings of something and I’m just trying to get extra attention. Wrong answer, but I was beginning to doubt myself.
My husband and I decided to try to get pregnant as time was starting to tick away. Nothing happened so we were referred by my NEW OB/GYN, who also tested my thyroid and diagnosed me as being depressed, to a Fertility Endocrinologist reputed to be one of the top 5 in the country at that time. Only the best, right??
My health continued to decline. Added to my list of symptoms were PMS symptoms (water retention, moodiness, etc) experienced 10 days out of each month, brittle, flakey fingernails, stiff, achy joints, dry skin, breast swelling and tenderness to the point they leaked fluid (nice, huh?), a tongue so swollen I woke up each night choking, and I was always cold. I was cold to the point I slept in flannel night clothes with an electric blanket year round. I think I was the only employee where I work that could walk the ten minutes it took to get from the parking lot to the office building in July wearing a suit with a jacket and not break a sweat. I also had the temperature in my office adjusted to 76 degrees.
I thought I hit the jackpot with the Fertility Endocrinologist. I could get pregnant, and surely this doctor, of all people, would understand all of my other symptoms enough to realize I had a valid problem. He tested my thyroid levels, and told me they were barely within the ‘normal range’ and there was “no problem”.
Given I was there for fertility issues, I also had to chart my temperature for several months. So out I went in search of a basal thermometer. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a thermometer used to help predict ovulation, but only starts measuring body temperature at around 97 degrees. I was frustrated thinking the darn thing didn’t work because my temperature would never register. Convinced it was broken, I exchanged it for a regular thermometer only to find out my temperature was consistently lower than 97 degrees.
The doctor’s answer to all of this was to prescribe Parlodel. This was supposed to force my body to ovulate. I did ovulate then, but continued to push him for a root-cause answer as to why my body was not functioning properly. Seven months of Parlodel yielded 2 emergency room visits for shortness of breath and an accelerated heart rate. There’s nothing in the world like overhearing the ER doctor describe you to the next doctor coming on shift as “obese female” in room number whatever. I cried until I fell asleep and was later released no worse for wear. In fact, most days now I cried.
In addition to all of my other symptoms, during these 7 months my hair became so dry and brittle that I finally decided to have it cut short. My new “stylish”, or so I tried to convince myself, short hair cut also revealed some bald spots because my hair had also been falling out at a rather alarming rate. If things weren’t bad enough already, being constipated took on a whole new meaning for me. I could easily go 8 days without a bowel movement, like 3 or 4 days without doing so was ever normal though it had become normal for me. I should have been awarded stock certificates from Metamucil and Ex lax as much as I bought over the years. In fact, I still shudder when I pass those items in the grocery store! By this time I was even spending my lunch hour sleeping in my office because I was so tired.
The Fertility Endocrinologist grudgingly agreed to one more thyroid test to “humor” me he said. I will never forget the day he called me with the results. I was at home, had taken a vacation day because I was so tired. I spent most of the day alternately crying and sleeping. I felt like I merely existed, and had absolutely no quality of life. I certainly didn’t enjoy life any longer, had no confidence, and doubted my own sanity for “imagining” how miserable I felt.
The doctor called me with the results of the test and told me it was not a thyroid problem, and that I should seek help with a mental health professional because he couldn’t help me anymore if I kept insisting my symptoms were related to thyroid problems. He told me that I wasn’t tired, but likely only lazy. I snapped, BIG TIME. Without thinking, I responded to him with only two words and hung up. I’ll spare you the language by telling you that the second word was “you” though I’m sure you’ve already guessed the first word. It’s not a response I’m proud of, and can only tell you I no longer felt like a human being and had just reached my lowest point.
Any and all hope of resuming the healthy active life I used to lead was just ripped from me. Then God gave me a gift, and immediately following that phone conversation I had an afternoon of complete and utter clarity after spending many years walking around in what felt like a fog. I realized that I was neither crazy nor imagining my symptoms. I remembered my brother in law telling me about a website where you could look up the symptoms of hypothyroidism or any disease, and actually read reviews of doctors treating it written by the people they had treated. I repeatedly read wonderful things about the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Patients consistently wrote reviews that doctors at the Center actually listened to them and prescribed very successful treatment regimens.
While all of the above was going on, I was also being treated for asthma and allergies by the Head of Internal Medicine for a major hospital in the Houston Medical Center. I was receiving weekly injections, prescribed Singulair nightly for asthma, Claritin daily, 2 puffs 2 times per day of Serevent and Azmacort for asthma. I was still miserable and suffering from my symptoms. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal not to have sinus infections at least every 8 weeks. I took steroids and antibiotics so often that my asthma/allergy doctor could no longer prescribe them to me.
Everything changed for me one very bleak February morning when I met Dr. Sheridan at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, and was introduced to the wonders of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. I was skeptical at first, but this was my last chance to get my life back so I listened, asked questions and agreed to try it.
Properly diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I have a normal temperature again and all of the other nasty symptoms are gone. Testosterone is helping me to rebuild the start of osteoporoses in my lower back (my “NEW” OB/Gyn told me my back hurt only because of my weight, no further testing needed). Allergy drops and supplements have virtually eliminated my allergy and asthma symptoms, and I no longer need all of the other medicine I was taking for them. I can mow the yard now without so much as sneezing! I have an emergency inhaler for asthma, but rarely use it. After one week, my boss came in my office, and closed the door to talk. He told me how wonderful I looked now that he could look at me and see a ‘person’ was alive again behind my green eyes. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a cold or sinus infection or even the flu.
It’s because of you, Hotze Health & Wellness Center, that I can say I am PROUD to be an awesome, active, energetic, healthy, 5’8 tall, 39 year old WOMAN!! You all truly did give me my life back.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that Heidi had, please contact us TODAY so that we can help you get your life back!