It was circa October 2016....my parents were here visiting for a wedding...and Momma Bear said the words, "We need to talk...."
THAT can never be a good thing can it? EVER? With ANYONE? Let alone your MOTHER?!?
Well, it turns out it was not as bad as I thought it would be in that split second of panic in my mind. Of course in that split second, I never imagined the positive turn it would have in my life. Of course, hindsight being what it is...WHY didn't you suggest this talk sooner?!? Seriously!
What was the talk you ask? Well, Momma Bear felt that I had become more emotional lately during our daily chats. That I was crying too easily. Then she dropped the news that she went through Menopause during her early 40s and thought I might be to.
Whaaa...Wait....WHAT? What happened to that conversation we had when I turned 35 and was upset because I never had kids and you and my Texas Momma said "40 is the new 30"? Was THIS forgotten in that conversation? I'm not really certain when I would have expected to go through menopause other than I know it happens, eventually. But I'm 42...REALLY so soon? Am I really going to have to come to terms with the reality of NEVER having a child, already?
From that talk...the journey began. Momma Bear will tell you it is the best money I have ever spent in life.
I've always know that my hormone's have been a little out of wack. I would have mid-cycle spotting. Sometimes they said it was hormones and tried to address with birth control. Most recently they said it was from a Fibroid that I have. So, for that reason, I just didn't want to go see my regular well woman doctor. I mean, nothing personal but I just wanted some answers. So during my guilty pleasure watching of the Young & the Restless, I saw an advertisement for the Hormone Wellness Center. Now they seemed like someone that could help me...so an appointment I made.
The first appointment is what they call the "free consult" where they take a lot of blood, talk to you about their program and what happens and then give you a free B-12 shot. Holy hell...if you have never had a B-12 shot...that burns like no other. Thankfully as I write this, I believe that my butt is now dead because I do not feel them anymore. Thank you God!
Of course with the "free" consult comes the sticker shock. Since they do not accept Medicaid, they do not accept insurance. The program cost some $3K+ to go through. You have to $500 upfront and then they offer different payment plan options. The cost covers all your appointments, blood draws and everything but one of the hormones, which you get at a pharmacy. I can't explain why, but something just told me I had to do this. So, during my "free" consult, they took my $500 deposit.
As they say, the rest is history. As the UNICORN said, I am a plant. The good news, I am NOT menopausal or pre-menopausal. So AMEN to that. However, the test results showed I am a plant. My Estrogen was fine. Yay! But that's where the celebrating stopped. For a woman, progesterone should range between 5 - 10. My blood result showed 0.2. Yup...that is right, ZERO Point TWO. I basically had no progesterone in my system. For testosterone, woman do have that in their system, just not at the levels of men. Woman normally are in the range of 15 - 95. Where did I fall on that scale, yeah...I DIDN'T!! Basically I was worse off on testosterone than progesterone.
So, great now you know. But how do you fix it you are asking, right? Well the testosterone they do what they call an "in office" procedure. They inject something into my butt to numb a small area. The stuff burns but that is about all I feel after that. After the medicine works, they make a small incision and insert these testosterone capsules under the skin and they are slowly absorbed into the body. The incision is steri-stripped closed and those stay on for 7-10 days. I cannot do any work outs for 7 days after an insert is done. The progesterone is a LOT easier. That is a dissolvable tablet that I take two weeks a month before bed. It goes under my tongue and will dissolve rather quickly. I also go into the doctor's office every two weeks for that lovely B-12 shot and then have a B-12 chewable that I have to take twice a week.
That's it. A month after the insert, they did another blood test to check levels and did another insert of testosterone and adjusted my progesterone. The do that once when you start to make sure everything is balanced as it should be.
Can I tell a difference in my moods? I don't know if I can really answer that. My mom will tell you she definitely can tell a difference. I know that I don't wake up in the morning with my normal grumbling tone and for that I believe my coworkers are thankful. Of course, we should not sugar coat it...I'm still not a morning person.
What changes have I noticed? Who knew I could sleep through the night? I was always up, I always had to go to the bathroom. I was always waking up in a pool of sweat like it was 100 degrees in my bedroom. That mid-cycle spotting is pretty much gone. I don't crave the carbs anymore. The doctor has said that I may also be able to come of the anxiety/depression medication as the hormones actually impact that. I also do not go through PMS like I used to either. There are a couple other changes too, but Momma Bear does read this and there is nothing I can do about it...so we just won't discuss those.
The bad news is there is no "cure". I go for a blood draw again next week and they will do a new insert the following month. Then in 2 months, it will be another blood draw and the cycle repeats until the year is up. Then it will be up to me to decide if I want to shell out another $3K for this or be done. I know what Momma Bear would say. So, until the time comes for that decision to be made, I am just going to enjoy feeling better.