February 21st, 2010
If you’ ve read this blog for any length of time, you’re no doubt aware that I’m having major hormonal issues. At the risk of boring everyone completely, I am again documenting my struggle in this space. The imbalances in my body continue and I am truly, truly at the end of my rope. For that reason, I sought out Dr. Carolle, who has agreed to work with me if I bring to light the physical and emotional challenges so many of us women experience in our late 30s and 40s. I meet with Dr. Carolle tomorrow, and recently answered the following questions she sent me in advance so she could better evaluate my situation. I’m including the questions and my response below. *(Warning: My response is raw and contains references to womanly bodily functions.)
1. Write down everything that has been going on with you including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments that you have tried – Western, alternative, and otherwise.
2. Where are you right now in your life?
3. What are your expectations – your end goal in working with me?
My wordy answers in novel format:
Dear Dr. Carolle:
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been sensitive to hormonal fluctuations. Since I began menstruating, I’ve had PMS, heavy bleeding, and painful cramps. I’ve also suffered from periods of anxiety and depression, which seemed cyclical in nature. My mother had the same thing.
I learned to live with the above until about four years ago after the birth of my second daughter when I was 37. After that time, my body and mind seemed to change drastically. I suffered from depression more often (profoundly right before my period), had recurrent sinus and bladder infections, heart palpitations, sore joints, major irritability, forgetfulness, night sweats, and the sensation of “electricity” running through my system. I literally felt like I was “buzzing,” and had drunk 13 cups of coffee even though I hadn’t had caffeine. This most often happened at night.
These issues persist and are getting worse. My irritability is high, I am very moody, and my brain feels muddled and out of focus. Physically, I continue to have night sweats, and am also experiencing periods where I lose my vision (I see auras…the doctor says this is an “aural migraine,” one where I don’t experience the pain of a migraine, but only have the visual disturbances). My periods are very painful, the bleeding heavy, and the PMS severe.
I’ve also noticed that my right breast has grown larger than the other and the tissue has become more dense. For a few months, I let it go because I thought it was hormonal, but I now have an appointment with my doctor to get a mammogram. My mother died at age 56 from breast cancer (estrogen-dependent and pre-menopausal) and I am extremely scared I have the same thing.
Throughout the last four years, I’ve visited my primary physician several times. She took blood, tested me for lupus, hormonal imbalance, etc. Every test came back normal. Eventually, she prescribed me Celexa because she said I was anxious and that the symptoms were in my head. I still take Celexa. I noticed that it has helped diminish the depression I was feeling right before my period.
I’ve also visited a kinesiologist and a homeopath. The former prescribed me salt and more water…and also said I needed to have my neck adjusted. The latter prescribed me a variety of supplements, including calcium, lecithin, and herbal remedies. The homeopath told me that I had ileo cecal disease, and that my body wasn’t absorbing nutrients properly.
I feel like I’ve tried everything and have had no relief. At this point, I am frustrated, worried, and not at all myself. I have lost focus, feel burdened by kids and my husband, and just want to crawl into a hole. I feel hopeless, which is the worst feeling of all.
I want myself back. I want to enjoy my life and end the worrying and pain.
In working with you, I hope to regain balance in my life, to feel like I am in control, and to gain insight into what is happening to me.
I don’t know what else to do or where else to turn. Honestly, the situation feels desperate.
Thanks for reading,
I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow.