Estrogen saved my life.
I’m not talking about the estrogen my body used to produce. That disappeared the day I had my hysterectomy. If you haven’t heard that part of my story, check it out here.
I’m talking about my hormone replacement therapy or HRT. It took months, but when I finally found the right combination of estradiol and testosterone it literally saved my life. I could not have kept living the way I felt without my hormones.
So when I hear about doctors who warn patients away from HRT without giving them all the information, it makes me mad. And when I learn first-hand that doctors are giving out wrong information based on studies that have been shown to be inaccurate, it makes me furious!
Here’s what happened to me.
I consider my primary care doctor as the quarterback of my health team. She’s the key to keeping my entire body healthy. But because of my hysterectomy and all the problems hormone imbalance caused me, I also have a hormone specialist who takes care of that part of my life.
But no matter how great they are, my doctors can only work with the information that I give them. Here’s where things almost got messed up in a big way.
A few months back, I realized I was having symptoms that had me worried. Periodically it felt like my heart was being squeezed and released. It took my breath away when it happened. Thinking back on it, I also realize that I’d been having occasional chest pain and shortness of breath. But it didn’t happen often enough for me to really put it all together.
When I finally thought to talk to my doctor about my symptoms, she started with a typically opening line – was I under stress? Picture me shaking my head in disgust. Of course I was under stress! I’ve been traveling so much I was losing weight and when I was home, I was always playing catch-up between my family and work.
And really, what woman doesn’t have stress! Don’t get me started on the whole subject of work/life balance for women. There is no such thing in my book. We have too much on our plates to ever think it’s going to balance out.Read more in Advancing Health After Hysterectomy