The first baby gifts: a.k.a. The Hope Chest
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
After a few months, I saw my family practitioner. I asked about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. His opinion is that, if you are going to take HRT, it should be one of the traditional pharmaceuticals, but he suggested and prescribed Effexor. By that time, I was feeling depressed and so, thought, “why not?” I will give him this: my hot flashes stopped and I slept again, but, I was in a fog. I would be in situations where I knew that typically I would laugh and be enjoying myself, but I had to force myself to have the response I would have naturally had before. I felt disconnected. I took myself off the Effexor. The hot flashes returned.
Within a month, I had a follow-up visit scheduled with my doctor and saw his nurse practitioner. I told her that I had taken myself off the Effexor and why. She prescribed birth control pills. That helped with the hot flashes, regulated my erratic cycles, and got me a night’s sleep. What it did not get me was feeling better. I grew apathetic. My waist thickened. I sprouted back fat! I stopped working out (btw, I know that contributes to the problem… I just didn’t care). When I looked in the mirror, it seemed I had aged ten years in less than one. I knew I was in trouble when I saw my daughter’s name on my caller ID and just didn’t have it in me to answer the phone. I had to try again to get past this!
I tried being vegetarian, giving up artificial sweeteners, going organic, psychotherapy, chiropractics and massage therapy. I resolved to not start a big project (I save historic multi-family properties). I had my lead levels checked (lots of sanding and scraping old paint). I started back running. I took myself off the birth control pills (the hot flashes had returned).
At this point, my joints ached. My tendons and muscles were foreign to me; I just had no reference for feeling so badly. It was not like anything I had ever experienced. I am not a stranger to muscle aches and pains. I have run four marathons, all in my forties, among other things. But, this was different; I felt like a crone. Not in a wise way.
In a last ditch effort, I started myself on a slew of OTC supplements from the health food store, Sam-E, True Calm, Multi-Vitamin with minerals, Calcium with D, Vitamin C, HTP-5, Osteochondrotin and made myself an appointment to see a Physician’s Assistant who my husband, my counselor and my massage therapist all recommended. I took the saliva test to determine my hormone levels. She prescribed a bio-identical hormone replacement topical cream based on my lab results. This concoction was compounded in the pharmacy next door. I was cynical by now and referred to it as my Snake Oil.
It has been almost two months since I have been using the bio-identical hormone prescription and I feel entirely different. I am still having hot flashes and she increased the level of estrogen in this prescription. But, I cannot begin to tell you how much better I feel physically. I can cope with the hot flashes now that I am not decrepit! But, she tells me we can tweak the levels until the hot flashes are under control and I will be grateful for that also. But, most of all, I am happy to be feeling better generally!
One disclaimer: I do believe there are other factors in my improved well-being that include acceptance of this place in my life and others that I will discuss at another time. But, I do believe this is a primary factor.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Now that I have determined that I am working with a clean slate, what, I ask myself, am I going to put on the slate? The pre-change me had a set of behaviors, activities, ideas, roles, and conditions that defined my life as I knew it: a self concept. Is there anything left of that? Yes, I still enjoy:
Being wife to my husband (actually, that may fall under the new. =) ).
Spending time with my children.
Laughing (or crying) with my friends.
Drinking a cold beer.
Sitting on my porch.
Seeing new places.
The smell of a cigar, morning air, nightfall, steak on the grill, fall, scented geraniums…
A sense of adventure.
People who overcome, who succeed, who push themselves to new heights, who thrive!
Old homes, brick street neighborhoods, beautiful yards.
Feeling fit (I miss this and I want it back).
New things to try:
Digital Camera Class
Walking (maybe back to running one day).
Obviously, this is the list I am going to have to work on! =)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
And a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and time for peace.
Ecclesiates 3:1-8, The Bible NIV
I’m fifty-two. Letting go of my youth has been hard. I have come to realize that I have been in a grieving process… I think I am finally to acceptance. Throughout our lives, we define and validate ourselves by our families, our jobs, our appearance, our roles, our natures, our innate gifts, our strengths and our weaknesses. I took most all of that for granted. Now, it has all fallen away or changed. Some of the falling away or change I welcomed. Some of it I resisted with all my might. In the end, all of it changed… and, I have finally let go.
The slate is clean.
I am free to be.