Brigitte Fires (brigittefires) wrote in vaginapagina,
Brigitte Fires

Update on out of control hormones

I posted before seeking commiseration at out of control hormones, and have posted/commented before about awful experiences with doctors. I got to see my new doctor today, and I was very anxious about the appointment because I've waited 4 months for this and this is the only female doctor in the clinic. I didn't want to have to start clinic hunting again, since apparently no one likes taking Medicaid patients.

But my doctor was AWESOME! I was kind of rushing through things because I know they have limited timeframes, but she was following right along with me and didn't make any shaming comments about being depressed, no fat-shaming*, no eye-rolling, and is totally on-board with my preference for natural remedies whenever possible, but also didn't make a big deal about me being willing to try western medicine as well. She treated me like a whole person, and I can't tell you how amazing that feels.

* In fact, she didn't bring up weight at all until it was contextual with discussing weird hormone surges and previous diagnosis of PCOS, when she asked, "have you had any problems with your weight?" I've been struggling with sudden weight gain putting my BMI at the borderline of "morbidly obese," so having it asked in such a way that wasn't shameful or focusing the entire appointment on my weight was AWESOME. Bonus points for her saying that eating half a bag of potato chips over a whole week when PMSing "isn't anything to be ashamed of."

Since previous testing has indicated that all signs point to PCOS, she said she doesn't think it's worth risking Medicaid not paying for tests that have been done already just to show that my reproductive hormones are currently out of whack--something that we know from sudden PMS symptoms, greasy face, and nasty sweating. However, previous thyroid tests have been odd and inconclusive and I've been told they're normal when the numbers say otherwise, so we are doing blood tests for thyroid and anemia (since I also struggle with that).

Because a lot of my issues seem to be related to gastrointestinal symptoms, she referred me to a GI doctor for further discussion about possible crohn's disease. I was told I had chronic gastroenteritis when I was 15 and again at 22 related to endometriosis, but I had no idea until a couple months ago that was the medical term for crohn's, and I have a bit of family on both sides with that so she said there's reason to believe it's not JUST a side symptom of endo or PCOS. Though if there are multiple disease processes happening in my abdomen, it stands to reason they would wreak havoc on each other.

Also throwing a monkey wrench in the works is that I gained a bunch of weight while exercising A LOT--at work I was getting in 15 miles a day according to my pedometer, and averaging 35 flights of stairs--just up, not including down. All this while eating salads with grilled chicken and homemade vinaigrettes two meals a day. The weight and what one doctor called "excessive" exercise has exacerbated injuries to my knees, ankles and hips that I got through a lifetime of dancing (and bad joints to begin with, plus possibly fibromyalgia), which forced me to quit dancing and running at age 22 (hence that much mileage per day on my feet being excessive). But if course the local community centers with pools don't give scholarships for memberships allowing use of the pool, only for such things as dance classes and guitar lessons. Because that makes sense.

I go back in 6 weeks to discuss possibly putting me on hormone replacement therapy in the form of HBC, which she assured me is safe to use in conjunction with my IUD (I already knew that but it was nice that she offered that assurance). Also by then I should have appointments made with the mental health clinic and the gastrointestinal doctor, so anxiety/depression treatment and discussion of my intestinal distress can be taken care of. She's focusing on PCOS right now and helping me find safe ways of getting some exercise that won't involve too much walking or injuring myself.

All in all, a good appointment. After 6 months of limbo with moving, losing my previous (less) awesome doctor and all the progress we'd made, I'm really happy to be getting back to a plan for being healthy and feeling like myself again.
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