Saturday, January 31, 2009

Trusting Ourselves

I am so psyched about getting my hormones checked that I can't stand it. I got all of my paperwork ready today. I am wearing down, slowly, bit by bit each day, hanging on until Tuesday. The recent Oprah shows on the subject (there have been three so far) made me aware that what I've been thinking has been depression, genetically low energy, and absolutely obscene introversion may actually be hormonal. I made my appointment after the first show and have been counting the days since then, buoyed on by the second and third show. So I'm having them checked (finally) on Tuesday by an MD who does bio-identical hormone replacement.

You would have thought that I'd have done this since I've not had a uterus for 7 years...I've been taking some progesterone, but just a small standard dose from a compounding pharmacy, and never had anything checked before. My regular physician doesn't believe in it, and has put me through trials of synthetic hormones I couldn't tolerate and a panel of various anti-depressants. Those had no effect except to promote my turbo weight gain (40 pounds in 4 months) over a year ago that still remains with me. I've been doing great emotionally on the TrueHope supplements I've written about here before, but energetically have been continuing to slide on down a hill that seems to have no bottom.

That slide has accelerated lately with my knee problems, and I've slowed way down physically, but most of the time have been doing fairly well emotionally because of the hope that this is what is wrong with me. Oprah featured ladies Skype-ing into the show who sounded word for word like me and who looked and felt like I look and feel now---worn out, worn down, and forcing ourselves to do each task of daily living.

I appreciate these Oprah shows because they bring attention to the problem of the under-diagnosis of women's hormone issues. Oprah feels very strongly about this. Even with her access to the finest medical care in the world, she struggled with getting her own unique diagnosis. She believes that women should take responsibility for their own well-being, do the research, and insist on a solution until they feel better. This was hard even for her to do. She went to several physicians, and finally nurses and other viewers who watched the show wrote in and steered her in the right direction.

Somewhere deep inside, I know that this is what is truly wrong with me---hormonal imbalance---and that I can probably pretty simply and easily (with a blood test) find out for certain. So that's what up for this week.

I don't want this to be a "downer" post---it's a big upper for me despite my utter and absolute fatigue---this will just make the diagnosis all the easier I'm thinking. I guess the point of all this is---if you feel like me, or like the women featured on Oprah, I want to encourage you to trust what you believe is wrong with you. To not just accept what someone tells you. Or if, like me, you try something, and you're wrong, not to feel badly about trying again. And then, if you have an inner knowing, to go with it. To trust the inner knowing yet again, to trust your intuition. To trust yet again, as long as it takes.

LoveHubbie looks at me and shrugs his shoulders and says "Yea, right, whatever..." as he is tired of the doctors and the optimism and the false hopes of my ever really being healthy. But he can be wrong.

I think that as women we must be willing to trust ourselves above all. And to believe again and again and again. If we've been wrong, so be it. But we need to be willing to risk again, and to believe in ourselves again, even if others do not.


patti said...

I've just come through a four year period of bone-shattering fatigue which seemed to have no cause.

It turned out to be undiagnosed iron deficiency anaemia. How this slipped though the net I'll never know. I was a regular blood donor during this time & although I had enough iron to donate blood it was barely enough to fuel me, my ferritin stores were so low. Going vegetarian sent me to my knees and a good naturopath.

I'm on double doses of iron supplements now, plus a women's multivitamin & fish oil and will take them forever if necessary. I never want to go back to the fatigue again. I now eat meat three times a week, don't drink and feel human again.

Good luck Olivia, I hope your solution is a simple one too.

Olivia said...

OH, Patti, how did you hold it together for FOUR YEARS? Thank you for sharing your story. And I am SO GLAD that you feel human again!!!

"Slipped through the net"...and if you had given up you'd still be there.

This encourages me, and I hope it does so to others, too.

Thank you, Patti. Love, O

Anonymous said...

Good for you for continuing to listen to your inner voice and not to others whose compassion fatigue or apathy or hidden medical agendas or AMA-slanted ideologies may prevent them from hearing you and being as open to all possibilities. Can't wait to hear what you find out next. Hugs, K

Claire said...

i too wondered how oprah, with her profile, took so long to get a diagnosis - just shows how little we know about our bodies - especially women's bodies...
i'll be thinking of you on tuesday, dear olivia xxx

Olivia said...

Thanks, Kelly. It's hard to know what is preventing them from listening, but you are right. They are not! Thx and love, O

Olivia said...

That's true Claire. Thank you for your good thoughts. I know that you understand about illness and recovery, so much. Love, O