After Monday’s post on my Hysterectomy, today’s post is the follow-up to that…HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY: PART TWO.
If you’ll recall, I did PART ONE…
I have been consistently doing HRT therapy now for six years. I absolutely love it, have never felt better and the few isolated incidents when I wasn’t on it (like when we traveled so I was several days late getting my injection), I felt a really big difference. In my personal opinion, probably a lot more women (and men!) need HRT than actually do it. As we get older, our hormones do change and if you’re one of those people who suddenly feel sluggish, are gaining weight, having night sweats, breaking out, have lost your sex drive…whatever it is, HRT might be for you.
Before we dive in, I always like to include a disclaimer: Once again, this is about my HRT experience. I’m not a doctor, I’m not diagnosing you, I’m not saying HRT is the answer to your problems…it was the answer to mine, but yours could be a plethora of other things. There is a fine balance between me respecting my privacy and me sharing to help out this community, so I’m going to try and balance both today. You should always, always, always check with your medical professional about what’s right for you. That being said, my hot sports opinion (for all of you Ticket fans out there) is that if you tell your doctor and your doctor dismisses you and yet you still suffer from un-diagnosed and/or unaddressed symptoms, you should probably get a second opinion. Your health is too important to always leave in one person’s hands.
You can read the full recap on why I started doing HRT and the different avenues I’ve used HERE. In a nutshell, my levels were not in the normal range AT ALL and so I started what would end up being a six year process of HRT and finding the “right” way (at least for me!) to do it. I have done pellets, I have used creams, I have taken more pills than I could ever count and then for three years, I went in and had an injection every 10 to 14 days at a clinic. The clinic had me on an injection/pill (both prescription and supplement) regimen that worked really well for me. I liked that they did regular blood work to make sure I was taking exactly what I needed, I loved that what I was getting was completely personalized to my body and my levels and I absolutely felt so much better. Plus, my skin was bright and clear (no more hormonal acne), my energy levels were up, I was no longer having night sweats, I was sleeping so much better…my whole quality of life improved. There were a few times when we traveled for longer than 14 days when I was a few days late getting an injection, and I would begin to see symptoms arise and not feel like my best self. I loved this method. I found it pretty convenient and very effective (a combination I need in order to actually maintain something of this magnitude).
So, fast forward to this last August…
…I was feeling amazing, I wasn’t going to change a thing, I was so super HAPPY, buuuuut I had this little voice in my head telling me I needed to switch doctors.
Dr. Riegel with brand new Smith!! We never knew the genders of our babies, so this was always such a special moment!!
Let me back up…remember in Monday’s post when I said that my much beloved OBGYN no longer did OBGYN (and I was super devastated)? Well, it’s because he opened a HRT center instead and was only focusing on that. Now, I hadn’t been using him for my HRT therapy because I was experiencing such great results and was really afraid to “rock the boat” as I didn’t want my symptoms to return at all by changing something…but I had several friends who were using him and loved him. I knew that I loved him so much as a person, and had loved it when he was my physician, so I made an appointment just to discuss. He knew I was happy, I knew I was happy, but we were just going to chat about my HRT…five minutes in, I was using him from then on and never going to look back.
He is just brilliant.
After six years of HRT, I felt so much more in control of my therapy after five minutes with him than I ever had. He was able to answer all of my questions about HRT and how they could/could not relate to cancer, how they need to change as I age, how they need to change if I were to have a hysterectomy and remove my ovaries, I was so well-informed, so educated, so assured and so EXCITED about his approach, that I changed and have been absolutely thrilled with the results.
Ask anyone who knows me if I’m excited about my new regimen and they’ll let you know that I’ve told everyone they should go to him for a consultation…and when they do, people are BLOWN AWAY by his approach to HRT for both men and women.
What he does is so specifically tailored to each person. His approach is for the individual to give themselves one injection a week at home. That’s it. For me, no more pills (I was taking 18 a day when I first went into his office…EIGHTEEN!) and getting an injection at a clinic every 10 to 14 days. Now, I just give myself one injection once a week at home and that’s it. He ships them to my house, I inject myself and move on with my day. It’s not time consuming, it’s private, it’s quick and it’s customized for me. I go to the lab by my house to get my blood work done when necessary and he goes over the results and tweaks my injection accordingly. Knowing I was about to have a hysterectomy, he was able to tweak them in advance of that so that there wasn’t a big dip in my hormones once the uterus and ovaries were removed. (The fact that he was an OBGYN for over 25 years really plays a big part in his ability to understand the female body and hormones.) In fact, over the last two months, TWO of my kids’ doctors have gone to him as well for HRT too (after asking why I’m so energetic and me giving him all the credit!). He really has, for me, revolutionized and simplified a process I’ve spent six years working on.
I’m always really private about who my doctors and my kids’ doctors are, but because he not only delivered both of my babies but has been such an instrumental part of my female health, I am going to share his info with you today. I asked him if it was okay and he said it was. His passion with HRT has revolutionized my world and so many people around me as well.
So, I get it…giving yourself an injection perhaps sounds crazy/scary/weird/insane, but for me, HRT has been a major part of my well being over the last few years and finally finding a method that is easy and effective has really improved my quality of life. I was encouraged to get my hormones checked out by a friend at church and over the years, I’ve met more women who have begun HRT only to truly feel like their best selves (women of all ages!), so I want that for you too. You can find Dr. Riegel at The Riegel Center. He assures me that he and his staff treat patients all over the US, so even if you’re not local, don’t feel like you can’t reach out. I’m a big believer in skin checks, mammograms and women taking control of their own health and well being. Having a hysterectomy and getting my ovaries removed was made so much easier because I already had a firm hormone replacement therapy plan in place.
So, I hope that helps someone!
See you guys tomorrow. xo