There’s Nothing Wrong With Me: The Story of My Hormones, or Lack Thereof
It didn’t happen overnight.
It was the little things, really, that started to build up in my mind and on my back. By the end of the day, I found myself screaming at both my young daughters for just doing things little girls do. Crushed Cheerios on the rug annoyed me to no end. I’d get overwhelmingly furious with my husband for golfing on weekends or I give him the silent treatment for not putting the toilet paper on the roll. Every worst-case-scenario was anticipated and every formerly happy moment or occasion was wrought with nervousness and worry. I felt like I never got enough sleep, although I was sleeping for hours and, at times where I would lie awake at night, I never wanted to “be” with my husband.
With a five-year-old and a one-year-old, I blamed my issues on the stress and insecurity of being a stay-at-home mom. I blamed my lack of libido on a seemingly rocky marriage and I blamed my dread of the once-beloved holiday season on a tumultuous relationship with my in laws.
It wasn’t until one day at the gym – my nightly classes were my only respite from the monotony of daily life – where my trainer noticed I just wasn’t acting like myself. I explained my predicament through my tears (I’m a crier) and he just sort of grinned and shook his head.
“The French call it ennui,” he said. “You don’t feel sad, but you feel happy either. You’re just blah.”
He recommend I visit the gym’s adjoining medical clinic and make an appointment with Dr. Cindi Marquette, who specialized in hormone imbalances. I scoffed and nodded; agreeing to disagree but not wanting to hurt his feelings, as he did mean well and wanted me to be happy. But there was no way I had a hormone imbalance. I didn’t feel sick. I didn’t feel depressed. There was nothing medically wrong with me. I was only 38 years old, for God sakes. My hormones were fine.
But then I started to do a little research. Irritability? Check. Anxiousness? Check. Sleep issues? Check. Unexplained joint pain? Check. Increased belly fat? Double check! Decline of general well-being? Absolutely.
Hair loss? Hair loss! The truth was, a few months after I had my daughter, my hair started falling out in clumps. I was extracting handfuls at every shower, which lead to actual bald spots on both of my temples. I had mastered the art of bobby pin coverage and my part was getting further and further to the left side as I attempted a comb-over. Hair loss was, by far, the worst side effect of giving birth a year prior, or at least that’s what I thought. But I realized that my post-partum side effect may actually be a symptom of another underlying issue.
So, I saw Dr. Marquette and I got the test.
My estrogen and testosterone levels were in the toilet and my progesterone level, the hormone responsible for the feeling of ease, calm, peaceful sleep and the ability to put things in perspective, was at zero. They showed me the results. The paper had a big old goose egg next to my progesterone level. In summation, I was a mess.
It’s been about eight months since I began hormone replacement therapy and I can’t say that I felt better overnight. But I did start to feel better. Slowly, I realized that I was able to say “She’s just a six year old,” when my daughter did something asinine and the Cheerios? That’s why we own a vacuum. The toilet paper roll became just a toilet paper roll and I no longer dreaded the occasional extended family Sunday dinner. My kids were suddenly just normal kids and my husband was, miraculously, the sweet, funny and sexy man I once married, and consummating that marriage…well…let’s just say that a little testosterone goes a long way.
I’m not going to lie. There are drawbacks. I have a forehead full of acne for the first time in my life and I can no longer boast that my upper lip hair is soft and blond. But, it’s nothing a little Neutrogena and Sally Hansen wax can’t fix.
But what motivated me to finally share this story with the world?
Just a few days ago, right after Labor Day, Albertsons starting putting up their holiday decorations in an attempt to jump start the gift card shopping season. I looked at this ridiculously ugly, glittery statue of a Victorian-era Santa Claus and suddenly, I felt something I hadn’t felt in years. Like the return of an old friend, for the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt excited. I felt joy. That silly but wonderful feeling you get at Christmastime had returned to my heart.
And I was happy.
If you think you might be having similar hormone problems and need someone to talk to, give Dr. Marquette a call at (951) 302-2000 or visit www.igniterx.com and make an appointment to get tested. There are all sorts of new and easy treatments for hormone imbalance and she can explain them all to you.
Hormone imbalances are more common in women, but can also affect men; especially those in high-stress professions. Male symptoms include those similar to what I experienced, as well as other startling effects like breast development, testicular shrinkage, untreatable erectile dysfunction, decreased facial hair, and others.
Also, if you can relate to this story, male or female, I’m happy to speak to anyone about my experience; especially if it’s going to help others who are in the same, seemingly-hopeless, position I was in. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk. You aren’t alone and you don’t have to feel this way forever.