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Unread 01-27-2003, 01:53 PM
Back From The Doctor

Just got back. It was good news/bad news kinda thing. Got the hrt I was longing for: Vivelle Dot and Testosterone Cream. All other concerns basically fell on deaf ears. He said that I should perhaps see a neurologist and that the CT scan didn't show any abcesses. That's totally it. Wouldn't elaborate further. I just sat there nearly in tears. Told of my continued temperature and that meet with nothing, elevated BP; nothing, back and bladder pain; nothing. They did take my BP and got my weight for the first time since I walked in the door but didn't bother to get my temp or pulse. I felt like I was a bother for even being there. Had to outright request a complete thyroid panel. He denied request to check hormones as he said that it was not a good indication of what was needed. Thought that symptoms were more accurate.

At least I got some new hormones to try and got the thyroid panel. I already have a neurologist appointment for the 4th of Feb. which surprised him. I was disappointed that I wasn't checked or anything but that is how it has been with him from the start I needn't have expected it now, I suppose.

Just wanted to let you all know. Thanks for all your helping words.
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Unread 01-27-2003, 02:13 PM
Back From The Doctor

Hi Johnna

Congratulations on the small victory, in getting the HRT you wanted. I hope it goes really well for you. I love that combination myself. Do remember to keep a journal of your symptoms so you can remember how you feel now versus how that makes you feel, OK?

It's not surprising that your DR refused the hormone testing. Most DRs, mine included, have found that symptoms can be a better indicator of what's needed than the tests are. This is partly because every woman's "normal" levels, or what makes her feel like herself, are different. So, while they can measure the levels of each hormone in either blood or saliva, the problem is in trying to translate that into what needs to be adjusted to make you feel better. For that, symptoms do serve the purpose better. The only one my DRs wanted was the testosterone (free and total), before they would prescribe that for me, just to satisfy us that the level was indeed low (it was).

I'm glad the thyroid panel was ordered and that you're going to see the neurologist. Many of us are finding since our hyst that we have to be our own advocates in order to get the medical care we need. Sad but true! Fortunately, with menopause comes a whole new attitude... we are much more willing to assert ourselves on our own behalf than we were used to before. Dr. Northrup ("The Wisdom of Menopause") suggests that this is because in our pre-menopausal years, we are designed to be raising a family and it's important to put the needs of small children ahead of our own for a while; whereas at menopause, our families are supposed to be grown and on their own (tell that to my DS's ) and we are finally supposed to be able to come into our own as our own person. Of course, nature never intended that we'd have to be recovering from major surgery while we were making this transition...

I hope you'll post about trying the new HRT, over in the Jungle, so we can see how it's working for you. And do let us know how the appointment with the neurologist goes, OK?
Unread 01-27-2003, 02:19 PM
Back From The Doctor

Oh, forgot to add that he asked me if I had had the hysterectomy yet! Lol. Wasn't sure what to think of that one. Started to pinch myself to see if I was really there as I've only had 3 hours sleep or was he just testing the relatively few braincells I have left.
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Unread 01-27-2003, 02:37 PM
some progress

and you know the sistahs have your back on the new and improved health care providers who are going to bow and scrape to meet your needs. At least you have some new HRT to address the immediate concerns until you find Dr. Right.

Very few docs like to go thru the expense of hormone panels for patients. And I do think it is money motivating it sometimes. Jeff was really concerned that insurance wouldn't pay since I had these done before and denied under infertility dx codes. Menopause code, claim flew thru. Five hundred and some for the tests we did do.

Using symptoms to adjust HRT is valuable and easier on the patient's finances. I tipped Jeff off on the less expensive labs in St. Louis to start using instead of the lab he was using, so I did my good deed for the day for other patients.

I can understand the uncomfortable feeling not having a symptom like recurrent fever blown off. I wish this doc had been more reassuring than he was. Time to find a doc with a better bedside manner who is going to be looking out for you.
Unread 01-27-2003, 02:46 PM
Just a question...

is there a length of time after a hyst before hormone tests would be helpful? I know that some women store estrogen in their bodies that are depleted over time after a hyst, but how long? When would a testoserone measurement be appropriate? Just wondering....
Unread 01-27-2003, 02:56 PM
Back From The Doctor

I think it depends on the severity of your symptoms, and this is only my opinion, but I think maybe six months or so would be a good time, and then maybe again after the first year. Before six months, your body is still trying to adjust and rebalance itself.
Unread 01-27-2003, 03:04 PM
I agree with Linda's general rule here

but at six weeks post op, my symptoms were disturbing and severe, so we proceeded with testing at that time. Got lab orders for a repeat test, but it is my choice when to have the blood drawn. If I am okay when the every four month suggested time rolls around, I don't have blood drawn.
Unread 01-27-2003, 03:13 PM

TN seems to get the D-students from medical school.

At least that's how I feel sometimes!
Unread 01-27-2003, 03:22 PM
my gyn went to Vandie

and so did all his partners. Maybe Jeff and Catherine are exceptions to the rule. Jeff had no problem with testing at all. Told him I was used to it after infertility treatment and he was convinced of the wisdom of doing it. Jeff says he is learning from me on the HRT. I respond that I only keep him around to avoid having to forge prescriptions for testosterone, a controlled substance in IL.

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