"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Taking a break....

I have not forgotten you!  There have been few articles about bioidentical hormones and menopause worth sharing lately.  That, combined with some back issues that make it difficult for me to sit at the computer, account for my lack of posting lately. I am going to take a short hiatus from this blog, and hope to be back to regular posting by mid November.  In the meantime, if you need to reach me, please email me through this blog and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I hope everyone is having a wonderful autumn.......the weather sure has cooled down here in NC and I am loving it. Long, lovely autumns and springs are our reward for hot, icky summers here in the Southeast.

Take care, stay safe, and I will be back in a few weeks!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pink Ribbons..........

There's an interesting program coming up on LOGO TV this coming Thursday, September 11:
6:00 AM Pink Ribbons Inc. TV-14

Breast Cancer affects the lives of millions of Americans every day, and the disease has become a hot-button issue for corporations seeking to support a cause. But where does all the money raised in the name of Breast Cancer actually go? This feature-length documentary delves deep into the money trail behind the scenes, uncovering startling truths...

A lot of people would be surprised to find how vehemently a lot of breast cancer patients object to the pink ribbon hoo haa every October.  It is often known as "Pinktober" and not in a nice way.......and it is important to know that far too often, the pink ribbon merchandise hawked in October (and throughout the year) gives very little, if any, of the money from the sales of the branded merchandise to breast cancer research.  I always roll my eyes when someone hawking pink ribbon merchandise goes on and on about how "we are raising awareness of breast cancer".  Really? If you aren't already aware of the existence of breast cancer, I'm not sure you belong out in public unsupervised.  I am a huge advocate of regular mammograms (have you had yours yet this year.....if not, put it on your list to schedule one this week!) and monthly breast self examinations.  It makes me sick to see corporations making huge amounts of money from a very gullible public.

On the same note, check out the book Pink Ribbon Blues by Gayle Sulik.  You will never look at a pink ribbon merchandise display the same way.

Good thing I got my swim in early this morning, as right now the skies look like we are ready for an impending thunderstorm.   I'm struggling with back pain today, so although I have gotten a fair amount of little stuff done around the house, it seems like it has taken forever as I am taking frequent breaks with a heating pad.  I need to step up my core workouts, and get back on my balance ball, as I know my back doesn't hurt as much when my core is strong.  Have a great week everyone, hard to believe we're into the second week of September already!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Labour Day Weekend!

Hello, everyone, I have not forgotten you! This time of year (late summer), there always seems to be a dearth of good articles on bioidentical hormones, menopause, and the like.  I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend.  I'm not doing much, staying off the Interstates with all the holiday traffic.  I've been working out in the outdoor swimming pool, and catching up on little stuff around the house.  It's kind of nice to have a few days of down time.

I know that at least some of you have had experiences with Epi Pens, either for yourself or for a loved on with severe allergies.  I came across this article from Moyers and Company, and it illustrates just one example of how out of control the medical system is in this country.

I've had my own bad experiences with pharmacies the last few weeks.  It has been well detailed that I am not happy with either of the compounding pharmacies in the Coachella Valley (CA) area, and have had an ongoing search for a pharmacy that can deliver my bioidentical progesterone at a reasonable price with good customer service.  Dr. Carr's office mentioned to me they were trying out a new pharmacy in Colorado (I will not mention the name).  I emailed them and asked for a price quote on my progesterone, but I accidentally left off that I wanted a quote for a 90 day supply.  When I called to give the pharmacy my credit card number, I was told that the price of the prescription would be THREE TIMES the price that I have paid at any other pharmacy for the progesterone.  I usually pay about $180 for a three month prescription, and the price I was quoted by the Colorado pharmacy was $540.  When I questioned it, I was told "well, that's a lot of progesterone cream you are ordering." Yes, it is, and that's a lot of price you are gouging me for.  Needless to say, I am not using that pharmacy, and the search goes on for a pharmacy that suits my needs (and for the short term, I guess I am stuck with the Coachella Valley pharmacy I am using).  

This problem is not limited to compounding pharmacies.  I get my estradiol and my testosterone from regular pharmacies locally, and I have found a huge difference in prices.  Last year, I was going to get my estradiol from Walgreen's, but when I went to pick it up, I was told the price was $84.  That's almost double the $43 I was paying at Target (it has since gone up $10....I just got a refill last week).  I had hoped to get my once yearly bottle of testosterone from Target also, but was told last week that there was a manufacturer's shortage and I wouldn't be able to get the medication until mid to late September.  Funny, CVS had it on the shelf, they didn't even need to order it! The price was $101, which is pretty much in line with what I have paid at Target.  Rite Aid quoted me $119, but since they can't fill my basic medication needs (even with advance notice that I am going to need the prescription), I don't plan to use them unless absolutely necessary.  I haven't asked Walgreen's what they charge for a vial of testosterone, they lost one of my prescriptions for two days and I had a terrible time getting it filled, so they are on my "are you kidding me!" list too.

Two other quick notes:

I read the TIME Magazine article (cover story) on "Manopause"..........the use of testosterone in males.  No new information there.  If you want to get a good handle on testosterone therapy, I strongly suggest reading Testosterone For Life by Abraham Morgentaler.  Excellent book!

Get your thyroid checked if you have not already done so!  I have spoken to at least three people in the last couple weeks who have many of  the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, but who have never had their thyroid checked!  It is a hugely undertreated disease, and is easily controlled with medication. I take two different thyroid medications....Levoxyl for T4 and a compounded medication for T3.  Makes a world of difference in how I feel.  If your doctor refuses to run the tests, it may seriously be time for another doctor.

That's it for now.........don't forget, the days are getting shorter, and if you are one of those folks who cut back on your Vitamin D consumption in the summer because you are out in the sun, you are getting less sun now and it's time to think about going back on your higher dose of Vitamin D.  I take 5000 IUs in the summer, and about the first week of October I go back to taking 10,000 IUs.  Those dosages keep my Vitamin D levels at a nice, healthy 70-100 ng/ml.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Losing friends in mid-life...

This is a story worth reading. I had a very bad experience several years ago with some women that I thought were friends (they weren't, they were just using me as a taxi service and a way to meet new people because they weren't able to develop friendships on their own.) I befriended these women because I thought I was being compassionate (and I have a lifelong habit of wanting to "fix" things for everyone)..........it went awry and I am very, very glad these awful women are no longer part of my life. I am much more careful about who I allow into my life, and I no longer take on "pity projects". I am very blessed to have a great circle of real friends of both sexes who have been there for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually time and time again. After reading this article, I do see a lot of the points made in the relationships of people that I know.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Saturday, August 9, 2014


I've been very busy with out of town company for the last few days, so I am several days behind in reading my newsfeeds.  Catching up this morning, I came across this article in The Huffington Post.  It appears Time Magazine has a cover story this week about male menopause, which they refer to as manopause.  The correct and true term is andropause, the time in a middle aged man's life w hen he loses his sex hormones, testosterone and progesterone.

The article appears to tout the theory that men should just embrace their declining hormones as part of the "normal" process of aging.  He should accept his loss of testosterone, accept his estrogen dominance (and the health problems that go along with it, particularly the weight gain) and live the second half of his life with loss of libido, loss of muscle mass, loss of bone and all the other issues associated with hormone imbalance.

I don't get it, and I never have. As Dr. Carr has told me innumerable times, "normal" and "optimal" are two different things. It's "normal" for a man to lose his libido, become tired, develop a myriad of health issues that require a handful of medications to manage.  It's "normal" for women to lose their hormones, and experience hot flashes, weight gain, sleeplessness, bone thinning, and loss of sex drive. It's not optimal for either sex, and doesn't it make more sense to simply replace (bioidentically) the hormones that are in the younger, healthier body that we lose as we age.  Mainstream medicine doesn't think so-----they yell and scream about the efficacy and safety of hormone replacement (often citing a 12 year old Women's Health Initiative Study that used Premarin and other fake hormones).  The mainstream medical community would rather you take a handful of drugs (and great expense and who knows what level of toxicity) than be hormonally balanced in the second half of life.  Take a look at the levels of decline in hormone levels cited in the article-----between 70 and 100 percent) and is there any wonder we start having health issues as we reach our mid -40's and beyond?

Quick story:  about 4 years ago I had to go for an MRI on my lower back.  The technicians were very nice, two women close to my age.  After I finished the test, for some reason we got chatting and they asked for my email address for the hospital records. When I gave it to them, they laughed at the "holyhormones" part of the email. I explained that I take bioidenticals, how much they had helped me, and that the hormonal balance had helped me get off 7 medications.  They looked at each other, and one said to me: "we noticed you don't take much medication (they ask you for a list of all medications when you go to the radiology center)....almost every woman your age who comes in here is taking some sort of an antidepressant."  Wow. That's scary.  We have hormone deficiencies, not antidepressant deficiencies.

Second weekend in a row it's rainy and gloomy here in NC.  Below average temperatures too, but I'm not complaining about that (except it makes it hard to get my water workouts in----yesterday I went in the morning because we were expecting heavy rain in the afternoon/evening).  My company is gone, although I am picking one of the ladies up today and we are meeting up with her husband at a midway point for her to go home..........today is a good day to catch up on little stuff around the house.  Hope everyone is having a good August so far!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday, July 27 this and that-------

(sigh) Something messed up with the posting on my last post-------I cut and pasted the letter I received from Dr. Carr's office about his practice-----for some reason, only about half of the text of the letter is showing. Not sure how to fix it, but the bottom line is that Dr. Carr's practice is full, and as of AUGUST 1, 2014 any new patients will be placed on a waiting list until there is an opening in the practice.  Dr. Carr has long said that when he hit a patient load that he could handle effectively as a solo practitioner, he would stop accepting new patients and put them on a wait list. It's the only way he can provide individualized attention to the patients in his practice.

I have a phone consult with Dr. Carr this week; I am having mild hot flashes.  They are nothing compared to the horrendous hot flashes I had before I got my hormones balanced, but I suspect my progesterone level is low. I have a very hard time keeping my levels optimal when using creams.  So if you are having hot flashes, I am feeling your pain!

I never had much problem with night sweats, but I have spoken to a number of women who have and are absolutely miserable (not to mention exhausted) dealing with them.  I came across this article in The Huffington Post which is kind of those good news/bad news kind of articles.  Caffeine can worsen hot flashes and night sweats, but it has also been shown to improve mood and lessen memory problems in peri/menopausal women.  I don't drink coffee, but I am still drinking too much diet soda, which has about 45 mg of caffeine.  A medium cup of coffee has about 260 mg of caffeine.  I have occasionally taken a caffeine tablet, which contains 200 mg caffeine, if I have had a lousy night sleep and need to be at my "best" in the morning.  I try not to do it too often.

Speaking of sleep, again from The Huffington Post, a helpful graphic about napping-----should you or shouldn't you?  I am not a daytime napper, as I have found that it too often disrupts my nighttime sleep (which is already not optimal, but much of that is chronic pain issues.)  Once in a while, on a cold, dreary, and/or rainy day, I curl up for a nap, but those days are rare.  I do usually lay down for a little while in the afternoon with an ice pack on my back, as I find it helps with my back pain and allows me to do a little more in the late afternoon than if I didn't take the break.  I don't sleep; I either read, knit, catch up on hormone articles on my iPad, or the last couple weeks............catch up on House of Cards on Netflix (I just got Netflix, so it's like a new toy!)

I just recently discovered a great page presented by PBS called Next Avenue-----some great articles for us "mature" adults.  Came across this one about brain health, something that we all think about as we age.  I have had a number of friends who have dealt with parents, siblings, or partners suffering from dementia, and I have seen the devastating effects that dementia/Alzheimer's has on an entire family.  I am grateful every day that I never had to address those issues with either of my parents, my father died when I was young, and while I was the full time caregiver for my mother in the final years of her life and it was tremendously difficult, her brain was as clear as a bell until the day she died.

That's it for today; it was rainy and miserable here in NC when I got up this morning, but the storms have pushed out and it's partly sunny, at least for now. We may be expecting severe storms later today into tomorrow, not unusual for this time of year. What is unusual, however, is that once the storms go through, we will have highs in the low 80's for most of the week, which is an absolute blessing in the Southeast in late July/early August!  I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.  I'm off to a big quilt show on Thursday with a friend, and I hope you all have a great week ahead!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Important Change Regarding the Office of Dr. John Carr

As most of my regular readers know, Dr. John Carr has been my physician for over 10 years.  I have referred a number of patients to Dr. Carr, and his practice has grown significantly since he began practicing in CA in 2006.  I received this letter from his office this week:
I am writing this week to notify you of an upcoming change in our office status. Starting August 1st, I will no longer be accepting new patients, and all potential new patients will be placed on a waiting list until a space opens. Spots will be offered to new patients when existing patients choose to leave the practice.

As many of you are aware, my practice has grown rapidly over the past two years since I opened the Bob Hope office. My intention has always been to offer consistently superior individualized care for each patient. Though I have hired new staff in recent months, the practice is nearing capacity with regard to my ability to maintain the quality of care I seek to offer. I do not plan on adding any additional physicians, and therefore need to control the growth.

Several of you have spoken to me about a spouse or friend you have encouraged to see me. I urge you to pass along the information in this letter so that your contact might either join the practice before it closes to new patients on August 1st, or be placed first on our wait list. Further, I urge patients who wish to continue care at the end of their subscription year to indicate their intention through timely communication with the office. 
Thank you for your attention to this announcement about changes at our medical practice. I sincerely appreciate your support, and I look forward to our continued work together. 
To your good health! 
John D. Carr, M.D. 

If you have been thinking about becoming a patient of Hormonal Health and Aging in Rancho Mirage, CA, you need to call the office NOW to make an appointment for an initial consult.   The contact informaton for Dr. Carr's practice is on the right side of this blog underneath Dr. Carr's picture.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Take a deep breath------

I find that when I am consistent in practicing deep breathing exercises, it helps not only control my anxiety, but also helps me to cope better with back and hip pain.  I think it also has a positive effect on my blood pressure (I used to be hypertensive, but it's been under control since I started on the bioidentical hormones nearly 8 years ago.)

Check out this very short video by Dr. Andrew Weil.........his method of deep breathing exercise is called the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise.  A number of women have told me that while deep breathing does not necessarily reduce the number and/or severity of hot flashes, it does reduce overall anxiety and makes it a little easier to get through the hot flash.  I'm recommitting myself to being consistent in my deep breathing, and I hope you will join me.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

This and that, Sunday, July 13

Good afternoon! It's been a crazy, hectic few weeks-----I moved into the city of Charlotte.  I love living so close by to everything, but getting my apartment unpacked and settled has been a big strain on my back and hip---thus my lack of posting.  Sitting is still difficult, but life is slowly getting back to normal (whatever that is!) and so hopefully I will be back on track soon.

Ugh, I am having hot flashes! They are not severe, but definitely there, so I am off to get my progesterone, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and Estradiol levels checked this week.  I suspect the stress of moving, along with the stress of increased back pain has made me burn through my hormones more quickly than usual.  I was pretty sure my progesterone level was down a bit this spring, as I had a bit of allergy symptoms, and usually I am not bothered by allergies at all (and believe me, before I got my hormones balanced I was allergy central!)  Will keep you updated on the numbers when I get my blood work back.  If you are taking bioidenticals, and you notice something doesn't feel quite right----call your practitioner and get your levels checked!  A lot of different factors can cause hormonal imbalance, and usually a blood test and a bit of tweaking of your hormone dosages can get you back to where you feel great!

I have been released from the arm surgeon, but I found out I have left arm "tennis elbow" (no, I do not and have never played tennis!)  It's most common cause is just plain overuse of an arm, and between being left handed and having to use the left arm a lot in the last year because of the fractures in my right arm----yep, it's been overused!  I went for a one time PT appointment for a home exercise program, and I have to ice the arm five times a day (what a pain that is!)  Click here for a more thorough explanation of tennis elbow.

I wasn't aware of the existence of this device until I saw a post about it on Facebook this morning.  Sadly, the post had a lot of snarky, nasty comments, and pelvic muscle health is not a laughing matter for a lot of women.  A lot of peri/post menopausal women suffer from incontinence because of lax pelvic muscles, particularly women who have had numerous children.  If you don't know what Kegal exercises are, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.  As many of you know, I was in a horrific car accident 22 years ago, and in that accident my pelvis was shattered.  I learned about Kegal exercises from a terrific physical therapist, and I have practiced them ever since.  I'm not always as consistent with the exercises as I should be, but I do pretty well.  I think the device is a great idea, and honestly, when they are on the market at the end of this year------I plan to have one!

Hot as Hades here in NC but that's pretty typical of summer in the South.  Good pool weather, and that's where I'm headed right now.  I have missed you all, and hope everyone is having a great summer.  I promise to be more consistent with my postings now that life is settling down!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Change of life......

So to speak.....

I haven't forgotten you; I have been checking my newsfeed daily for any articles about menopause/bioidentical hormones that I thought my be of interest to you.  Nothing interesting.

I do have big news, however, I am in the midst of packing up my life to move about 30 miles into the city of Charlotte (NC).  I sold my condo and I have a great new little place in a wonderful part of town.  While I have enjoyed my time in the Lake Norman, NC area, being in the city of Charlotte will allow me opportunities to do lots of cool things that right now are a (relatively) long car ride.....something that challenges the endurance in my back.

It's been a whirlwind spring, between the two surgeries and fiasco with my arm, the house being on the market, getting it sold and getting my life packed up.  So far, so good (and I know the hormone optimization does help with this)....I haven't had a complete meltdown...yet.  I'm a bit of a type A personality, am a fusspot by nature and like to have everything absolutely under control..........and any of you who have moved at any point in your adult life know that moving is one of those life events where things are never quite totally in control.  I'm being very mindful of both my back/hip and my arm, so it's slow going, but I'm getting there.  The big move is next Monday, June 16, and the house closing is later in the week.  In the midst of all that is my birthday on June 18..........which for me is a month long celebration!

I'm excited and a bit anxious, and of course have much to do in these next couple weeks.  I'm back in the outdoor swimming pool where I am living currently, and the new complex has three pools, so I am hoping to get back on track with my workouts.  It's been nearly a year since I have been able to really get in consistent, challenging workouts, and I have missed it.

If I don't post for the next week or so, know that I am thinking of all of you and I will be back to hormone posts soon! Stay cool, stay safe!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Get a grip!

Good morning, I am enjoying a lovely, mild, low humidity day here in NC, and I hope wherever you are, it's a great Sunday!

I scanned my Facebook feed this morning and came across this article shared on PBS Next Avenue.  Most of my regular readers know I have been struggling with my right arm (see posts for March and April for the full story) and so regaining the strength in my hand is very important to me.  I can knit a bit, but only for about 15-20 minutes at a time maximum, then I need to rest the arm and hand and go back to it a little later.  I have ordered the Theraputty mentioned in the article, and plan to work with it throughout the summer to get my grip optimized!

Onward and upward, this is a busy month for me with some exciting changes in my life!  I'll keep you posted, until then, have a great start to the month!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pharmacy closing........

Hi everyone, I haven't posted in over a week because there is a dearth of articles worth sharing on bioidentical hormones, menopause and the other issues we discuss here on the blog.  I haven't forgotten you, I promise!

I started calling Greenfield Pharmacy in Vista, CA yesterday to refill a couple prescriptions, and have gotten a rapid busy signal, indicating that the phone is not operational.  The pharmacy does not have a website.  I had to do a lot of digging and searching to find out any information at all, first I came up with a Yelp review by a customer who lives in that area:

I am not sure what is going on over there, I have been using the pharmacy for going on 3 years for my bio identical hormones, the only problem I had was that the store always opened late. The owner comes from orange county. But my meds were always ready. As of April 25th, they are closed and do not return calls, I drove over there and there is a sign on the door that says they are closed and to call and get your prescription and go to another pharmacy. They have never returned my calls. The sign said until May 4th. I don't know what to think, perhaps a family emergency? A Illness? Accident? But at least some one should return calls.

I kept searching, and finally came up with this article from the site Law of Compounding Medications.  Greenfield Pharmacy has been (temporarily) shut down by the CA Board of Pharmacies.  Viewing the decision handed down by the CA Board, the pharmacist there was practicing with a lapsed license.  

Ugh. I feel like I am cursed with compounding pharmacies.  I've had multiple issues with the two compounding pharmacies in the Coachella Valley, and this blog post from late 2011 will explain why I really, really don't want to deal with Fireside Pharmacy again (additionally, two people that I know personally have both had issues with Fireside Pharmacy, so the poor customer service I received is not an isolated incident).  I will contact Dr. Carr's office tomorrow and get new prescriptions ----- still not sure what pharmacy to use yet.  Not a hassle I need right now (or any time).  

On a more positive note, I had an appointment with the arm surgeon yesterday, and he is absolutely impressed with the amount of healing/bone growth that has taken place in the last 5 weeks:

In fact, the bone has had so much growth that it is causing what is called "crepitus" in the arm----it clicks and makes some very odd noises. It feels like the bump of bone growth is bumping against the ulna bone in my arm when I try to turn my palm up.   It is painful, and I am still restricted in what I can do, although he told me I can start using 1-2 pound light weights to work out (ugh, I was using way more weight than that before all this hoo haa started last summer.)  I still can't knit for more than about 15 minutes at a time, which is very frustrating.  It's finally gotten hot here in NC, and so I am hopeful that this week I can get back in the swimming pool to work out, my back has really been feeling the lack of workouts lately.  One step at a time, I know.  

I hope everyone had a safe, enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.  Traffic around here on Memorial Day weekend is nuts because there is a huge NASCAR race being held about 25 miles from where I live. Lots of people who don't know where they are going,  and they drive like they're participating in a race, so I generally stick relatively close to home.  I have lots to do around here..........I have some changes coming up in my life in the next weeks and months, so I am keeping very busy. I will talk some more about those changes in my life very soon!  Meantime, enjoy this first week of "summer" (even though the calendar says June 21 is the first day of summer, I always consider Memorial Day and Labour Day the bookends of summer!)  Stay safe, stay cool!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

This and that--------

Good morning! Holy cow, it's a little chilly here this morning in NC, and cloudy to boot.  One of those days I could just curl up and knit all day, but I have an 80th birthday party to attend this afternoon (at a winery, but I don't drink!)

There have not been a lot of articles (correct that to say articles worth noting) about hormone balance lately, but I did run across this one from the Huffington Post.  I'm not shy about asking pretty much everyone if they have ever had their Vitamin D levels checked.  I'm astonished at the number of people who have never had their levels checked, and often it's because their doctors tell them that their levels are "normal".   I generally tell them that "normal" and "optimal" are two different things; its normal to have declining hormone levels as we age, but it certainly isn't optimal.  I've also told people that if their doctor can just look at them and tell them their Vitamin D level is normal, without benefit of blood work, then their doctor is "extra-special" or just doesn't want to be bothered with the blood work.

I sometimes get asked how much Vitamin D I take daily, and jaws drop when I tell them that from October to May, I take 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D daily, and from June through September, I back it down to 5,000 IUs daily (mostly because I am out in the sun almost daily exercising in the outdoor pool.)  Dr. Carr likes his patients to be between 70-100 ng/ml (blood work levels); mine usually runs about 75-80.  My last blood work indicated that  it had dropped to about 60, but it was taken in the middle of my arm surgery saga, and during that time my vitamins/supplements were off schedule.  The anesthesiology department told me to stop all supplements 7 days preoperatively, and with two surgeries 3 weeks apart that blew my schedule out the door.  I'm back on track now, and I am confident when my blood work is taken next time my Vitamin D level will be back to an optimal range.  My point is that the article referenced above clearly shows that it is nearly impossible to get adequate Vitamin D through food.  Bottom line, get your Vitamin D levels checked, and if your doctor gives you a hard time.....don't take no for an answer!

I've been hearing a lot about compounding pharmacies lately, mostly because of the botched executions a few weeks ago in Oklahoma.  Most of the talking heads on TV are spewing out the same line about compounding pharmacies not being regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), in an effort to portray the compounding pharmacies as a bunch of rogue, lawless entities that have to be reined in.  Compounding pharmacies, like all pharmacies, are regulated by state pharmacy boards.  The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for regulating drugs, just as their name states.  I saw an interesting post awhile back that said something to the effect that it's important to remember that every drug recalled by the FDA was once approved by the FDA.  Think about the number of drugs the FDA has recalled or ordered stronger warnings for in the last few years (Lunesta, the sleep medication,  is just the latest, it has not been recalled but the recommended dose has been ordered cut in half).

Finally, an update on my "arm saga".  Still some pain if I use it too much, my fingers are moving pretty well, thumb still moving slower than my fingers.  The scar is healing great:

Although I know the plate inhibits absorption a bit, I am pretty much back to rubbing my progesterone cream on both forearms, which I am sure is also helping the scar heal.  I can knit, but I am trying to be careful to not knit for too long a stretch and take breaks.  I am anxious to have the outdoor pool at my condo development open up soon, since that is still the only exercise besides walking that I can do right now.  My back really feels the lack of core strength :(

How did it get to be almost the end of May ------ next weekend is Memorial Day weekend!  Around here that means lots and lots of extra traffic, as Charlotte Motor Speedway is holding a huge NASCAR race.  I stay relatively close to home to get away from the madness.  Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy May!

Good morning, and I hope it is at least half as beautiful weather wise where you are as it is here in NC! I've already been out for a fitness walk, and I think I am going to catch a little "laying in the sun" (20 minutes on each side) time after lunch.

I highly recommend a mini-vacation to reset your mind and your life. I took one last weekend, and it was an utter blast! Everything came together beautifully, I went to see Bruce Springsteen play in Raleigh, and the concert was fabulous! He played 3 hours, never left the stage for more than 30 seconds, and looked like he could do another 3 hours!  Great music and a great time!  I also got to go to a beautiful park to an arts and crafts festival, and a personalized tour of Durham and a great brunch with friends.

On the same topic of resetting your mind, this article from Dr. Karin popped up on my Facebook feed last week......it spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you.  One of the manifestations of post traumatic stress disorder (I have it from a long ago car accident, I'm much better after a lot of therapy but it still crops up occasionally) is the tendency to ruminate and focus too much on  a bad event.  I know several years ago after a bullying incident from some really awful women, I kept running it through my mind because it was so upsetting.  It took a while to get through it, although now I am ever grateful to not have those women in my life anymore.  Hormonally speaking, getting them out of my life helped to reduce my cortisol level (cortisol is the stress hormone) to near normal levels.  Right now I am struggling with elevated cortisol, but I know some of that is just the physical and emotional stress of all the arm issues and surgeries this spring.

This is an important update to those of you who take thyroid medication for T4 thyroid issues, particularly if you were taking Levoxyl (brand name) until it was pulled from the market last year.  I have taken Levoxyl for over 7 years, very successfully, until it was pulled from the market last year because of manufacturing issues.  It was not supposed to be available again until Summer 2014, but just for kicks I asked about it at the pharmacy about a month ago. I was surprised to find that it is back on the market, and as luck would have it, I was due for a refill on my T4 thyroid prescription.  I asked Dr. Carr's office about it, and am now (or will be by Tuesday, I'm just now running out of my old prescription of Synthroid) back on Levoxyl.  Dr. Carr prefers to use the brand name of Levoxyl rather than its generic "equivalent", which is often not consistent in the dose of thyroid ingested.  Another benefit............Synthroid was costing me about $90 for a three month supply, and Levoxyl is only $24 for a three month supply.  That's just a little extra money to put toward supplements!

Off to enjoy my Sunday!