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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hormone update!

Good afternoon from sunny but cool North Carolina!

Thought it was time to update you a bit on my own "hormone journey"........

Back early this summer, I was experiencing problems with really disrupted sleep. I felt like I wasn't sleeping for more than 60-90 minutes at a time, and many mornings I was awake for the day by 5 am.  Not good.  Dr. Carr tested my estrogen level and found it had dropped even further, and he suggested that I begin taking once weekly estrogen (estradiol specifically) shots.  He gave me the option of using the creams instead, just like I do for progesterone and testosterone, but because my sleep was so disrupted he said doing shots would get my level up faster. 

I started the injections in early July.  The downside first. I gained 6 pounds in 2 weeks.  Took me 4 weeks, but I lost those 6 pounds.  Way upside----I can't tell you how much better my sleep is!!!!  I now sleep hours at a time and definitely feel more rested.  An additional benefit----I think my cognition seems to be better too, I just feel like my brain is working a little better---more focused, not as forgetful.  The estrogen costs about $50 for a five week supply (that includes my syringes), and the needle in the syringe is so small that I barely feel it.  I inject into my upper arm every Sunday morning.  This is far more cost effective than using the creams, and I only deal with it once a week rather than every day. 

I talked to Dr. Carr last week and we discussed how I was doing on the estrogen shots, and I asked him if testosterone by injection was available for women.  Turns out it is!  I'm really liking this because right now I am taking testosterone twice a day as a cream, and I sometimes forget that second dose in the early afternoon (plus I have to put it on my upper arm which is a pain in the winter when I wear long sleeves).  Starting next week, I will be taking a teeny, tiny dose of testosterone by injection weekly.  Besides being easier, this is going to be WAY more cost effective----the bottle of testosterone costs about $100 but will last for a year (remember, tiny dose), and my testosterone cream was nearly $100 for a 60 day supply! 

Now, this is not for everyone, particularly if you are not comfortable giving yourself injections.  I just wanted to let you know what is working for me, and if it's something you might be interested in pursuing, talk it over with your healthcare professional. 

Have a great week, everyone! I love the month of October, always so much to do, and the weather here in NC is gorgeous!  I made my annual trek to the NC State Fair earlier in the week, and as always, had a great time.  I posted some pictures on my Needle Notes blog if you would like to take a look.  A day out with my friends is good for my mind and spirit!