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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I haven't disappeared......

But in the continuing saga of my right forearm (check posts below for full story).......I rebroke it on Friday morning......picking up some papers off my desk.

Obviously, the bone was not as healed as the surgeon thought it was..........I will update as soon as I can.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quick Update

Hi everyone, typing is still difficult, so this will be a quick update....

I had the plate taken out of my right forearm on Monday morning (see the post below this one for details!) .........all went as expected. My pain level was far, far more tolerable than when the plate was put in last summer (to repair a fracture).  My friend Karen took me to the hospital, and we were home by 2 pm.  I slept off and on after I got home, and was able to manage the pain pretty well. I didn't sleep great last night because I had to keep the arm elevated (and I am a flipper when I sleep), but took a nap late this afternoon.

I can drive a bit tomorrow, it will feel good to get out and about (I do not do well being cooped up, and OMG, daytime television is AWFUL!) Stitches come out in two weeks, but I can take the bandage off Thursday.  Putting my progesterone cream on is a pain right now, but I'm managing pretty well.  I injected my estrogen on Sunday, and one of my friends will inject my testosterone into my left arm on Thursday (he has been doing that for me since I fell last summer, as my right thumb has some limitations and using a syringe is one of them!)  I'm very glad this is over, and I can already tell that I have less pain in my hand and fingers than I did before the surgery....the tendons were really getting irritated by the plate and it definitely needed to come out.

Hope to be back by the weekend with a "hormonal" post.  Oh, by the way, in the post below this one I talked about putting together a one page medical history......I took mine to the hospital for inclusion in my chart, and the nurses and  anesthesiologist were very impressed with my efficiency!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Those are the breaks (sorry, bad pun!)

The regular readers of this blog know about the continuing saga of my right forearm.  I broke it at the gym last August (I had an existing plate in the arm, fell on it and the titanium plate was stronger than the bone, and so the bone broke).  Had surgery three days later to remove the old plate, repair the fracture and put in a new plate.  The bones in that arm have some localized osteopenia, and the fracture seemed to take forever to heal.  I started having pain in the wrist and into my fingers not too long after the surgery, and it was determined that the plate would have to come out of the arm.  The goal was to make it six months after the original fracture, and I made it to seven months one week. 

Started having increased pain last week, so I called the doctor's office for an appointment.  Got in the next day and it was determined that we couldn't wait any longer, so my St. Patrick's Day will be spent having surgery to have the plate removed from the arm. I am assured that this surgery will not be as painful as when the arm was fractured (thank goodness, that was AWFUL!) and that I will be able to start using the arm almost immediately.  I will have a soft bandage on for at least several days, which means wrapping my arm in a garbage bag for showers and washing my hair with one hand.  I will be tough........I can endure anything for clean hair!

While this news is only peripherally related to hormones (my testosterone  and Vitamin D helped the fracture to heal!), today I was updating my PDF file of my medical history, and I thought it was a good time to remind you to do the same. 

My medical history includes:
  • Name, address, phone, date of birth, email address
  • Current medications
  • Current list of names and dosages of bioidentical hormones
  • Current list of all supplements
  • List of all previous surgeries (and for me this takes up most of the page, this will be my 17th orthopedic surgery, most of the surgeries were due to a car crash back in 1992)

I make it all fit on one page, and I have it as a PDF file that I keep on my phone. I have printed out two copies, one for my purse, and one to give to the staff at the hospital on Monday morning.  It just makes everything more efficient.  

If you don't have a written medical history, then take this post as a gentle reminder that you need to have one.  If you have one, take a look at it this weekend and update it if necessary (mine was up to date except for one dosage change on one supplement).  

Have a great weekend, everyone, and Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope to be back online by Wednesday of next week, although I may be typing one handed for a few days.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tackling Menopause’s Side Effects

Good morning! Just a brief post here, I wanted to share with you this article from the NYTimes.  The article was posted about a month ago, but I had trouble linking it at that time (not exactly a computer expert here!)  First of all, that the American College of Obstetricians/Gynecologists took this long to actually come out with guidelines about the care of menopausal women is absurd.  The article is an interesting read, but paragraph 14 particularly caught my eye:

"Data do not support the use of progestin-only medications, testosterone, or compounded bioidentical hormones".

First of all, I am living proof that testosterone not only help with libido, but also increases bone density.  For those of you who are new readers, I had a DEXA (bone density scan) in 2006 that showed I had osteopenia.  I started the bioidentical hormones shortly after that scan, and had a repeat test done in 2009.  Not only did I no longer have osteopenia, but my bone density was comfortably in the normal range.  I strongly suspect that the carefully worded phrase "data do not support" means they simply weren't studied.  Mainstream medicine would rather fill patients up with expensive medications (all of which have side effects) rather than simply replace (bioidentically) what is in our bodies that we lose as we age. Frustrating, to say the least.

Friday, March 7, 2014

This and that---Happy March!

Hi, everyone....from rainy, icky North Carolina! We had an ice storm last night, and while everything is fine at my house (except for not being able to go to the quilt show today in Charlotte...temps above freezing but very heavy rain, and the venue had a terribly potholed and gravelly parking lot) over a quarter million people are without power in the state. Keep them in your prayers!

I haven't forgotten you, but there has been a dearth of "hormone" articles lately.  However, a few articles are popping up that caught my attention:

Vitamin D Increases Breast Cancer Patient Survival  A subject near to my heart lately, as one of my friends (who is 10 years younger than me!) is battling breast cancer.  A  UC/San Diego study of over 4000 breast cancer patients shows that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood are associated with increased rates of survival.  I still have way, way too many people tell me that their doctor says they don't need a Vitamin D test because their levels are normal, and when I ask the person how they know their level is normal, they tell me because their doctor says so.  And, by the way, normal and optimal are two different things, it's normal for post menopausal women not to have any/many hormones in their bodies, but it sure as hell isn't optimal!  My Vitamin D level is a nice, healthy 78 ng/ml, which is well within the optimal range of 70-100 ng/ml.  I swear, a healthy Vitamin D level has helped keep me sane (relatively speaking) this winter, I am so, so ready for spring!

New testosterone drug is out called Aveed........it was rejected THREE times by the FDA, who now has declared the drug safe.  Seems simpler and safer to just take bioidentical testosterone (I do, as do several of my male friends----obviously we take it in vastly different doses). I inject it once weekly, with no side effects other than the occasional pimple.

Bioidentical Hormone Health.....if you are not already subscribing to this newsletter, why not?  Check out this great article on myths and facts about progesterone.  Way too many people (including health professionals) try to tell patients that synthetic progestins (sometimes called progestegens) are the same as progesterone, and they are not.

That's it for today, and don't forget-----turn your clocks forward Saturday night! It's worth losing an hour's sleep (or in my case, just sleeping an extra hour on Sunday morning) to have it light longer in the day, I crave longer days this time of year. Have a great, healthy weekend!