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

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!