my new york doctor

July 21, 2012

illness, videos by others

Dr. Michelle Warren is the doctor I chose. I needed to feel that I was in good hands, the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing, about what she’s talking. I found her, and I trust her. Watch the video and you’ll see why.

Things she said to me that made me feel immediate relief: Taking these hormones is extremely important for you, at your age. It’s a must. Not even a discussion. And all the scary things you read about the long term effects of taking hormones DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU. Also, the hormones you’ll be taking are actually LESS than found in a birth control pill. Premature ovarian failure (POF) doesn’t always have a known cause… because in my case, my thyroid is normal, chromosomes normal, no mental retardation in my family, either side, all the women in my family (other than me) didn’t hit menopause until their 50s. No known cause, no rare underlying condition causing this. “But if I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know.” Point is, she’s on the case. This is what she does, her specialty, so I feel like I can trust her.

Based on my symptoms (weight gain, particularly in the abdomen, hair loss, irritability, muscle loss, absolutely no sex drive, depressed, blah about everything) she suggested that my testosterone levels might be low. So she took some blood to see. In the meanwhile, I’ll take estradiol (1 mg) daily, via pill not patch or gel because with kids clawing all over me, it’s just easier, and with no history of blood clots, etc., she said it was fine. Progesterone (Prometrium 200 mg capsule) is also needed for 10 days a month to replicate what my body should be doing. And then, and this is hard for me to share with the world–mostly because it makes me feel old and broken, not sexy and feminine–she suggested a vaginal ring (or creams or suppositories, but I chose the ring). This Estring is by far the most disturbing bit in all this girly bit business. And to be handed pamphlets with photos of old people speed walking, then seeing words like VAGINAL ATROPHY… I can’t read any of it. It’s far too depressing. All I want to do is eat cupcakes. Dangerous that Crumbs Bakery is literally down the street from where I live.

She didn’t want to introduce the testosterone gel (applied mid-thigh) until she sees how I respond to the estradiol. One drug addition at a time. So, away we go.

17 Responses to “my new york doctor”

  1. my eggs are hard boiled Says:

    i’m on the same treatment plan minus Estring. i’m happy to report that after a few months i’ve started getting a monthly “period” and i’ve been able to lose eight pounds with minor dieting. before i was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure i put on 40 lbs and i would diet and diet and couldn’t lose a thing. it’s the first time in five years things have been looking up for me! i’m also not as ragey – i would lose it before over anything little thing. the diagnosis sucks but it’s not the end and frankly i’m so happy they finally were able to tell me what was wrong and do something. hope you are feeling back to your self very soon! xx

    Reply

  2. 3 teens' mom Says:

    Well, thank whatever you are starting to get answers – and thank whatever you have a doc you trust. There is no dignity in illness – but there can be kindness, compassion, gratitude and lessons to be learned.

    Mom, a vibrantly healthy, amazing woman 4.5 months ago, has been trampled by illness. Surgery upon failed surgery. Viruses compounded by bacteria. IV antibiotics, MRSA germs, and (I get credit for this) a great band name for a screamo band…”Necrotic Phat”.

    She has peed on herself, bled on the floor, oozed pus out of places we never wanted to know about. We now regularly discuss her regularity, her hematocrit, and cures for anemia. We have gone waaaay beyond proper or shy…we’re now wallowing in fundamentals.

    AND – I’m happy to say – she’s getting better. An infection of her bowels diagnosed just yesterday hasn’t slowed us down – she’s ambulating around on her walker waiting for her new, permanent hip replacement that will stop this madness. She’s back. She’s funny. She’s quilting. She’s holding hands with my dad. She’s chomping at the bit to go charging about.

    So – coming from a recent horrible medical spot with the fam – I say, have courage! You’re gonna be great. Keep your spirits up. Know you are loved and important and vital and critically necessary.

    Hugs from here – courage and strength from our village to yours.

    Reply

    • Stephanie Klein Says:

      So so glad to hear things are looking pretty in pink!

      Reply

    • ssauer2 Says:

      I love this quote, “There is no dignity in illness – but there can be kindness, compassion, gratitude and lessons to be learned.” It should be put on t-shirts at hospitals.

      We all need this reminder when things suck that there are still a few choices for the kindness, compassion, gratitude and lessons to be learned when all we can focus on is the dignity lost.

      I’m glad to hear that things are turning up for your family and that the positive spirit has no died. :o)

      Reply

  3. GP Says:

    Glad to hear you’re making progress, Stephanie! Dr. Warren seems very knowledgeable.

    I use an estradiol patch (Climara .06 mg/day), and Prometrium (100 mg every day, but we might have to increase that as I’m still spotting). The Climara patch is the only estradiol delivery that increased my estradiol level to where it needed to be to protect my bones.

    The best advice my gyno told me was to keep trying until we find a combination that works. She said, “I’ve got a whole cabinet full of different types of hormones — surely SOMETHING will work!”

    So hang in there — I’ve been where you are, and I’m very confident that you will find the right hormones for you.

    By the way, the patch stays on better than you’d expect — if the oral type doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try it!

    Reply

  4. southpengirl Says:

    ANSWERS! YAY!! Sometimes it’s all a matter of just finding someone you trust and doing what they recommend. Good for you for taking the time to find the right doctor. When you start feeling better, the old people pamphlets won’t even bother you. Good luck with the new medications.

    Reply

  5. cc Says:

    wow..losing hair (and as someone who also loves her hair, and know yours is important to you..) too? Sucks, and scary when our bodies act out on us when still young. Interesting I am seeing the low testosterone possibility- my mom sends me Redbooks and her Oprah mags (don’t laugh, she means well:) and this month in one of those current issues was a short article about a woman who realized her health issues were tied into low testosterone amongst other things. It was the first time I realized women can be affected by it, too, and yes we need it! The levels of the hormone dip in men as they age (causing low libido in them too of course) and I guess us women have that as well. These are informative, perhaps someone having these symptoms will read and get checked. Then the embarassment is worth it!

    Will you ever do a send in a question comment/question feature or is it as they come? I know you did this a few days ago, I did not read if anyone responded yet. I think that is a strength in this blog and also helpful. Thanks..and good luck you will be back to health soon. This doctor seems amazingly competent and also like she’s a straight shooter/all business but with a PERSONALITY. Good job a doctor like that is more than half the battle

    Reply

  6. Marcy Says:

    My husband has been taking bio-identical hormones for about a year now. He lost 30 pounds, gained a ton of muscle mass, and no one would ever believe he’s about to turn 50. He lowered his blood pressure to normal and took his inflammation index from off the charts to near nothing. I am a believer and will get tested as soon as I can get off the pill, which should be this fall (after being on it for 27 years, ugh.)

    Reply

  7. SusanC Says:

    I’m just happy you found someone that you have confidence in. She might not give you the answers that you’re hoping to hear, but it sounds like you trust what she’s telling you and the path she’s leading you down. HUGS!

    Reply

  8. Cyndi Says:

    I will be following your hormone journey with interest, I hope you have amazing results. My little foray into HRT did not end well, in fact made me feel much much worse. I sincerely hope you experience what the majority of women seem to– relief and a return to your normal self.

    Reply

  9. Carol (middle-aged-diva) Says:

    I’m happy that you found a doc you like and a treatment plan that you have confidence in. I love GP’s gynie’s attitude–try till it works. Yes!!

    I was pretty shocked when you wrote about this turn of events–I’m not sure why we are hearing so much about conditions like this. Well, I have my theories, but don’t get me started. Anyway, I wanted to share this post of mine with you, because I really think that these products are long overdue for women who have menopausal symptoms. I guess they had to wait until they decided Boomer menopause was profitable, right? But it’s more than that, it’s younger and it’s OLDER. My friend is 72 and STILL having hot flashes. Who tells us this? No one. I was lucky, but when I sit at lunch with my sweating friends, I’m reminded that this is a big issue for many.

    I posted today about some brand new OTC products that can help relieve symptoms. –full disclosure, it’s a paid review, but I completely believe in this stuff, think it is very helpful and am telling all my friends about it, and would have blogged about it anyway to help women. Here it is: http://middle-aged-diva.blogspot.com/2012/07/finally-products-offering-practical_26.html

    We have to work together to spread the word about doctors, treatments and OTC stuff that works. Love your reader comments on this subject & am sharing with my friends.

    Reply

  10. 88 Highbury Corner Says:

    It sounds like you are in good hands but I kept meaning to send you the title of this book too: The Infertility Cure by Dr. Randine Lewis as it made a lot of sense to me when I was having recurrent miscarriages. She addresses POF in her book and looks at women’s reproductive health as a Western Dr. but applying Chinese Medicine philosophies. Might be worth a read at least for futher education. A friend of mine was also recently diagnosed with POF and she’s 36 and doesn’t yet have children. She’s started accupuncture and was just going back to her doctor for further information on the next steps she should take too. I’ll direct her to your blog for information gathering.

    Reply

  11. Vene Says:

    Have you had an adrenal panel taken? I’m having similar symptoms and took a urine and saliva test at home. It came back saying I had low adrenaline (epinephrine), noradrenaline (norepinephrine), PEA, GABA, and glycine. I also have really high cortisol. There’s also a 24 hour urine test to analyze overall cortisol level. A lot of doctors don’t talk about these tests and don’t recognize adrenal fatigue, but it’s real and it’s worth testing for. I’ve been suffering from something for three years and my doctor has been very good about testing me to get me to the endocrinologist with all the right test taken.

    Reply

  12. woman Says:

    I was just going to suggest the same as Vene – perhaps ask to have your adrenal glands looked at as well?

    Reply

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