I made a cryptic reference to my latest naturopath visit last week, and said it was 'hopeful' (or perhaps 'positive' - I don't remember and I'm too lazy to go back and look). But I didn't really get into it because I wanted to see how it all shook out.
Well, it all shook out, so I guess I can fill you in now. Another post about my dysfunctional uterus! Aren't you excited?
Anyway. This naturopath - who isn't actually a naturopath but a 'Doctor of Natural Medicine', which means that she has essentially the same education but is perhaps less of a flake - is actually the step-mother-in-law of my friend Elle. Which means that Elle isn't related to her at all, but she does have to deal with her on a regular basis. Elle gave her this recommendation:
"I have never hated someone more in my life...that I would trust with my life."
Strong words. I don't think I particularly liked her either. She extremely abrupt and had this way of making me feel like I'd gotten the answer to her question WRONG. Um - it's not a test, lady, you're asking me about my eating habits. But she obviously knew her shit, and she was clearly not in it to bilk me out of my money. (Her parting words? "I'm not interested in seeing you again." I think I got helped and then dumped, all within a few hours.)
As a sidenote-that-will-soon-become-relevant, she had an MD traipsing around after her last week. An MD who is interested in alternative therapies. I know, right? I saw a unicorn shortly thereafter.
The upshot of the first (and last, apparently, since she's not interested in seeing me again) session was that she doesn't believe that I'm in menopause. I don't either, but it's sometimes hard to convince myself of that when I haven't had a period since DECEMBER. She felt that 15-odd years of oral contraceptives (oh, shut up, they were all very meaningful sexual relationships) quickly followed by a somewhat problematic pregnancy and delivery had left my body a little traumatized.
I don't know why. They only induced me SEVEN TIMES.
(As another aside, I just went back and re-read my epic birth story that I posted on my other blog. I'm...not actually sure I want to do this again, now.)
Anyway, add to that my work stress and sleep deprivation (sure, my kid slept through the night...once), and my body is just depleted. Of everything, especially hormones. Apparently you have to nourish your body in order for it to manufacture it's own hormones. Who knew?
She gave me some melatonin and a recipe for a warm-milk-and-nutmeg concoction to help me sleep (I couldn't seem to convince her that my toddler is trying to make me commit suicide by waking up 3 times a night at the age of almost-three). And she recommended that I begin hormone replacement therapy with bio-identicals.
What are bio-identicals, you say? Well, they're manufactured hormones. But unlike conventional synthetic hormones, they're exactly the same makeup as your own hormones. Hence the name. They have such questionable advocates as Suzanne Somers and Oprah, and there is only one doctor in this entire province who will prescribe them. He is a 4-1/2 hour drive away.
(As yet another aside, after some research I've discovered that bio-identicals are unpopular with mainstream docs because they're unpopular with drug companies. Drug companies can't patent something that has the identical makeup to someone's own hormones, you see. Therefore they can't charge the exorbitant prices they charge for name brand drugs, so they don't promote them. IT'S A FUCKING CONSPIRACY.)
(Aaaaannnnd, just like that, I've tipped my hand. I'm an eco-weirdo conspiracy theorist. My mother is so proud.)
While I am not a fan of some doctor pumping me full of synthetic hormones, I felt like this particular approach might actually work for me. But a Doctor of Natural Medicine doesn't have a place in the 'chain of command' in our health system - and how does one explain to their GP that they want a referral to THIS doctor, because they don't trust conventional medicine? This is where the lurking MD comes in - she was there for the diagnosis and totally gets it. Coincidentally, she is taking new patients. So I saw her this week, and she ordered about 9 different blood tests, and made the referral to the OBGYN.
I see him in August, shortly after returning from BlogHer. I will have to leave at 6 in the morning.
I'll keep you posted as to whether I fall asleep at the wheel or not.