For those who have been following my HRT journey here is an update since my last HRT review. For context I started HRT in June and the review was in September.
Recap of My HRT Journey and About Me
For those unfamiliar I have been suffering for years with perimenopause symptoms. Actually the first time I went to the doctors he just dismissed me and put me on antidepressants, these were stopped 6 years ago!
Aged 44, with regular periods and no hot flushes I thought it was unlikely I would be prescribed HRT. My mother had breast cancer and died at age 48. She believed it was due to the HRT but wasn’t really someone who discussed a lot with me. Besides I was only 20 when she died, probably felt I was a bit young to be burdened with such things.
The doctor did put me on HRT patches however, and after a telephone review we agreed to give it a bit longer to let things settle.
What Happened Next in My HRT Journey
Well after that I didn’t seem to be able to get hold of a doctor. Our surgery you submit things through a website and someone decides what happens and then contacts you in some way. The next time after my review I simply got a text message saying that a new prescription would be waiting for me at the chemist. It was exactly the same as I had before and I just carried on.
Perimenopause Symptoms Returning
But then some of my perimenopause symptoms started returning. At first it was no big deal, and things that were just a bit annoying. But on the whole the relief I had got from the patches was fantastic. Even my husband has commented on how much better my mood swings (or more lack of) were.
Slowly but surely things got worse. The brain fog, and feeling like I was going completely mad was a big one; the lack of motivation; the low mood and then the hip pain returned!
As someone who is online a lot I overshared this information and others said that I probably required an increased dose. This was about 6 months after I had started HRT and it was quite usual.
The Request to Increase
So I went on to the system and explained my predicament hoping for an increase in my dose. The last time I had spoken to the doctor she had even asked if I had needed it so I really did not anticipate it being a problem.
This was on January 23rd and the hip pain was really interfering with my life again. But instead of speaking to someone, or a new prescription I received a text message to tell me that I would receive a phone call on the 13th February.
This wait felt like a lifetime but I figured it would ensure that my problems were in fact linked to my perimenopause and nothing else.
The New Doctor
But the doctor who rang was not the doctor I was familiar with. Her ideas were quite different. When she called she asked how she could help as it said I wanted to discuss HRT. It was honestly like I knew nothing about HRT and you’d have thought I wasn’t already taking it.
After explaining the situation the first thing she asked was if I was taking the antidepressants. You know the ones I tried to appease the doctor but stopped taking 6 years ago! Next she started saying how she felt that I could do with having a blood test! There was no chance of this because I have a needle phobia.
She kept talking about how she felt that my symptoms could be caused by something else. Not even acknowledging the fact that so many others were being helped by the HRT. When I explained how these symptoms had helped initially she told me that HRT was not a magical cure!
Apparently it is just part of being a woman, juggling children, the school run, a full-time job, etc that makes me feel so stressed. When explaining that I am not stressed, or really juggling anything – have actually time to meditate (drawing pictures, cold water therapy etc) and going to the gym it actually just made me feel worse!
What the Doctor Did Do
Even though I am in the advanced MUSKAPS system – she booked me back in at the beginning! When the lady rang to book me in for that and I explained that I was already in the advanced bit she just insinuated that the only thing she could do was to go back to the doctor and tell her that she doesn’t know how to do her job! So I let her book it in!
The doctor didn’t seem to be familiar with the HRT I am on (despite it being her specialist field) and said she needed to go back and speak to the menopause team. That she would get back to me in a week. Also apparently the Conti patches only are in 50s so cannot be upped. What she wanted to do was put me on tablets. After I explained that the other doctor had said about the increased breast cancer risk with these she completely undermined her and said that I was more likely to get it through drinking alcohol!
She then suggested I become familiar with the menopause and texted me the link to some very well-known menopause sites. The irony being that one of them is Dr Newson and she’s on TikTok saying I probably needed to have my dose upped!
Another Phone Call
Well it was actually 8 days later I got a call. Feeling that at least now something would be happening. However, it was just someone booking me in for a HRT call! I could either have the doctor above in another month’s time or someone else slightly sooner! My original doctor wasn’t even one of the options. After asking after her the lady said that she didn’t even realise that that particularly doctor dealt with HRT! That if I had been dealing with her previously I could have a call with her. So that is booked in for another 3 and half weeks away!