Fitness | Menopause | Painful Joints

My positive experience with HRT

I love movement, I always have and always will, I just know there is a ballet dancer inside
desperately trying to get out!…. Hey In my head I am happy!
When I was a little girl, my mummy took me to the doctors as I kept getting ill. He said that I had “schoolitis” My mum was really cross with him and said that I normally have ants in my pants and recently I was just happy lying on the sofa which was out of character; She said that I would be cartwheeling or hand standing all over the place and wanted my old self back, I can’t really remember what was the problem, but know it was resolved as I carried on with my gymnastics, dance netball and other activities.
Over 20 years ago when I started out on my fitness career I used to teach at least 4 classes per day, 6 days per week as well as doing my own training. I used to get a real buzz from exercising, the more I would do the more I would want to do. Movement was my passion.
11 years ago I was hit by a car, this was devastating and I had to drastically change my work activities, I was the heaviest and unhappiest I had ever been. It took me a few years but I managed to pick myself up and bounced back. 3 years ago I had shoulder surgery, another massive impact on my life; This resulted in having a frozen shoulder, but I pushed forward and last August managed to cartwheel again!
What I hadn’t counted on was over the last couple of years or so how much my movement was declining. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. At the end of my working week I would come home and just want to stay on the sofa all weekend. I started to worry, if this deterioration in my mobility and increased pain would continue then how much longer I could carry on working. My knees, hips and feet were so stiff and all my old injuries were really giving me problems, I tried to stay on top of the pain and stiffness but felt I was losing.
I thought that I was really looking at the end of my physical career. This really depressed me, being menopausal can also cause depression, I was really becoming more and more down and just couldn’t pick up my mood or manage my body as I have in the past, I felt defeated.
I had changed my diet massively, taking supplements and really watching what I eat, I also changed my workouts so they were less stressful on my joints. I could feel the difference these changes had made as I was managing some of my other symptoms but the painful and stiff joints were really getting me down. Over the months my activity levels had declined, which I knew would have an impact on my mood, health and overall well-being.
I had a few, what was thought to be gynaecological problems and went in for a Laparoscopy and a hysteroscopy a couple of weeks before Christmas. Luckily I had the all clear from this clinic, no Cancer, no polyps or cysts! Yay! The pain that I was getting in my groin could probably be down to a hernia!
I can’t tell you how relieved I was! A few months earlier I was listening to Vanessa Felts on BBC Radio London who had a guest on, Louise Newson, a GP who specialises in Menopause. I made an appointment to see her but had to cancel because of my gynaecological investigations. So once I received the all clear my lovely Husband drove me up to her clinic in Solihull 2 days after my surgery.
We talked about my symptoms and said that the painful and stiff joints were a common symptom of Menopause because of the decrease in Oestrogen. I didn’t believe that HRT could make much difference because of all of the stress and injuries I’ve had over the years.
She put me on Oestrogen patches, she gave me a choice of 2 patches and gel, for me the patches work better, Progesterone in a table taken at night. I am now on HRT.
Fast forward 2 months.
Friday last week, my wonderful Ana who usually helps me on a Friday, cleaning, washing and changing beds etc was ill. My day started at 6am then back to back clients until finishing at 2pm.
When I got home to a very dirty and untidy flat, I thought, just get on with it, so I put on some 80’s music and danced around while cleaning, hoovering, polishing and general house cleaning stuff. I kept looking at my windows in the lounge that had needed cleaning for ages, but before today just couldn’t face. So I got out the step ladder….
It was then it hit me! It was 4.30pm on Friday, end of a busy week and here I was cleaning windows with renewed energy and totally pain free!
Compared to last year, I am now feeling more positive; I really do feel as if I have my mojo back!
Why had I not gone on HRT before? My GP isn’t up to date on the latest research as Louise is. I feared that I’d be at high risk of Cancer, which my GP instilled in me, but she really put my mind at ease.
What impressed me about Louise is that she genuinely wants to help women. Before coming to see her I looked at other doctors, but to be honest in London I would have been hard pushed at affording them. Louise charges out her time, she doesn’t make money on the blood tests or the bone scan. The blood test cost me £30 and I paid the hospital direct, same for the bone scan. Other Doctors prices can be as much as £300 for blood tests alone.
I understand that some women cannot go on HRT because of health issues, however I feel blessed that I feel like my old self, I really can’t believe how great I feel. I wish I had found Louise and HRT last year!
Ladies, don’t feel threatened by HRT it has come on leaps and bounds compared to when our mums were going through the change. Recent research also indicates that being on HRT lowers risk of heart disease and stroke.
Now, I am off to find my ballet shoes!
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You can find out more about Louise on her website