I decided to find a new doctor to work with. Somehow I discovered/stumbled upon Melissa Frisvold, a nurse- practitioner and midwife in Stillwater, MN. What a difference! Melissa made me feel listened to and cared about.
After her exam, she suggested I read Christiane Northrupâ€™s book The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. John Leeâ€™s book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, and surprisingly, Suzanne Somersâ€™ book The Sexy Years. Suzanne Somers? Chrissy Snow from televisionâ€™s â€œThreeâ€™s Companyâ€? What could she possibly know about real medicine?
As it turns out, she knows a lot, and I was hooked. Before I left Melissaâ€™s office, I had blood drawn to determine the level of hormones in my body. (Something the specialist never did, yet she had prescribed Premarin for me- an artificial estrogen replacement.)
When the test results came back I received a call from Melissa. I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak directly to her and ask questions. Once again, I felt heard. (Picture me doing a happy dance!)
Melissa said the blood/hormone results showed I had very high levels of estrogen, (what would the Premarin have done to me?) and almost no progesterone or testosterone. After some discussion, we decided to go with bioidentical hormone creams compounded just for me at the Womenâ€™s International Pharmacy in Madison, Wisconsin. Along with the prescriptions mailed to my house, a large complimentary packet arrived which explained the products, how and why they were made just for me, and what the company stood for. How amazing compared to the cold form letter I had gotten from the specialist!
Since my awareness about hormones had grown, I began to pay close attention to the patientâ€™s health forms at the dental office I worked at. Part of my job as an assistant was to note and alert the dentist to any new medications a patient was taking. This allowed the dentist to avoid potential adverse affects concerning the treatment that day, or with any medications he might prescribe for the patient afterwards. I became particularly interested in what medications and hormones women in the menopausal years were taking, if anything.
Sadly, I began to notice a pattern. A high percentage of women, at least in our dental practice, that had been taking Premarin for five years were now being diagnosed with breast cancer. What was going on? I decided to keep investigating.