Sunday, December 22, 2013

Long time ago, when Tom and I were dating, as we were walking nowhere at all, Tom commented "Why do you in Medicine treat symptoms. We in engineering would not stop until the source of the problem is resolved?" I was silent. Soon I would graduate to become a pharmacist and Tom, an engineer.

Now after many decades of marriage my professional days still compose of filling medications for symptoms, and and resolving drug interactions by suggesting to doctors of options.  For the patients, I suggest to supplement of any vitamins or co-factors if they are taking medication which depletes those items.

I have been going through a major health issue since menopause...Insomnia. I did not dare work full time because it is not safe.
I relied on OTC sleep aides like melatonin, Benadryl, Valerian Root, and combos. I reached a point when none of them worked.

I am not sure for how many years I have not slept well, or the percentage of nights when I could not sleep a wink for the whole night.  Yet work does not distinguish well rested person and one ready to collapse. Job expectation is the same.

A dear friend of mine, about nine months ago asked me to try a prescription sleeping pill and wrote me a prescription. Because she was a good friend, I decided to give it a try. To my amazement I fell asleep...each time. I never quite felt normal though. I limited myself 2 pills per week when I had to get up very early and had a long working day. In about 6 months I was only able to sleep if I took the sleeping pill.

OK the source of the problem...menopause, loss of female reproductive hormones...I would not dare get pharmaceutical hormones. Studies since marketing for just about all hormones on the market does not look good. So I started to read, read, and read. Not only is my hormone level lower than low, but also balance of all hormones were missing. I have heard of Natural Hormone Replacement...maybe even twenty years ago. Hormones derived from plants that is indistinguishable from hormones created by the body. One reading lead to another...Progesterone is precursor to Testosterone, Esterone, Esterogen, and so many others and we need right ratio of them. So if I could get my hands on plant progesterone and supply myself, all the others will come out balanced. If one is lacking in progesterone, she will lose the ability to sleep. She will also lose the ability to counter the high cortisol level from many stress. Adrenal glands are overworked when there is no progesterone. So I began to restudy how each glands and organs worked and how to restore the balance.

I sought a NP (nurse practioner)  who was an expert in Natural Hormone Replacement therapy. Although I started to treat myself, it was very reassuring that she set out the dosage and duration I needed and how to go about in treating myself.

For the last three weeks I have slept every night, and when I wake up I know I have gone through deep sleep cycles.

With this experience I thought, what if I become a mid-level practitioner like NP or PA (Physician Assistant) or PP (Pharmacist Practitioner) and work with an MD who feels the same way that I do about getting to the source... What would that take? Is it possible? I committed to work full time until Lizy graduates from college. Then I can go to grad school for 6 semesters and take all the exams... OK I will be 62 when Lizy graduates. I will be 65 when I am licensed to practice as a mid level practitioner. Why Not! I can keep myself healthy and bring others to health along with me! Excitement is building up! Like I FINALLY KNOW what I want to be when I grow up!