Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Dear Dr. Pat
I’m 48 and last November I had an ovary removed and also a D&C and ablation for heavy bleeding.  There was no endometriosis or cancer for which I am thankful. Since then, the changes in my body are just outright wrong! Prior to this year, I would look forward to winter just so I can wear my flannels and comfy warm jammies. This year? Lo’ and behold, if I could, I would open the windows (winter), turn off the heater and be happy as a clam!! If you knew me, you’d know anything under 75 degrees is cold!

My husband asked me to describe it so here it goes: First you are wakened from a deep sleep with a sense of sheesh, what’s going on? Then you start feeling the heat, first your chest. God forbids you’re wearing a bra at that moment! Then your neck and hair: in my case, my hair curls up when it gets wet, so guess what? I go to sleep with straight hair and wake up with a bunch of curls! Then, here it goes, the moment I dread: it feels like a bag of popcorn must feel inside a microwave during the popping part!! That is the only way I can describe it. I throw off the covers and my nightie. I run to the bathroom and throw cold water on my face, then bamm! I am freezing again. Back on with the nightie, the cover and at this point I am so agitated I can’t sleep.

Every morning I wake up tired and it is cumulative. I am tired during the day and chase the fatigue with coffee and sweets for energy. So, I am gaining weight, too. This has been going on now for seven months and we are starting summer. I saw my gynecologist and she did a complete checkup with blood work for thyroid and menopausal hormone levels along with a pelvic sonogram and mammogram. The good news is that everything was normal. The bad news was that my estrogen levels are still normal. She discouraged me from starting hormones at this time and offered to give me a drug for depression that decreases the hot flashes but I passed on that. What can I do before I return to see her in six months for more hormone tests to see if I can begin hormone treatment?

Rose

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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. June 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Mickey,

    Thanks so much for reading and joining in the conversation. Sorry that you have been avoiding the medical community, but I do urge you to keep preventive care on your to do list.

    Dr. Pat

    Reply
  • Mickey June 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you so much, Dr. Pat. Non-medical, non-drug intervention. Excellent. I’m so past menopause. However, here’s the individual thing. I think I’m still have occasional hot flashes. Not serious sweating ones, but I don’t know. And I don’t have a primary care physician much less a gynecologist. Avoiding the medical community with all my strength. Sorry. Just can’t figure out how to meet the right ones here in Tucson. My favorite doctor retired years ago. Empathy and knowledge is what I seek but since I’m on Medicare, it’s a roll of the dice. Now I need cataract surgery and the medical cost is keeping me from scheduling it. I need new tires first! ha, ha. Thanks again. Too much coffee. How I do run on. We thank you again and again for your excellent words.

    Reply