So I got sent home today. They said I looked ill still and I should go home and get some rest. I have actually had a couple of days off already. I told work I had a tummy bug because I just don’t think they would be supportive or understanding of mental health issues. So after leaving work this morning, I popped into a friends house and had a chat with her and my aupair who was there with my son having a playdate and I talked to them about how I feel. I showed them the post I wrote earlier about how I was feeling and they both urged me to go back to the doctors – maybe we could change the anti-depressant I was on. So I rang up and managed to get an appointment for later this afternoon.
I went into my appointment feeling pretty dismal and low but when facing a doctor I always have a tendency to want to put on a smily face, so I explained how I’d been feeling and showed her my post that I’d written earlier. We chatted for a bit about what anti-depressant I’d been on and how long I’d been on it and she explained that in order to go onto a different anti-depressant, I would need to first come off this one, which, as I knew already, could be very difficult. But I said I was willing to give it a go. Then she asked me a few questions about what contraceptive pill I was taking. I told her which one – the mini-pill – cerezette I think its called. And she told me that that’s a progesterone only pill. She looked into my history and told me that from the records it looks like I’d been put on THAT pill because of mood problems. So she thought for a while and eventually she said “I’d like to try you on oestrogen”. I didn’t know what she meant exactly but she explained that she runs a hormone clinic a few times a week and she sees people like me every day who have had depression and mood trouble from puberty and for a lot of people it is down to too little oestrogen in their system. She said that progesterone is basically all the stuff that gives you the pre-menstrual tension and oestrogen is the happy hormone. She also asked me if I suffered from post-natal depression. I said that I did – worse with the first than the second child but I did still get it. She asked me a few more questions like:
- How was my sleep – fine mostly
- Did I get headaches – not particularly
- Did I have itchy skin – BIG FAT YES
And a few others I can’t remember. I was so impressed with her and how thorough she seemed. I’ve also never been asked about this kind of thing before. I’ve suggested to various doctors before that as I seem to get worse before a period, couldn’t it be hormonal, but I’ve never had anyone say there was anything I could do about it! So, she wrote me a prescription for some oestrogen patches that I am to put on below the waist and some little sachets of oestrogen gel that I can apply if I’m feeling particularly low.
I went away from there feeling shocked. Happily shocked. Relieved. There might actually be a reason why I’ve been like this for 22 odd years!!! There might actually be a physical cause other than that I just have crappy depression genes (my grandmother on my dad’s side suffered with depression and my dad is an alcoholic – to me just a symptom of depression – and I don’t mean “just” in a dismissive way). I went to the pharmacy and spent next week’s money on my two prescriptions – £16.00. But you know what? I don’t care. Not if it works.
I then went for a swimm and jacuzzi at Nuffield and thought a lot about it. When I got home I put my first patch on.
So this is me.
Day 1 of Oestrogen Therapy
Put patch on at about 7.30pm. Feeling much better just for having been given a ray of hope that is not just more/different anti-depressants. Have set reminder up on phone to change patch every 4 days.
My medicine – couldn’t figure out how to flip picture over!
One of the patches
Sachets of oestrogen gel to apply to my arms if I get down