Ah, the joys of menapause. I’ve been having hot flashes for years and took some form of estrogen to try and stop all of those signs of aging. I sort of worried especially when studies from America came out placing all sort of problems on the door step of estrogen consumption. Because it made me feel so much better I kept my fingers crossed and kept taking it. Finally, our doctor in Provence talked me into quitting. It was awful-not only hot flashes and interrupted sleep but crabiness as well.

Then a friend who lives in Paris told me that her doctor has her on an estrogen gel and I decided to go see the doctor. It turned out that she is one of the experts in France on women and menapause. She told me that France had done their own study on estrogen and came up with different findings than America. Estrogen gel, rubbed on the inside of my arms every morning, does not cause the problems seen with estrogen by mouth. I also take progesterone in the evenings. It’s so nice to feel normal again. Plus, I am told that estrogen stops the aging process some and my skin will look younger. Works for me.
The doctor, a woman, insisted that I get a bone scan to make sure I’m not suffering from osteoporosis, which I’m not, and that I get a yearly mammogram since I have an aunt on my mother’s side that had breast cancer.

So far, since I’ve lived in France, I’ve had my mammograms done in the States. I still focus on the first chest x-ray I had here in France and the fact that there was no gown for this puritanical American to cover herself with. Finally, I got over it and had a mammogram done here in Paris. The tech was a guy, as opposed to the usual woman in the States, but he was great and it went very well and also very quickly. Everything was negative which is always a great feeling.
What’s next for me in the world of medicine in France? I’m hoping there won’t be any more of the French medical world to experience.

15 thoughts to “Estrogen”

  1. Okay, spill. Did you have to be naked while you had the mammogram? Naked from the waist up? Mammograms are bad enough, although the slip your arm out of this sleeve, insert breast, does seem like a wasted step. My friend went to have a mammogram and the machine was broken. We were imagining that it broke when someone’s breast was stuck in the middle of it and they’d have to get the jaws of life to free the breast. I know, we’re overly imaginative.

  2. Love the screaming statue! Thats how I felt before I went on hormone replacement. I always said I’d never take hormones, but my Dr only prescribes bio identical hormones and they are compounded specifically for me. I’m a much better person because of them 🙂

  3. Oh, the joys I have to look forward to in the very near future! I’m what they call “peri-menopausal”, which is apparently medical-speak for “you’ve missed a couple of months so you’re at the station waiting for the menopause train, baby”.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the photos you chose!

  4. I like the sound of the gel.. I do not take anything at the moment, get a little crabby though. I have been menopausal for a good few years. I could not imagine a man doing the mammogram.. I suppose he has seen it all before 🙂 I might go and have another chat with a doctor.

  5. There is also a hormone patch . I was in Paris a couple of years ago and my Warfrin decided to be allergic to Moi!
    great = $$$
    So I had to see a GP – who was fabulous ! She told me to ASK questions and stand up for yourself with your doctors. I could have kidnapped this woman and brought her back to Australia to open up a business here!!! I had to have a pathology test so I could start dropping the Walfrin and when I got home and sent my path a copy they were VERY interested for in France their test is More complex (read Better!!) so thanks to her I have a NEW Cardiologist , off Walfrin and I ASK questions !
    Its not all bad medicine in France 🙂

  6. LOVE your choice of pictures!! I have the same “symptoms”, but then I think I have always been crabby – maybe I’m even a bit less now – bonus! I believe the pharmaceudical companies have a great interest in pushing their products on us but if something works for a real problem, it’s a blessing!!

  7. I enjoy reading everything you print and take great enjoyment in the pictures. This time around your pictures were fabulous!!! Glad you are feeling so much better. I was just wondering what the feelings were towards hormone replacement in France. Is this something they do for the rest of your life or just a few years? I am interested in the culture differences in women’s healthcare. Thank You! Deborah

  8. Those pics are awesome, Linda! We didn’t have much to do with French healthcare while we were in France, but we liked the bit we experienced.

  9. I never used hormonal therapy because my mother and aunt had breast cancer. I think doctors here in the US were not pro-active about it, too cavalier IMO. ….as many of my friends were taking the hormones even with family history of b.c. GRRR

    I used the cream, but think I was pretty much over menopause by then. I still get hot flashes, and have been getting the since 1984. Yeah, I know, it sucks!!!I only get them now if I am somewhat overheated.

  10. Radiation following cancer surgery caused early menopause and I never had the usual symptoms – I don’t suggest this as an alternative though!!! I’m glad your tests proved you are healthy Linda – and losing the weight is great, I need to do similar. Love these photos to illustrate your post and yes, I hear such good things about French healthcare from my family over there.

  11. At first I was shocked that a man was your mammography technician in France. 10 seconds into my outrage it occurred to me that woman regulary visit male Ob/gyns. Why, here in the States, do we make it a so important to have a female mammographer? Men are not EVER considered for that profession, this I know for a fact as I am an imaging professional. Yet it is perfectly acceptable for men to medically peruse other areas of our anatomy. I think this will be a hot topic at work tomorrow.

  12. Love the choice of photos. My doctor took me off several years back. Then it was awful. Finally, everything has quieted down, and I feel normal, not very crabby, and life’s great. Just had the mammo and bone density last week. Results I hope this week. I have had both men and women here in LA as techs….kind of roll with it I guess.

    Glad to hear all went well. Be well.

    Doris and Bill

  13. The pictures are great to go with the various moods! Mine have not been too bad, and I’m not on anything. Breast cancer took a second cousin from my dad’s side, and my mom had it too although she is now an almost 30 year survivor! I guess if I managed the aches and pains from before I can manage this…..most times!!

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