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.