Love Letter to My Pharmacist – Bioidentical Hormones for Postpartum Mood Disorder
I’m sure you don’t remember the day, 7 years ago, when I walked into your compounding pharmacy but I will never forget it. I was filled with a bit of apprehension but mostly, excitement, oh and hope, so much hope!
I was already salivating with anticipation when you invited me into your private little consultation room to explain how to use the Saliva Hormone Test Kit. I wonder if you knew the moment you handed me that little bag containing the test tube that you became one of a small but important string of people that would change my life forever. As I walked out your door that day, you didn’t see the tears welling up in my eyes because for the first time in years I felt like I might be on the right track with my health.
I didn’t know it at the time, really how could I have known what was to come? I didn’t know that day that you would become my “hormone specialist” – the person I would call with my hormone questions while I waited to get in to see my naturopath or later my obstetrician. You probably don’t realize how much you taught me about progesterone deficiency or estrogen dominance. And you surely don’t know that you are part of the reason that I blog about hormone issues today.
When I got pregnant, again I turned to you, knowing you could help me find an obstetrician who understood bio-identical hormones because my doctor’s strategy for treating post partum depression was typical – to write a prescription for anti-depressants. You helped me find Dr. A, who would join you on my list of life changers.
Being ever watchful for postpartum depression after the birth of my baby, it took me a long time to realize that it was postpartum anxiety rearing it’s ugly head! I had never even heard of postpartum anxiety and couldn’t find much information on it back then. On the day if finally dawned on me that I was suffering from postpartum anxiety I knew enough by then that more progesterone was required. I rubbed some of the “calming” hormone cream into my wrist, but of course then the anxiety took over and worry seeped in that I might be taking too much! So I called you and yet again you came to my rescue! You must have known how badly I was suffering from severe postpartum anxiety. You seemed to know that the three-week wait to see my doctor was excruciating for me. Although you couldn’t recommend a change in my dose, you assured me I wasn’t going to overdose on the small increase. I felt supported and validated and other than my ob/gyn you were the only other person in my life that knew it was precisely what my body needed. Probably some of it was just talking with you that day but as the days went on toward my doctor’s appointment I felt calmer and calmer. My doctor would increase my dose even more to complete my cure. But those three weeks until I saw my obstetrician would have been hell without you. And for that I thank you.
Lillian, that day I crossed your threshold, I suppose was just another day for you at the pharmacy. A day you don’t remember, even though I do. And while you couldn’t have known the journey that I would embark upon when I left that day, I bet you knew that when you handed me that little bag that you were giving me my life back.