Still trying to get an HRT Prescription…
Yep, I’m still here – in HRT purgatory. Now, where was I the last time I posted? Yes, no appointment booked at recommended clinic so I decided that to give a realistic picture of how one would go about accessing HRT in New Zealand, I would make an appointment at my local clinic with a GP.
My local clinic is a 5 minute walk so that’s as local as it gets. I walk to the clinic and mention to the lovely receptionist that I have just moved back to New Zealand and I need to register with a GP. That part is easy. And then I ask if there are any GP’s in the clinic that specialise in midlife women’s health and prescribing HRT specifically. Of course, the receptionist won’t be able to answer my request for HRT – that’s the doctors gig – but she does pause when I ask for the doctor that is the best choice for midlife women’s health. And I may have thrown out the word’s “menopause symptoms”. I did notice the receptionist blanch (I really like this word too, LOL). Was a strange reaction from a midlife receptionist who looked mildly uncomfortable at my direct request. Hot flash, maybe?
She looked thoughtful and then suggested the doctor she thought might be able to help me. Appointment booked for 4 days time. Not too shabby.
MEETING THE DOCTOR: On first impressions, we are about the same age, early 50’s. My GP is from the UK and I’m thinking “Great! She’s bound to have seen all the training and messaging that has accelerated in her homeland led by Dr Louise and Dr Rebecca at Newson Health UK”. For more information on these incredible women, check out EPISODE 18 of Sexy Ageing Podcast.
I mention that I have had 27 of 34 menopause symptoms over the past 4 years. My worst symptoms right now are sore joints, tingling hands and feet at night, some hot flushes at night, low libido, foot cramps, dry eyes, skin problems, occasional brain fog and frequent word dropping (sentences I can’t finish). I’m sure there are a few more but I’ve forgotten – hey! That’s a symptom too! And I haven’t had a period in 4 months.
I tell the doctor that I would like to try HRT, that I have researched the risks (minimal) and benefits (major upsides) and I would like to take advantage of the benefits instead of slowly feel myself floating away into oblivion when I have at least another 40 wonderful years ahead of me. I would like to NOT have the symptoms I have and that HRT will help me. To which she said:
“Consider Raynards? Yams. Risk. Blood Test. Natural”. Words of that nature to which I won’t expand on because that would be pointless. So if I am a typical peri menopausal women who visits her GP and doesn’t know she has peri menopause symptoms and tells her doctor of the plight she is in, she is far more likely to be prescribed medication for anxiety, depression or migraines than HRT. That’s shit.
To redeem my GP, she was really interested to hear about the good work being done in the UK and she said she would feel more comfortable with me having a blood test first and a mammogram (as it’s free and I’m 51), and then for us to meet up again to discuss the next steps. I obviously have only ONE step with three letters – H.R.T.
I have to applaud the NZ Health System for free everything – blood test and mammogram – and with reasonable pace. Will update soon! In the meantime, check out this YOUTUBE Interview with Dr Rebecca Lewis as we discuss HRT.