Hi my name is Kim Whittemore, aka @kimwhit on Twitter, I am the publisher and co-founder, but hopefully not the only contributor to a blog called Fertility Options. Let me tell you a little about me, my personal journey into infertility and how I chose to investigate, evaluate and ultimately choose my path down the rabbit hole.
(P.S. My first sexual encounter was a daytime rape as a college freshman, not something I thought I would disclose publicly and quite frankly, not something I shared EVER, with my school or even with my closest friends. Not sure why I felt compelled to say it now, but it seems relevant.)
Fast forward….I’m in a demanding global position at AT&T International, three months married, “celebrating” or at least appreciating the positive side of “no periods” ….or better said, incredibly anemic and irregular ones….Yippee who needs all that mess? I am not distressed at all, not in ANY rush to have kids because I have “all kinds of time for THAT” later. I’m gonna be 32 in a month and I am noticing a bunch of odd symptoms – did I even think of them as symptoms? naw, probably just job stress. But the night sweats and the tears on demand? Really? and then the day sweats and flushed face ? embarrassing…intrusive…..unpredictable…….oh crap, “female problems” in a male dominated office.
I went to my local “doc in a box” and saw Randy. He always insisted I call him by his first name. Thought that was so cool. He’d seen me a few times for some minor ailments. We chatted briefly, then he asked, “what’s up?” I described my symptoms, “I feel very emotional, teary at the drop of a pin, I’ve put on almost 10 lbs with no change in my diet or activity, I am sweating like a pig…and NOT just at night, I feel like my face gets flushed throughout the day.” Silence…….then we both looked at each other and he said, “Wow! sounds just like menopause.” We laughed hysterically…uncontrollably…because OF COURSE that couldn’t be POSSIBLE at my age. Ha ha, he drew some blood and said he wanted to run a bunch of labs, “Don’t worry, I’ll call you in few days”.
Back to sweaty, red-faced, emotionally-charged work. Finally the call comes in. “This is REALLY weird, Kim. Your hormone levels are all outtawhack.” Is that a medical term?
Drizzle, drizzle, drizzle, drone….my head was spinning – I hardly remember what was said after that – world re-known endocrinologist, Dr Kupperman…collect urine….not a sample but ALL of it over 24 hours and bring it to Manhattan. It’s A LOT by the way! I recall Dr Kupperman “taking” a photomotogram to test my thyroid, he conducted an elaborate physical exam, took lots of blood and then was injecting different fluids. Sadly I cannot be much more specific…..it was NOT a day I care to recall nor relive.
I think it was the next day when Dr Kupperman called and said, “Yup, you are going through menopause.”
Just like that.
But it gets worse – this news spreads like wildfire and this was BEFORE everyone had smartphones and email and untethered internet access. My phone is “off the hook” with well-meaning folks calling to share their thoughts, potions and remedy’s. In the meantime, I pursued my typical, methodical approach……conducting due diligence of the top ranked reproductive endocrinologists. No shortage of them in Philadelphia, btw.
to be continued…..