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UPDATE #4: Acceptance

I have finally accepted the diabetes that came with the increased weight that Prempro generated. I have finally accepted that I have to eat right or the weight won't go away.

Well, since this pops up when people check out Google on my Incredible Agents page... I thought I should update the story.

As of May 3, 2007 I am doing grrrrrrrrrrr 8.

I have finally accepted the diabetes that came with the inceased weight that Prempro generated. I have finally accepted that I have to eat right or the weight won't go away. I have finally accepted that I have to take Prempro to keep my mind functioning.

I came to these conclusions on my own. Not with the aide of medical doctors. My current doctor is a sweetheart. He keeps me safe by taking my A1c which last time was 6.7 which shows good control of the diabetes. My high blood pressure that came on after my divorce.. marriage is good for the heart in many ways... LOL

So I am doing fine. So can you.

Shari (May 3, 2007)
Portland, OR

PS--If you are going thru menopause because you quit taking HRT, email me. n Please. I will share with you my story and where I am now, which is fantastic. I love life. I love my son. I love my granddaughter. I LOVE being a Na'ma.

UPDATE #3: Quitting HRT and then what? I'm back!!!

I am now taking 1 Prempro every other day at the lowest dose possible.

Well, it is me again. HONEST. I am feeling like my old self. For the whole story read the story and updates below.

I am beginning to think that quitting Prempro was the best thing I ever did. Also, starting it back up was even better. I am now taking 1 pill every other day at the lowest dose possible.

It has taken me since July 6, 2002 to find PASSION in my life again. I experimented with Prozac. I tried doing without anything. I tried Prempro at the lowest dose. Then quit again and started it again.

My newest adventure, Lighthouse Business Consultants. LLC is the best yet.
More to come later.... I am back.

"Flying like a butterfly and stinging like a bee!" Just like Muhammad Ali. Go Ali!

Shari Laird  (Apr 2007)
Portland, OR

UPDATE #2: HRT, Quitting and then what???

On July 6, 2002 I stopped taking PremPro after hearing all the media hype about the risks of taking HRT. At a time in my life when I should have been happy as a pig in mud, I was plunged HEAD FIRST into the worst nightmare of my life.

I wrote two previous letters about my experience with HRT and how stopping it threw me into a HORRIBLE HELL I can only say was worse than hell. I like to refer to the experience as HMP or Hyper Meno Pause. I am on the other side now, feeling great and not taking HRT any more at all.

At first I tried to stick with the HRT, taking the samples I was given over time one every other day, then every 3rd day to make the pills last. I felt desperate. I thought I had to have them to make life better. Then I ran into a doctor who did not believe in HRT who said he would give me samples, but told me when I ran out he would not give me more or a prescription for them either. I felt so betrayed.

I took the final samples, every day the last week of September 2004. When I went through one week and then quit... I did not fall apart. I did not get depressed. I felt great. I began a daily journal to find out if I had bipolar or manic depression, which my family was trying to convince me I was afflicted with.

But since I began to journal in late October 2004, my life is getting better and better. I now take a calcium supplement to make sure the bone loss does not affect me. Other than a bout of cold, flu, pneumonia in November, I feel great.

I am through menopause. I have become a true Wisdom Seeker, and I now know that menopause is a time when women do look at their life. Review it. Sometimes in depth. Then we look at death that will come soon. Sooner than we want it to, but it will come. We all die eventually.

Menopause is a preparatory stage for that final stage before we cross over. A time when we reflect. Look back. Regret some things. Rejoice in others. But overall we can see we did the best we could under the circumstances, and we sit back and relax. Watching life come to us on the wings of the grandchildren that begin to enter our life. My granddaughter has become the LIGHT OF MY LIFE. She is two and a half as of December 3rd. I am amazed daily as I watch her learn and grow. I like this stage of life better than any of the others that I lived through—childhood, puberty, adulthood, motherhood, divorce—and I'm settling in to experience the best time of my life. A true Wisdom Seeker.

Best of luck to you. This too shall pass. Things will get better. I PROMISE. The hot flashes and night sweats will end. The depression will pass. Everything WILL BE OK.

Shari Laird  (Dec 2004)
Portland, OR

UPDATE #1, August 2004

I wrote a letter back in April 2004 about my experience with HRT (see below). Since that time a lot of things have happened in my life that would not have affected me in the same way before I quit HRT. I have restarted HRT as a result.

The effects of experiencing menopause at the age of 58 after quitting HRT don't seem to be going away. I am not the same person I was before and don't think I ever will be able to regain what I once was. So I have been trying to cope the best I can in learning how to BE the best person I can become now.

As with any illness or change that affects the body and mind, the physical changes are often NOT apparent on the outside. We can still walk and talk and move through life. But somehow we know inside it will never be the same... much like going from childhood into puberty and from puberty into adulthood.

No one ever told me that I would have to go from adulthood to Wisdom Seeker. As a Wisdom Seeker you find you need to learn more about your body and how to LISTEN to what it is trying to tell you. Whether the change is due to menopause or cancer or some other illness, change is what it is all about.

As with all change, we either learn and survive or not. Going through the experience of menopause creates a situation where some women don't want to live. Many have taken their lives. But more will survive as we learn the importance of listening to the inner voices and learning to new coping skills to deal with the conflict and changes life throws at us.

So, even though I have been tempted to give up more times than I can count, I WON'T GIVE UP. I will learn new skills to cope with the changes that have taken place in my body and my mind. I WILL NOT QUIT. One technique that seems to help determine whether or not something is good for you or not is to hold the object (or something representing the conflict) in your hand and have someone try to push your hand down. If you can resist, it is GOOD. If your arm is easily pushed down, it is NOT good for you. From the CD you are listening to to the food you put in your body—try this and see if it works for you.

Original story, April 2004

I Quit HRT...and Then...

For the first month, I felt better than I had in years. I started taking birth control when I was 21. I continued through my childbearing years, until I had my tubes tied in 1976. By 1982, I think menopause started for me. My doctor put me on Estrogen and AMEN... what a name for a pill. Over the next 25 years I was on HRT. It was not called that back in 1982 when I first started taking estrogen and its companion, AMEN. It was used to combat symptoms of menopause, irritability, hot flashes, etc.

I continued happy as a lark on this HRT until I turned 57 and wanted my periods to stop, so I switched to PremPro. Things were going fine. I was never one to get sick, other than the common cold and the occasional pneumonia when I did not take care of myself.

I will never forget that day in July 2002, when I stopped taking PremPro. I thought I was doing a good thing. The next two months were hell.

I would lay in bed shivering for days, then I would get so hot I turned the AC (air-conditioning) on high. This went on for over two months. I did not know what was happening to me. Depression overtook my mind and body to the point I wanted to die. I thought of taking my own life on many occasions... but did not because I believed that God would somehow pull me through this ordeal.

Yes, ordeal. I felt that someone had pulled a trick on me and stolen my mind and quit making my body function normally. During a family picnic in late August, my son threatened to take me to the hospital and have me committed until they could figure out what was wrong with me.

I finally went to my doctor and explained what was going on. He prescribed SaraFem for me. I took one of the samples as soon as I got out to the car. I immediately began to feel better. Now I know it takes TIME for any medication to start working, but the mind is a powerful machine. It helped make me feel good again.

I struggled with depression through the rest of the winter of 2002. By January 2003 I had started a new job and began to feel better as I got out and around people again.

It was touch and go through 2003. I lost my house, I lost 30 pounds, and I did not care whether I made any money or not. I sold real estate, so that kind of attitude was not helping me financially. Towards the end of 2003, I stopped taking the SaraFem, which I had found out was no more than Prozac.

It is now April 2004. I started taking HRT (PremPro) late in November 2003 and I began to feel NORMAL again. I started out every other day to make the supply I had last because I was so short on money.

Today, I know I am NORMAL again. Tax season is almost over and the new job I took in 2003 is fantastic this year. Wonderful coworkers and great clients to work with. I have hope again for the future.

My only concern is the number of women out there who also stopped HRT COLD TURKEY, who have committed suicide or thought of it. Please email me at <> if you know of anyone who committed suicide after they stopped taking HRT. Or tell someone about this and save a life.


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Updated  05/15/2010