June brings to mind summertime, weddings, vacations, anniversaries, fresh produce, family time, working in the yard, and being out of school. Speaking of weddings and anniversaries, I have become acutely aware of how couples interact with one another. Perhaps it is where I am in my own life, but I have become The Great Observer. Recently I have encountered a variety of patients, male and female, who are in different stages with their relationships. Some are blissfully happy and are still married to their first spouse. Some are equally blissful in a second marriage. Others are “stuck” in a marriage whether it is the first, second, or third. Dating, marriage, work, and other interpersonal relationships all require attention, cultivation, and nurturing. What happens when stress and health imbalances take a toll on a relationship though?
Many of the imbalances that people live with day to day have a health component. Either their hormones, brain chemistry, nutritional status, sleep pattern, gut health, or some other part of their makeup is out of balance. My job is to listen to my patients tell about what’s going on in their lives and then I can determine which tests we need to begin with. Once the results are in, we can develop a game plan to get them back on track. Of course, seeing my patients’ health restored is really wonderful, however, I am even more excited about how their renewed health and outlook on life affect their relationships and lives as a whole.
I have seen some really amazing things and heard some beautiful stories right here in my consultation room. Being an optimistic romantic at heart, I love hearing of these evolutions and restorations of health, love, and prosperity. I’ll share a couple of them with you so that you can possibly find hope. I have changed their names to protect their privacy, but their stories are too encouraging to not be shared.
Lela is in her early fifties and initially came to me with “hormonal problems”. She had gained some unwanted weight and was depressed. Her smile was forced and she confessed to me that she felt no emotion. She had recently lost her mother, yet she could not grieve and could not cry. She felt disconnected from everyone and from life in general. Lela was going through the motions. Testing revealed testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone deficiencies, neurotransmitter imbalances, and abnormal cortisol levels. Within two weeks of adding bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and nutritional supplementation, Lela was laughing and smiling, had more energy, and had even noticed a tear when she sat down to play her newly-tuned piano. Now, several months later, she is full of life and energy and her smile is no longer “forced”. Her life is still busy and carries its own degree of stress, but she’s able to deal with it and is fully engaged in life.
Linda and Will have been married 49 years and have been through more life challenges and struggles than most couples their age. Each had noticed a decrease in their energy levels. His three part time jobs (after retiring from the military) kept him busy and stretched really thin. When had he had time to actually grieve alone and with his wife after the death of their youngest daughter six years ago? Linda had a hysterectomy years ago and had noticed a gradual decline in her health, but kept pushing on, refusing to give up. In addition to low hormone levels in both Linda and Will, their test results showed that stress affected their bodies differently. Two months after implementing their individual treatment plans, Will and Linda announced they were both feeling better and were planning another cruise. Their private jokes and laughter indicated they had reconnected and were once again enjoying life together. And oh…Will resigned his three part-time jobs and has one full-time job which he thoroughly enjoys and he’s home every night.
I hope these short illustrations give you hope or at least make you smile!
For more information on how your imbalances and feelings of disconnection might be health-related, call Lynda Avery, FNP at 601-620- 0370 to schedule your initial consultation. Legacy Health Center is located at 16 Bellegrass Blvd., Hattiesburg, MS 39402.