I had a trauma April 2012. A ladder collapsed and I fell 6 feet, breaking my elbow in two places and wrist in two places. The surgeon had to cut one more elbow bone to fix it. I was in the hospital for 10 days, and therapy lasted a year and a half. I never had a period after this fall and started having hot flashes and night sweats. I was tired all the time and probably a little bitchy if you ask my husband. I went to my family doctor to see about getting hormones. She told me she did not like to put her patients on hormones and recommended Effexor, a mild anti-depressant for the hot flashes and mood swings. Well, it worked pretty well, but after a year I was gaining weight. 40 pounds to be exact. At 5-feet tall, an extra 40 pounds is like carrying around a mountain. And not only that, my new mountain was needy! She demanded new clothes that would shield her from the public. She insisted on going with me everywhere: to the store, to parties, into the bedroom with my husband. My mountain made me tired and lazy. My mountain made me sweat and cry. In December, I had all the hardware taken out of my elbow to gain more mobility. I did physical therapy at Ft. Sam, which took three hours out of my day, three times a week. I did well to make it to the gym once a week. The hot flashes and night sweats got worse. I went back to my family doctor asking for hormones again. She said, let’s change your prescription to 150 mg. She said, if that doesn’t take care of it, we will talk about hormones. I called the nurse a couple weeks later telling her I wanted to drop my dosage back down because I was gaining more weight and still having hot flashes and not sleeping. My doctor called me back that afternoon and said I had not given the prescription enough time to work. No, it only had enough time to turn me into an Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. My wonderful cousin Vick told me our friends were opening a Women’s Health Clinic in Denver. I was hoping they were doing tummy tucks or eye lifts. I could’ve really used either one to lift my spirits. My husband was going to Denver for work, and I asked him if he had time to see Kathy and Hope to check out what they were doing, and if it would help us. It was like a Godsend when he got home and told me they were doing bio-identical pellets (no dangerous surgery, no tucking!), and it will help me feel better for sure. I said, “What does it cost?” He said, “You are worth it.” I have such a good husband. First, I went to their website and took the survey to see if I was a candidate. Luckily, I was. Kathy told me she could find me a clinic in Texas. I said oh no, “I trust you and Hope, and I want you if I am going to do this.” I didn’t mind coming to Denver a few times a year. It’s beautiful and I love seeing Kathy, Hope and my new friend Wilhm. These gals will always go above and beyond. I knew if I wanted to feel better and live my best life, I needed to listen. First came the 10-day gut cleanse. I was really worried about following the plan especially when Kathy said, Tina just do your best (ha!), but to my surprise, the plan was not hard to follow and my husband liked the recipes, too. I started feeling better just doing that, and the bonus was losing 9 lbs. I was never hungry. The only downside was I got a headache from not drinking coffee the first couple days but never missed the coffee or wine after that, during the cleanse. I am reading a few books that Kathy recommended on bio-identical and menopause. I never knew hormones did so many things in our bodies. I went to Denver last week to get my bio-identical pellets. Hope walked me through every step. She is so smart and has such a passion for helping everyone feel better and live their best life. I am finally committed to healthier eating. My daughters have been vegetarians most of their lives, and I see why now. You do feel better and have more energy without all those processed foods in your gut. We still eat meat and always will, but not as much or every day. I lost another two pounds this week after the pellets, just lying around, letting them work. My body must like finally being balanced. My daughter said, “Oh, Mom, you’re so skinny!” I’m not “skinny,” but I am thinner and much more alive. More me, less mountain, less Oompa Loompa. I am looking forward to the next few weeks’ changes. My whole family is healthier for this choice.