"Surgical Menopause - Desperate For Help!"

About: Leverndale Hospital / General Psychiatry Stobhill Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

After receiving surgery in April 2016 of bilateral salpingo oopherectomy, I have been plunged into the depths of surgical menopause. I was not offered HRT after my surgery, nor at subsequent follow up appointments with the Consultant Gynaecologist who performed my surgery as he felt 'I would manage fine without it', despite my telling him that I was starting to struggle badly.

I struggled on for a further 17 months, finally breaking down and having to be referred to mental health services and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide as my symptoms had become unbearable.

After being thoroughly assessed and very kindly treated by the staff at Leverndale Hospital, the Consultant Psychiatrist determined that my mental distress was caused by hormonal imbalance due to surgical removal of my ovaries, and that I was suffering from severe insomnia due to nights sweats.

I then somehow found the strength to contact NHS complaints, and an appointment was made for me to see a doctor at the Menopause Clinic at New Stobhill Hospital. The doctor advised that I should use gel HRT, applying as needed. I subsequently had problems with determining a therapeutic dose and had absorption issues, and the doctor emailed my GP to change my treatment to an oral HRT.They made an appointment for me to be seen again in his clinic almost 7 months later, in February 2017.

I have a family history (Mother) of DVT and Thrombophlebitis - indeed, my Mother was using the same oral HRT whilst she contracted DVT and it was subsequently stopped. As I had no further contact with the doctor at Stobhill to discuss this and my appointment is 7 months away, I have reluctantly started this treatment. Subsequently, this last weekend I have now developed severe vertigo and vomiting on this drug and had to be seen by an out of hours GP at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. The GP suggested I reduce the dose, and speak to my GP. This I have done, and my GP is reluctant to change my drug regime as it has been prescribed by a Consultant despite it obviously not agreeing with me.

I have also attempted to contact the doctor's secretary to attempt to communicate with them directly, but was informed they are on annual leave for 1 month.

I seriously cannot go on like this. My quality of life is non existent since my surgery, I am 47 years old and care for my disabled son. The decline in my health and the distress this has caused has impacted greatly not only on me, but also my son and my husband. I am terrified to be 'parked' on a drug that is not only ineffective due to the sub therapeutic dose I can tolerate (the dose I am receiving is very much lower that indicated for treatment of surgical menopause symptoms), but also causing me horrible side effects and which the prescribing guidelines contraindicated in my case due to my close familial incidence of DVT.

Surely there has to be some way I can access help? I am truly desperate. I hope that someone may read this who may be able to take up my case and help me to access the appropriate treatment I need to help me, my son and husband to have a quality of life together again as a family.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Petrichor,

It is clear you have already been through a long and difficult journey which still hasn't come to any real resolution for you as yet.

I have sent your comment to the service managers for them to reflect on, however it would really help to look into your individual case more clearly if you would contact me with your personal details. That way we can look into the journey you have already had and work out the best way to move things forward with you. My direct email address is lorna.gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk. I hope to hear from you soon.

Best Wishes,

Lorna

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Update posted by Petrichor (the patient)

Dear Lorna,

Thank you for kindly responding to my post on Patient Opinion. I have forwarded my details to you via email - any assistance that you are able to offer would be very gratefully received.

Kindest Regards.

Update posted by Petrichor (the patient)

I have happily received an appointment with another Consultant following separate contact with NHS Complaints. However, despite emailing Lorna Gray and contacting her office (she was on leave at the time, but I was assured a message would be relayed to her), I never received any contact from her which was rather disappointing.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story