Finding the way back to a better me
By Hailey Hosak
Whether you are young, middle age, or older, experiencing postpartum or a woman experiencing pre or post menopause, you should feel vibrant, energetic, happy, curious, and full of life- mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. If not, maybe there is something more going on….
Who am I?
A Physician Assistant with 15 years’ experience, specializing in both surgical and non-surgical medical treatment in the fields of weight loss, orthopedics, neuro surgery, nutrition, genetics and general wellness. After years of clinical practice and my own personal experiences, I now have a greater understanding of all the components affecting both our physical and physiological state and how these interconnect and tie into our emotional and mental wellbeing. My goal is to take this knowledge and to use it to help others who may be experiencing the same issues but don’t seem to be getting the answers and guidance they are so desperately seeking.
My personal struggles
Throughout my 30’s, I began to notice several subtle changes in my life. I never thought nor paid attention to the little changes taking place over time. As I entered into my 40’s, suddenly all the little changes that had been taking place over the years suddenly felt compounded and working against me. Life on the outside was great; I have my own clinic creating a great work-life balance, with a loving husband who supports me both personally and professionally, and I have an amazing group of friends and family, but internally things didn’t feel as well as things might have looked on the outside.
My husband and I worked out daily. We ate great, maintained healthy weight and body compositions and we led an extremely active lifestyle. However, my energy level never felt optimized, I struggled to lose body fat, I struggled sleeping at night and feeling rested in the morning and it seemed like I constantly dealt with brain fog and slight anxiety. I never had the desire to travel, I never felt like leaving the house to meet with friends for dinner for fear that I would be exhausted the next day. I assumed I was becoming an introvert and this didn’t make sense to me, life should be easier than this….
At the age of 40, my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family. After our daughter was born, just as I thought things couldn’t get worse, everything suddenly seemed to be turned upside down. What I thought was a lack of energy, focus and mental clarity in the past was nothing in comparison to what I was now feeling. My daughter is by far the greatest thing in my life but I was struggling to feel connected, to feel the warmth that I anticipated would come with motherhood and worse of all was the amount of guilt I was feeling towards being a bad mom. I felt I had hit rock bottom. Daily struggles included not feeling myself, wondering who I was and where was the old me? My energy level, motivation and mental clarity had evaporated. My self-confidence was nonexistent and all of this was affecting my relationship with the most important individuals in my life, my husband, new born daughter and all our friends and family.
The “ah ha” moment!
One afternoon, when I had gone into melt down city and had yelled at my husband for absolutely no reason, with a smile on his face, he began to discuss some research he had done on the physiological impact that having a child plays on the body combined with my age and suggested that maybe we run some labs to see what was taking place and if this could help shed some light for the way that I was feeling.
Surely not, I thought. This was waaaaay more than something labs could define. I needed something much more grandiose, like shock therapy!!
With much hesitation I listened and after speaking in depth, what he outlined made sense. It also brought some comfort knowing that there could be an answer and that it wasn’t simply me and/or the way things had to be moving forward for the rest of my life.
The day my extensive lab report came across the fax, I waited for my husband so we could read through them together. Anticipating everything would be normal and that we would need to look further into other areas of help, we began to read the report. Like a Christmas check list, we began going one-by-one down each line item checking off the deficiencies highlighted on the report. MY GOODNESS!!! How is it possible that I am alive??? I thought as we read through the report
My vitamin and mineral levels were so low, that I was breaking down muscle, bone density and was not able to maintain a healthy/normal physiological state. My hormones were either so high they were off the chart, or were so low, that they were nonexistent. Reading through the report, I felt I was in need not of a physician, but rather a team of physicians. My report seemed so atypical and out of whack that surely someone would want to publish it in the New England Journal of Medicine or Nature.
Once we had a definite outline as to the cause of my state, we began to build an outline of how to fix it. First we began a vitamin and mineral regimen. After a period of about 3 weeks, I began to notice a slight difference. This is fantastic! In addition, we added key oils and supplements to help improve cardiovascular function. Once these components were in place, we then met with a prominent hormone optimization specialist who evaluated and prescribed both estrogen and testosterone treatments to help bring all of my deficiencies back into balance. After 3 weeks of treatments, not only did I feel better, I felt FANTASTIC!!! Slowly I began to feel like I did pre pregnancy. Over time I began to feel better than I had felt throughout my 30s! This seemed like a miracle and it all made sense finally. How could I have been so blind and have suppressed my feelings for so long based on my profession? This should be common sense, right? Like so many others today, we focus so much time, energy, and attention on others that we forget about ourselves and our basic needs. We tend to think we are simply getting older and that is how life is supposed to be and that there is nothing that can be done about it.
Based on my personal experience, I am motivated to help others and to let them know there are answers. I have since aligned my practice to include mineral, vitamin and hormonal optimization as well as nutrition along with all the other components that tie together.
Hormone optimization is not the “end all/do all” for overall wellbeing, but it is a giant leap in the right direction and makes up a large percentage towards our overall wellness and state of mind. We can minimize classic symptoms of hormone imbalance, such as fatigue, lack of mental clarity, mood swings, trouble sleeping, difficulty losing body fat, and decreased sex drive.
The month of May is postpartum awareness month and I share my story hoping that it will help to shed some light on what others may or might be going through.
Together, we can find answers and help to create an atmosphere of understanding which leads to solutions.