Spring into a better understanding

Spring in my step…

I did it! My first nurse practitioner talk is behind me, and dare I say, I think it went well, and I hope to do it again soon. During the first weekend of April, I presented at the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association’s annual conference, the talk was called “More to a Cycle than Just the Period: Tools for Connecting Teen Girls to the Power of their Hormones.” Like with my last few emails, I reviewed the characteristics and symptoms of estrogen and progesterone in relation to the mood and energy level of the typical teen and presented tools for learning about the hormones and tracking the symptoms. The tool was my dream up, and this talk let me put the idea out there for other providers to see and use, it was a fun experience. This picture is Siobhan Benham, APRN and I, after my talk (she was my biggest cheer leader and for that I am grateful).

I signed up for this talk nearly a year ago, because I had an idea for a handout that I wanted to make for my patients, but needed motivation and a deadline. Up until this point, I literally printed from Google and copy and pasted the features I needed, it was always last minute and always silly looking and I knew I could do better. So, after being accepted for the talk, I reached out to a local graphic designer, Kerry Uhlendorf of Sherpa Ants (known for her fun interactive maps of the White Mountains and beyond) and off we went into deep design mode. I took my Google images and shared my vision, and she made it all come to life. And, the most exciting part is that all aspects of the work she did stand alone as images, so I can move them and use them as I wish…so dreamy for a visual learner/teacher like myself.

This tool is a bit of a culmination of the last few emails, where estrogen and progesterone are described, but with a spin…instead of a page full of words, I have mapped it out with the hormonal curves that us health care folks are used to seeing and the seasons! Yes, yes, yes, the same four seasons that we New Englanders can all relate to and I can use to describe where you are with your hormone levels and what it means for you at the moment. This idea works for the teen, as mapped out on the current diagram, but modifications are in the works for women in all phases and stages, from getting support with conception through the symptoms and care needs of the post menopausal women. These are the tools that you will get access to during our appointments.

Along with this pretty teaching tool, I have a new symptom tracker that I want to share today, along with the spiral monthly tracker that I began the year with. This second tracker is the one that I use when women in come into care with symptoms of concern as we make adjustments and work toward the healing goal. While there is a section to track the menstrual period, it is all the symptoms around it that give us the most information on hormone function. I have big little dreams with these tools, including the hope that other providers will start using them in their offices too (website will be updated in the coming weeks with a place where they can be downloaded for use in other offices as well as personal use by non patients of mine), and possibly a print out version for 2025 with cute colored pencils…but in the mean time, give it a print and try, and let me know what you learn about yourself that you never knew before.

Click here to to see and download the new tracker, and bring it along to your next medical appointment to use as a tool between yourself and care team.

I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who have sent me feedback on my news letters, I will keep on learning and sharing, I have a lot of ideas and things to say😊 And an extra thank you for those who have come back to see me in person. As summer approaches, my office hours will expand and I hope the word gets out that there are other options for your routine and unique women’s health related care needs.

Check out my website for a reminder of my services, and click here to book an appointment.