Charlie and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to create Bella Vita Medical Center. It is through our own personal experiences with natural hormone replacement therapy that led us to this opportunity. Our stories, which you can read below, are not unique to the patients we serve but rather typical of the positive life changes that restoring and balancing lost hormones can provide.
Because of the positive life changes we’ve experienced and the strength it has had in restoring our marriage; our outlook on life itself and in our interactions with others, we are committed to helping those who suffered as we did to find the same peace and resolve we found through our journey.
This is not just a job, it is our mission. If the pages within this site speak to you; if you keep saying to yourself and others “I don’t feel like me”, don’t suffer needlessly anymore. Call us today and find out if our services may be right for you or for someone you love.
The name says it all, Bella Vita – “Beautiful Life”
Charlie and Susan Cannata
Back in 1993 I was riding in the car with a dear friend of mine who was experiencing menopause. I’ll never forget when she said to me “Susan don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not suicidal, but I couldn’t care less if I dropped dead”. I was 33 at the time and had no concept of what she was going through. I rattled off all the wonderful aspects of her life, hoping to shake her out of her funk. She looked at me with despair. Fighting back tears, she shook her head and said “You just don’t get it”.
Fast forward to 2010, now it’s my turn. In a matter of months I had gone from size 8 to size 16. I was constantly irritable and irrational. Little things would set me off. Everybody and everything agitated me. When I wasn’t mad, I was overwhelmed with despair. Everything felt like a chore. But the fun didn’t end there – I had to suffer a new indignity – stress incontinence. Then came the heart palpitations. Twice I went to the hospital because I was certain I was having a heart attack. They sent me home both times with a diagnosis of “Panic Disorder” even though they admitted what I was describing didn’t actually fit the criteria. I ended up spending the next year clutching my cell phone “just in case”.
I foolishly turned back to smoking, desperate to get the weight off. I was drinking more and more – wine was the only thing that made me feel normal for a little while. Then one day I was sitting on my back porch when the heart palpitations kicked into high gear. Instead of being afraid, I remember thinking “Just do it and get it over with. At least I’ll be out of my misery.” And I thought back many years ago to what my friend had said to me “You just don’t get it.” Oh I get it now!
On top of everything else, my husband and I had just reconciled six months prior to all this. The year before I had asked him for a divorce and we separated. Back then he was constantly in a foul mood, barking complaints and all told, very unpleasant to be around. It wasn’t just that he wasn’t attracted to me sexually anymore; he didn’t seem to even like me as a person. It broke my heart, but I didn’t want to stay where I wasn’t wanted. Luckily Charlie realized he was about to lose his best friend and was motivated to fix it. We went to marriage counseling and Charlie started looking for his own answers. After many trials and errors, various physicians and medications, his medical research led him to BHRT.
Three months into therapy an amazing thing happened….The man I feel in love with was back! He had all this energy. His mental fogginess was lifted, he had a great attitude, his sense of humor had returned – he just seemed to enjoy life again….and his sex drive was back.
But all of a sudden mine was diminishing and I made the Wicked Witch of the West look like Dorothy. Charlie practically had to drag me to the clinic to start BHRT. Looking back now I wonder why I was so resistant. I had seen firsthand what it had done for Charlie. The only thing I can figure it was fear – what if it didn’t work? Better to have no hope than to have your hopes dashed!
It wasn’t as easy for me as it was for Charlie. What took him three months took me nine – and I was starting to get discouraged. But it DID work! I’m back to loving life, feeling healthy, no more palpitations, sleeping well and enjoy a healthy libido (Charlie’s very happy about that!). I’ve learned now through my own experience and that of our patients that everyone responds a little differently. Everyone requires their own unique mix of hormone levels to feel their best. Hormone replacement is not a one size fits all treatment.
Charlie and I are now both dedicated to bringing this experience to others. The hundreds and hundreds of stories we hear from our patients – stories not unlike mine – continue to drive that dedication. Some nights when we’re cuddled up on the couch, we reflect back to our separation and shudder to think what we almost lost and can’t help but ask – how many good marriages are wrecked due to hormones?
If you’re still reading this, obviously something in my story hit home. Until you go through menopause or andropause “you just don’t get it”. When you finally do “get it”, you can be so overwhelmed it becomes all too easy to give up on yourself – who’s got the energy right? And what if it doesn’t work?
But what if it does? Bella Vita has thousands of patients who were sitting right where you are now, feeling the same kind of despair, asking the same questions. The difference is they came in to see us. Come find out for yourself. Bella Vita always offers a free consultation. If you want to find out more, a simple blood test will tell us where your levels are at. Take a few minutes to look around the web site. You can “meet” our staff, review the medical research and see what others have to say about Bella Vita.
When you’re done, pick up the phone and call us to find out how you can “Have a Bella Vita”.
BELLA VITA means literally “a beautiful life”
Have you reached that point in life when you’ve stopped and said, “I just don’t feel like ‘me’ anymore”? I had that moment when I reached my mid-50’s. It’s a pivotal moment….it’s an “eye-opener”.
It’s also expected with age. As we grow older, we don’t seem able to do the things we once did or at least do them with the energy and enthusiasm we once had. I always thought of myself as being energetic; able to go at full push all day and still have energy left over to enjoy the “off” time. But as I grew older, the energy waned more quickly, and it took longer and longer to regenerate. I felt as if I’d lost the enthusiasm that kept me going. I thought this was how it felt to get old.
By age 55 I had been an RN for 30 years. I had medical experience in general med-surg, coronary care, respiratory disease, oncology and intensive care. I spent 15 years in emergency medicine. I’m an NFPA Certified Firefighter/EMT and a NAUI Certified Rescue Diver. I was accustomed to waking from a dead sleep, expected and able to transition to full functionality within seconds to answer an emergency call. Now, I could barely stay awake after 3 PM. What was going on? I went to bed tired and woke up tired. I wasn’t ‘me’ anymore. No matter how I ate or how much I exercised I went from 180 pounds to 225 pounds. I had lost control.
These changes were beginning to affect not only my working life but my marriage as well. I’d been married to my best friend, Susan, for about 15 years at that time and she was noticing the differences, too. I had little energy or enthusiasm for our relationship and our “times together” were farther and farther apart. I felt irritable and angry all the time and quite frankly wasn’t much fun to be around. So much so that at one point we separated because she felt I didn’t want to be around her anymore.
With my medical knowledge I began to think that perhaps a medical reason may be the etiology of my decline. I decided to get my hormones tested. My testosterone level was dangerously low. I began to research treatments. I tried the gels; to no avail. Then, I tried the injections. The injections raised my levels to the point that I knew I had discovered the cause of my symptoms – but the synthetic injections had their own set of drawbacks. The more I read, the more I was drawn to “bio-identical” testosterone pellet therapy. Now, all I had to do is find someone who offered that type of therapy.
I was fortunate to find a local provider and after a consultation I decided to begin treatment. I’ve never looked back. I’m in my third year of therapy with bio-identical testosterone pellets.
I’m 62 years old as I write this and back to 185 pounds, which weight I’ve maintained for the past two years. Susan and I have been back together for nearly 3 years now and my relationship with her is closer than it’s ever been. Our “times together” are better than they were years ago and she doesn’t have to wonder if I’m interested in her. My enthusiasm for her and for life is back.
I can ‘think’ again, have the energy to live again and my work is my passion. I know there are others that are suffering needlessly and they need to know that hope for change is just a phone call away.
The biology is really simple. Hormones signal our cells to function. When hormones decline, cells fail to get a signal and fail to produce the essential substances they were designed to produce. Symptoms develop. Restore the hormones and you restore the signals essential for cell productivity.
Bella Vita Medical Center is here to help you explore the possibilities. Our web site is designed to provide as much information to you as we can about the benefits, side effects and risks of therapy so you can make an informed decision about your life now and your years ahead.
You can schedule a free consultation with Bella Vita to learn more about what we offer. There’s no need to suffer the symptoms of hormone loss.
Come in and speak with us. I’m always happy to share my story and share the information and research I’ve accumulated over the years. What better way to help others than in helping them regain “lives lost” (or just temporarily misplaced).
Aging doesn’t have to mean getting old. Educate yourself, read the literature, ask questions and arrive at your own informed decision. A wise man once told me, “When your natural hormones are in balance you are healthier in every way.”
Thanks for reading my “Bella Vita” story. I look forward to hearing yours.