Today's post, brought to you by way of this night owl, I LOVE owls (random fact about myself) is about my diagnosis with PCOS and then tomorrow with IR. It'd be the longest blog post ever if I tried to fit it all in one.....what can I say? I like to give the details. I'm a detail oriented person (another random fact for you!)
When I was a senior in high school back in 2001 (yikes, has it really been 14 years!?) I began to gain weight very quickly and very out of the blue....and I mean 50+ lbs in one school year quickly! That's not even 12 months. At the time I mostly contributed it to what I would now call my "teenage rebelion" days. I was skipping school, going out to eat with friends. Sleeping all day while my mom was at work. You know, normal teenage stuff. The kicker was that I always, and I mean ALWAYS had to have some kind of hard candy with me. I remember thinking this is not right. I NEEDED that sugar. I can still see the little tupperware containers I used to carry around my candy in my mind. Clear with a turquoise lid. Random I know :)
I would get so shaky and need something to bump up my blood sugar quick. After a while I knew that something wasn't right. I shouldn't NEED sugar the way I was. I was terrified I had diabetes or something was wrong. My mom took me to see the doctor. The same one I had been seeing my whole life. He was concerned about what may be going on with me and decided to do a blood glucose test. He ran the test and everything checked out. At this time I was not having regular periods according to the text book. I was having them every other month like clock work, but what was normal for me is not considered "normal" in the medical world. He didn't think much of it though. I wasn't sexually active so birth control wasn't discussed. Life went on as normal. Me with my need for sugar. Me with my irregular periods.
At the end of my senior year I got married to my high school boyfriend, my first love. I went on the pill, continued to gain weight at an alarming rate and still craved anything sugary. We were young, things ended and I went off the pill. My periods never returned.
I didn't have medical insurance at the time so I went to a clinic and had my annual exam and we were discussing my periods. I told her how I hadn't had one in 6+ months since I went off birth control. The next words out of her mouth I will never forget. Here I am 19 years old and this nurse/dr from a clinic tells me "you're probably not going to be able to have kids". My heart sunk because I wanted more than anything to one day be able to have a family, at least one baby. She tells me this news without running any tests and with no reasonable explanation as to how she came to that conclusion, just based on the fact that I haven't had a period in months. She put me back on birth control to regulate my cycle and that was the last time I saw her.
Fast forward a few years to 2005. I got remarried and moved to Washington State. Bellingham. Has anyone been there? LOVE the PNW! Such a beautiful place.
We had been married almost 2 years when I got my official diagnosis. During the time that we lived in Washington we never used any form of birth control. I never got pregnant so I just assumed, well that nurse must have known what she was talking about. I just figured it wasn't in the cards for me, had no idea what could be wrong with me. In 2006 PCOS was still a fairly new syndrome and not a lot of doctors had any idea about it or what it entailed.
The time came for me to go get an annual and since I was new to the area my mother in law suggested I go see her doctor since I didn't even know where to begin looking for a doctor.
So I went to that dreaded appointment. You ladies know what I'm talking about!
I'm sitting there in my paper gown waiting for the doctor to come in. Thinking it would be just like every other yearly visit I had in the past. How wrong I was!
She came in and we were chatting, I was telling her how I hadn't had a period in almost 2 years and about that doctor that told me I wouldn't be able to conceive but didn't have any answers as to why. She said, "I think I know what's wrong, but lets do the exam first" so that's what came next....the pesky exam. I'll skip those details since we all know how those go, but the short version: legs up, invaded privacy, a little discomfort, coldness and a tiny bit loss of dignity.
After my exam I sat up and she said another set of words I will never forget. She said "I think you have PCOS" My mind went a million different directions. But at the top of those thoughts was WTF is PCOS!?!?
And that folks, is how I received my PCOS diagnosis! Tomorrow I will talk about how she came to that diagnosis and everything that followed next to lead to my IR diagnosis.
One last thing before I go to bed, it's 1 a.m. here, I just want to let all of you that are struggling with PCOS know that I am here. I'm here for you. For support. For ideas to help you. To let you know what has worked for me. To listen when you just need to vent but don't have anyone that understands. I'm here to be your friend and virtual shoulder to cry on when you feel like you just want to give up trying to beat this syndrome and the insulin resistance that seems to go hand in hand with PCOS in a lot of women. I will hold you up and do my best to help you along your journey. We are all in this together!