I have PCOS...Maybe?
I think I'm finally ready to start sharing my story, my experience, & everything that I've learned over the past month. It's been the worst roller coaster ride of my life, but I know I'm stronger than whatever it can be. But let's begin with the "beginning."
My little history: My periods have NEVER been regular & I've always skipped months here & there - especially if I was stressed. So I've never thought anything of my periods when I would skip here or there. If there was ever a scare, I'd just 'pee-on-a-stick' to calm any nerves. The longest I've skipped was maybe 10 months, but it was also during one of my most stressful years. So of course, when I didn't test positive for being pregnant, I summed it up to my stress.
Now let's fast forward to this year.
January 3, 2018: Ended a normal 8 day period.
January 9: Began period again. I did think it was really odd, but I was really stressed so thought, "maybe it's starting up again because of that?"
January 30: Went to the ER for 3rd day of heavy bleeding ( I was bleeding through those thick over-night ones within 4 hours )
My ER nightmare: I had my blood taken & a urinary sample to run some tests. Then I spent a couple of hours there before the "doctor-in-charge," or whomever, came in to tell me all my tests came back normal & that what I was experiencing was NORMAL. He said that until I go on birth control, my periods will continue to be irregular & would only get LONGER. He gave me pain medication to help with my "menstruation cramps" & to hopefully help slow down or end my period. I've never been more upset with my treatment than that day, with that doctor. I did not think this was "normal" & neither did any other professional I talked to that day. I decided to just take the loss & meet with an OBGYN at a later date.
February 5: Met with my OBGYN practitioner & was started on birth control pills.
February 12: Had an ultrasound and transvaginal ultrasound done. I had to go to an outpatient center & the doctor there said she believed with my symptoms & how the ultrasounds went, that I have PCOS ( Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome ) & briefly explained it a little that there are cysts on my ovaries that are causing a hormonal imbalance & for me to not ovulate regularly like I'm supposed to & that my next steps are to meet with my OB to discuss the results further, but there is still a chance I need to get a cyst removed.
* Images used from Google
I feel like this is the closest ultrasound pictures I can find on Google, that look similar to what I saw on the monitor. My best description when I tried to explain it, was it looked like a chocolate chip cookie. I didn't have the "typical" PCOS "pearl necklace" cyst formations, but I clearly had cysts or something.
February 21: Met with my OB & she said she doesn't think that I have PCOS. That I'm not showing enough symptoms & that these are clinically diagnosed so it's based on my symptoms & test results. Other than the cysts on my ovaries, everything else had seemed pretty "normal" for my age group & that we will move forward with seeing if any of the cysts need to be removed. She said my birth control will work as hormone therapy since my body isn't producing enough of the right hormones to cause me to ovulate regularly every month. After my next ultrasound, we will meet again to discuss the results & my "next steps" as well as discuss how the birth control is going; whether I need to up my dosage or any of the symptoms I'm still having.
March 1 - 3 : I have another ultrasound called Sonohysterography scheduled for April. It's supposed to be like the transvaginal I had, but this time a saline water like substance will be inserted into my uterus as well to give a better image of the cysts. But currently on March 1, I'm on day 3 of my period, the placebo pill week of my birth control pills & the pains are unbearable sometimes. They don't feel like normal cramps & are sometimes so painful, that even lying down hurts a ton. I've spent majority of the day in bed and tried to take Midol & Aleve ( not together obviously ), but neither of them helped. I've also been leaking through maxi, nighttime, thick pads within 4 hours again. It was the same for March 2, but finally March 3, I've begun feeling a lot better & haven't been bleeding through pads as quickly.
I think the most annoying thing out of the past month has been using sick leave for work because the pain was just so unbearable. I knew there was no way I was going to make it through 9 hours of work. I work in retail so I'm on my feet for 8 of those hours & with customers; many of which don't give a care that I'm in pain, etc & expect me to perform and do my job. I hate that this has affected my life & in a way, setting me back, putting such a big damper on my mood & just been a real pain.
I posted this picture to Instagram & I was surprised how many women I personally know, also experience similar things. I was happy to know that I wasn't alone in this. While the situation itself isn't something to celebrate, it comforted me to know people & that I wasn't alone in this & if I needed, I could always go to these people. Opening up about it & hearing other people's stories & the comfort it brought me, encouraged me & inspired me to open up & help others. I think this is something that I, personally, really hated going through. Even though Brian has been super supportive & has been taking off to take me to the doctors & has been reminding me that he will go through this with me, it's different because he doesn't really quite understand the way I'm feeling emotionally & physically. To talk to other women who went or are going through it, hearing their tips & what's worked for them, has really helped me cope with what I'm going through & give me strength that "it's going to be okay!"
So moving forward: I've decided that even though my OB doesn't think it's PCOS, I'll kinda treat it like it is & change my lifestyle to fit what my body needs. You can definitely expect more from me focusing around my new lifestyle & how I'm doing it, because I don't like cutting things cold turkey, but I need to do a 360 on my lifestyle.
If you have PCOS, or something similar & would like to share, leave your story below or message me! I'd love to hear your story as well as anything that has helped you!