Monday, June 20, 2011

The Beginning of My Journey

This is a very personal long post with probably a little TMI, just so y'all know! 


Friday I found out that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

I'd been feeling like something was wrong for awhile.

I stopped taking my birth control pill last August. Mainly because I thought it was making me crazy but I was also having bad migraines and I wanted to rule that out as the reason before I spent a lot of money going to a neurologist. Anyway, everything was ok and completely normal until February when I missed my period. After 3 negative pregnancy tests and still no period after it being 10 days late, I decided to make a doctors appointment. My doctor basically told me my body was reverting back to the way it was (extremely irregular) before I started the pill and told me to come back if I missed my period for 3 cycles. Well I ended up starting my period in March. Between March and now I started noticing some really weird things going on that I had never really experienced before.

My face has looked like an effing teenager. I was blessed with a clear complexion but these past couple of months you'd think I was going through puberty with the outbreaks I've been having. I've also been having awful night sweats and my hair is falling out like crazy in the shower. Those were the things that I noticed the most, but bloating, insomnia, fatigue, general PMS symptoms, and mood swings have also been coming and going over the past 3 months.

Anyway, I've been keeping track on a calendar of when I'm supposed to start my cycles (based on 28 days) and this week I was supposed to start again and didn't. This was the 3rd cycle I had missed. So back to the doctor I go, just as she recommended.

When I first told her I hadn't had my period, I got a very nonchalant attitude... "oh that's normal" "let's just put you on birth control" etc. Then I started mentioning these symptoms (and might have started crying in there too).

She immediately said PCOS.

Apparently these are classic text book signs of PCOS. She didn't even run any tests.

So, what do I do from here? Well, there's no cure really. Right now what we have to do is control the annoying symptoms I was having by taking hormones. Which means back on the pill I go. She gave me a prescription for progesterone to take to make me start my period and then I'll start taking the birth control every month.

The part that scares the shit out of me is the fact that we have no idea what is going to happen once we're ready to have kids. Yeah, I know I said a few posts ago that I didn't even know if I wanted kids. This has kind of made things real and I know I want them one day, I just don't want them now.

Anyway, the doctor said that when we're ready to start trying I need to start taking folic acid for a couple of months and then stop the pill. She said there's about a 3 month window in there where I'll ovulate because I'll still have the hormones in my system from the birth control and there's a very good chance I could get pregnant then. (This is why my period stayed on a 28 day cycle from August until January when I stopped the pill. The hormones started wearing off so I got later and later until I had no period at all.) But if I don't get pregnant then we will most likely need fertility help. Depending on how bad things are at that time affects how they'll handle it. She didn't really go into detail about that and said we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

So, I'm trying not to worry about that part right now. Even though now since I found out it seems like I'm seeing pregnant women every time I turn around. I swear I saw 5 pregnant ladies at Costco on Saturday and there was one at the nail place too. I know that's just me being sensitive and I'll have to get over it. Just writing this post has been therapy for me!

Honestly, I'm kind of relieved. I'm really glad that all of the symptoms weren't just in my head. And I'm relieved that hopefully I will have some relief from these symptoms with the birth control. You have no idea how annoying it is to wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, to be exhausted during the day but then can't go to sleep at night, and to have big painful zits popping up every day like I'm 17 again. (Well, you might know how annoying it is if you've been through it).  But I am praying really hard that these go away with the birth control and we'll cross the path of fertility issues when we're ready.

The doctor also mentioned something about a low carb diet. Honestly, I was still stuck on the fact that I had PCOS so hearing about a low carb diet kinda went in one ear and out the other. She gave me a pamphlet, but told me there are PCOS websites that have more and better information for me. I'm still in the process of searching and going through those. Apparently, there is a link between insulin resistance and PCOS - I'm not going in to details on here about that because not all of you are nurses and will understand a word I type out. You can google it if you are intrigued. Anyway, a low carb diet can help your symptoms and even from what I've read can almost get you back to 'normal'. (and help with weight loss too!) So, that is something I am going to have to work on little by little. I'm the carb queen so this is going to be exceptionally hard for me.

After all the googling I've done, I've found out that PCOS is very common. I found on one website that 1 in 10 women have it. So I'm sure some of you reading this have had this same heartbreaking talk with your doctor or will eventually have this heartbreaking talk with your doctor. This gives me hope. It's not some rare disease that doctors aren't familiar with or something I can die from. If this is the 'bad' thing that God has handed me, I can handle it.

In the end, it's in God's hands. When it's time to have kids, we'll figure out what His plans are and we'll pray and let Him take us through it.

That's all we can do.





28 comments:

brynn. said...

such a scary situation, but you're doing the right thing by putting it in His hands :)

praying for you!

mrs.mfc said...

I'm sorry to hear this Savanah. I don't have PCOS but there are tons of people who do. There is a TON of info online.. especially when it comes to trying to get pregnant with PCOS. I didn't realize how common it was until reading about it all over the message boards on thebump. Try not to worry too much about getting pregnant until it is time to try. Your doctor will have all kinds of suggestions and options for you when the time comes. Definitely find a support network online. I hope you can get it under control soon. The good news is that you know about it! Now you know you can treat the symptoms, and you have a head start for when you do try to get pregnant. Again, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this.

Caitlin said...

Hi Savannah,

Thank you so much for this post. I was diagnosed with PCOS two years ago, and when I found out, I felt completely totally alone, like I was the only woman in the world who had this disease. I want you to know that you are not at all alone. I just started blogging, and I have been debating whether or not to talk about having PCOS; I know I'm not quite ready for that yet, so thanks in the mean time for giving me a voice. I think I've commented on your blog before, but I'm a friend of Katie and Meg O's, and I would love to chat with you any time. Because PCOS sucks and is incurable, I don't have many answers, but I at least have a shoulder to lean on.

Praying for you,
Caitlin
finerthingsofli.blogspot.com

Maura said...

Aw Savanah, it's all going to be ok! I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 17 so I know that fear and I've talked with a lot of doctors about it so if you ever need to talk or vent or whatever, I'm here. Praying for you pretty girl. Just have faith.

Michelle said...

You are amazing and I can't even tell you how much I admire you for posting about this.


I'm always here if you need anything and I'm sending prayers your way.

Michelle

Valerie said...

Savanah,

I'm so sorry to hear about this! I was diagnosed with PCOS back in January, and I'm still having a hard time coping. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby since last August, and things aren't really going as planned. I start fertility treatments next month...eeek!

My symptoms are crazy. I'm super emotional. I've gained 40lbs in the last year. I have acne and hair loss and weird hair growth in random places, and sometimes just feel like I'm a total mess!

But, I hope you're coping well! As soon as I found out, I made it out to the parking lot before I called my mom and burst into tears. A good cry to your mum always seems to help!

Let me know if you ever need someone to talk to!

Katie said...

Big hugs sweetie. If you ever need to talk I am here for you. PCOS is very common, please remember that and that it's not all you, and you are not alone.
<3

Jessica said...

I was kind of diagnosed with PCOS. I have some of the symptoms, but the doctors aren't really sure. Since we weren't looking to have kids then, I just went on birth control. In December, we've decided to stop the pills. I guess we will figure everything out after that.

This is a very common thing and there is lots of information out there. Do your research and everything will be okay.

Heather said...

Savannah, I know how frightening this is. I don't have PCOS but I know I could be facing the same battle as you. You're right, it is in God's hands. I'll say a prayer for you, sweet girl!

Heather said...

Savannah, I know how frightening this is. I don't have PCOS but I know I could be facing the same battle as you. You're right, it is in God's hands. I'll say a prayer for you, sweet girl!

Kylee said...

Saying a prayer for you! He will get you through this :)

Celia said...

Savanah - How scary! I'm here for you if you ever need someone to speak with.

Katie said...

I'm so sorry, Savannah...I don't have PCOS, but I have endometriosis, so I can relate in some degree to what you're going through. All I can tell you is that things will get better, and you will get through this. Right now, you need to take care of you - get lots of rest, eat good foods, get exercise, take time for yourself to just relax. Give yourself those moments where you just need to cry and scream and kick something, and then pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and ask yourself, "ok, what is the next step?" and take it.

You can do this, and you are not alone, I promise. If you ever want to talk, you know how to find me. :) ::hugs::

Meg O. said...

Savanah, I hope you don't mind a preggo lady commenting on this post! lol.

Anyway, all kidding aside, I know this is a tough struggle. I can only imagine how you feel, but just know I'm there for you! If you want to do a therapeutic shopping trip or grab a low-carb (or not) lunch some time this summer, I'm totally down for that.

I haven't ever experienced anything like PCOS but I have struggled with adult hormonal acne for quite some time now. I have been able to keep it at bay for the most part. I'd be happy to share with you some things that work for me.

Meghan said...

I am so sorry to hear all of this, but it sounds like you have such a good attitude about it all. You are so right - everything is in God's hands. I love the phrase that "If He leads you to it, He will lead you through it." Smiles:)

tara said...

oh girl, i'm so sorry to hear this! i think you have a great attitude about it though and you know that God will never give you more than you can handle! xo!

Holly said...

I know this has to be tough on you, but your positive attitude and faith will see you through. It is so scary to see friends go through this because this could happen to any of us girls! <3

Jennifer said...

I never knew how common this was until you told me about it last week. I promise that God has a plan and he knows exactly what he's doing in your life.
I'm always here for you and I hope you know that I will always pray for you.

Kerbi said...

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I'm praying for you!

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this! It is best that you've found out about it now and can hopefully get through this! You are a strong, wonderful person! Things will work out for you! :) Sending positive thoughts your way! XOXO

klcmaher said...

You did the right thing Savannah. You left it in His hands, and shared with us. See all the prayers already in His hands? I started praying before I finished reading. Whatever His will, things will work out for the best.

Ashley said...

Sorry to hear this news, Savanah. Praying a lot for you dear!

Tracy-Girl @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

Oh my goodness, regardless of kids or no kids, it's still scary to not know exactly what's going on. I am sure with your nursing background it helps to know a little bit more than most people about your body. I bet it was a relief to know you were listening to your body when it was trying to tell you something.

I just found your blog, so glad I did!

Neely said...

So sorry :( I am praying for you! Here for you if you need to talk :)

Amber said...

So sorry you had to hear that news, sweet girl! It's a hard struggle, but like you said God will bring you through it! I'm always here if you want to talk, xoxo

Eboix said...

I do not know about this first hand but a couple of my friends have PCOS and they have told me about it. I will keep you in my thoughts and send happy vibes! I think its good you found out now so you can take the proper steps to manage it - it will all work out in the end! Stay positive!

Keeping up with Kindra said...

so sorry to hear this. my friend was diagnosed with it a few years ago. she is doing well and keeps a positive attitude about it. thinking of you!

Laura said...

Hey sorry I am just now playing catch up on reading all my blogs and I heard you say something on twitter last week about getting bad news. I know how you feel. I will never forget how my heart sank when I got the news that I was suffering from PCOS. Sadly I have learned that everyone who has a slightly different story. But all start with that sinking feeling. Many calming prayers, just remember you aren't alone.

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