This week we will get into when I found out that I have PCOS Polycystic ovary syndrome. Right now here is a little life update on why I have been slightly MIA.
This week we are changing things up since I am stuck at home. I have had a cramp in my left leg for the past 3.5 weeks. It hurts to walk, sit, and lie down… you name it, it hurts. I don’t know what it is even though I called my doctor. She suggested I go to the ER for an ultrasound because she thought it might be a DVT (blood clot). If it was that it could dislodge itself and could travel to my heart and cause a stroke/heart attack.
I ended up going to the hospital a day later and got the ultrasound. It wasn’t a DVT so that is good, but they said it was muscle spasms. They gave me a muscle relaxer and sent me on my way. Well, it’s been 3.5 weeks now and it still hurts. If I do take a muscle relaxer it doesn’t help. It does not relax the muscle at all.
So with being in the house, this pain has made me couch-ridden. It’s been hard to work sitting at the computer for my day job. If I am uncomfortable sitting here for my day job, then I couldn’t sit here to write a post. It makes me feel so shitty for not posting.
Finding out I had PCOS Polycystic ovary syndrome
I was so excited about my series “Top 5 things to do in Florida by county“. Yet, with this leg cramp/charlie horse, I have been stuck inside. Today I am forcing myself to sit and write something. I figured I would talk about my journey with Polycystic ovarian syndrome. I thought this leg cramp issue had something to do with a medication I was taking. Although it could have been a side effect of not taking my medication.
It was 2 years ago when I found out I had Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women who have this may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods. Also, they may have excess male hormone levels. Ovaries may develop many follicles known as small collections of fluid. Women with this condition may fail to release eggs on a normal basis.
Not to be confused with PCOD Polycystic Ovarian Disease according to UNICEF “In PCOD the ovaries start releasing immature eggs that lead to hormonal imbalances and swollen ovaries, among other symptoms; while in Polycystic ovary syndrome, endocrine issues cause the ovaries to produce excess androgens, which makes eggs prone to becoming cysts.”
Never have I been to a doctor
Growing up I did not know this was going to be the bane of my existence. That is not true, but that’s how it felt. I thought because I didn’t have my periods as often as other people I was lucky. If I knew any different I would have gone to the doctor sooner. So for years, I thought that having my period every 3 months or sometimes not having it for as long as a year was great.
I wish that when I told my mom that I wasn’t having my period she would have taken me to the doctor. Going to the Doctor was not on the list for my mom. We didn’t have the money for visits. Not related but I remember one time I was coughing so much I would vomit. If I wasn’t vomiting I was coughing so much I couldn’t catch my breath.
My sister told my mom that she should take me to the hospital, my mom tried everything to convince my sister I was fine. My sister being adamant, finally convinced my mom to take me. She took her precious time getting dressed to take me to the hospital. all in all, it turns out I had Acute Bronchitis, Mono, and Pneumonia all at the same time. I told you Doctors were not on her list of things to do.
With that example, I had never been to any type of doctor, let alone a gynecologist at all. My first time going was 2 years ago when I got the diagnosis.
My First Scare
In 2010 in college, I remember getting my period so bad. I told my friend who was in the nursing program at the time. She said it sounded like I was having a miscarriage and my heart broke. (My eyes teared up writing that, that’s how heartbreaking that was for me).
My then “boyfriend”, the one I was in an abusive relationship with. He picked me up from school and brought me home to change my clothes. Where I found his other girl hanging out in our living room. At that point I didn’t care what was happening I wanted to go to the hospital. She was trying to be nice and tell me about the cysts on her ovaries and how she couldn’t have kids. It was not making the situation any better and was pissing me right off.
We get to the hospital and into a room. I had already told my sister where I was and she was on her way. She gets there and I have to use the bathroom. I walk down the hall to the communal bathroom. There is no toilet paper where I am sitting so I had to walk across the bathroom to the shelves to grab some and turned around…
Blood was EVERYWHERE!! I started bawling my eyes out thinking “OMG what if this is a miscarriage??” I poke my head out of the bathroom door and ask the nurse to get my sister. My sister comes down and walks in I am bending over trying to clean up my own blood. My sister says to me “OMG who did you murder in here?” I started bawling again, she told me not to clean it up it was their job, but I felt horrible for leaving it.
I get myself cleaned up we head back to the ER room and the doctor comes walking in, I am so nervous. I have never had anyone look at my vagina or see it/touch it besides the person I was dating. It almost felt like I was cheating on him. I had to get over that fear and let him do what he MEDICALLY had to do.
The doctor made me more embarrassed because he put my legs up. He makes some kind of joke like “Oh, I thought you said it looked like a murdered walrus down there”. I got so upset by that. He follows up with it doesn’t look bad down here. My sister then shouts to the doctor. “Tell that to the person down the hall who cleaning up all her blood off your hospital bathroom floor”.
Needless to say, they told me I had irregular vaginal bleeding and I needed to follow up with a gynecologist. With that traumatic experience, I wasn’t going anywhere.
I regret my previous decision
Fast forward to 2017, I was with Mike now. I had the same thing happen again while I was taking the bus to work. I bled through my pants on the bus. Embarrassed again, I called my boss from the bus and told her what happened. I didn’t get off the bus till the last stop they made at the mall. Which was a 40-minute extra ride from my stop… I wasn’t going to get off, but the driver wouldn’t let me sit on the bus while he went to use the bathroom. Although, I tried to whip it down as I got up so he wouldn’t see.
I went and stood off to the side of the mall by myself and called my sister. She had an office full of patients and couldn’t come to get me. I called Mike who was at work and said he would come to get me. Mike was a half-hour away from the shop where the car was and roughly about an hour away from where I was. He said he would haul ass and get to me.
He hauled ass so much that he got to me in an hour, instead of the hour and a half I thought it was going to be. In the meantime, while I was waiting for him, I had bled so much it was down to my ankles on my pants. He had to stop and get trash bags so I could put them down on the seat in the car. We drove straight to the hospital, where they told me the same exact thing years earlier. They said it was Irregular Vaginal Bleeding and to follow up with a gyno.
Something needed to change
This time I knew I had to. The nurse told me if I couldn’t afford to go to a gyno because I didn’t have insurance. She goes to a clinic that is income-based in New Port Richey. I bit the bullet and made an appointment there.
I had to make an appointment to see the Primary Care Doctor first before I could see the gyno. So I met with NP Judith who was so amazing and made me feel so comfortable. We talked about everything that had been happening and found out I had high blood pressure. She prescribed me medication for it. She then referred me to the gyno at their facility.
The following week I met with Dr. Connors, who again made me feel very comfortable. I explained what had brought me to her office and her response was by looking at you I know you have Polycystic ovary syndrome. She explained where I carry my weight on my body and the extra facial hair I have. Which was embarrassing, but she said not to be.
You name it, I had it.
She went through the symptoms and checked every box on what my issues were. Even ones I didn’t think were issues. We still did all the tests to confirm I did have PCOS Polycystic ovarian syndrome but also did a biopsy to make sure I didn’t have endometriosis. That is a whole other issue in itself. Thank the heaven above that I didn’t have that because I didn’t realize I wanted kids. Till the option that my body might not be able to come into the equation. I started to tear up at the thought.
Mike was with me through the whole process, it has been a journey one I am still fighting. The Doctor gave me medication to help me have my periods and I am happy when I get my period every month now. With the guidance of my doctor, we are on the path for me to have kids. I always make jokes to Mike like”Lord let me have one that’s all I ask is one child of my own after that do what you will”. LOL
What are we doing now that we know
For the first 2 years, Our main focus was to get my periods regular which they are with the help of Provera. So now we are focusing on losing some weight even though it is hard to do when you have PCOS Polycystic ovarian syndrome, not impossible but hard. I am down 10lbs and still going. Once the weight is down then we will work on getting pregnant. which I am fine with. I need to work on being a better version of myself. Looking back now I was following in the footsteps of my mother.
She died young and I don’t want that. She was 64, I am a little over half of her age. I want to live a long happy life with my future kids, step-kids, and husband. I have so much I want to do in this life and I need to change all the things I grew up seeing my mother do.
On top of trying to figure out this whole PCOS thing women also have a bunch of other things that can happen to our bodies. Have you heard of a Bartholin Cyst? I didn’t until a few months ago when I got one. Check out the blog post if you are interested. FYI… it is a bit TMI. Bartholin Cyst Survival Guide.
Which isn’t going to be easy, but I am ready for the challenge.
Follow me on Instagram to follow along in my journey and let me know if you have PCOS Polycystic ovarian syndrome and what do you do to help with the symptoms.