PCOS Awareness Month: My story (so far)


It’s been almost three months since my last period. Three months might sound like a long time but I’m the same girl that has gone years without having a period so at this point, I kinda can’t complain.

“Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries). PCOS can cause problems with a women’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance.”

– Healthline.com

It was 2011. I was in my first year of uni and I went to see my doctor as it had been about 3 years since I had a period. She immediately freaked out – apparently my old doctor was very wrong when he said that it was just my body adjusting after a round of depo provera that I had when I was 15 (you’ve gotta love bad medical advice!). I was sent off for blood tests and an ultrasound of my ovaries. The blood test wasn’t so bad, but I am seriously scarred from having a strange man prod a giant dildo shaped ultrasound wand inside my vagina with a bladder so full that I almost pissed myself as he did his inspection. The experience was unpleasant to say the least.

My results came back and yep – she was right – I had PCOS. I was 19 at the time and absolutely mortified. I had so many thoughts running through my mind.. Would I ever get pregnant? Why the fuck didn’t that first doctor give a shit about my concerns years ago? Why me?!.. I was lucky to have a very supportive boyfriend at the time (thanks Johnny – I’ll never forget the way you always cared for me) and friends who were there to figure it all out alongside me. I was given Metformin to help control my insulin resistance and advised to go on the pill to regulate my period.

Now if anyone has ever had to take Metformin, you’ll know how much of a shit time it is. Literally. I followed doctors orders and took my 500mg pills once a day until I built up some tolerance, but then after I eventually got to 1500mg a day and shat myself in the car on my way home from work, I decided that I wasn’t yet ready for medication. Met does awful things to your stomach and I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone.

Women with PCOS have ovaries that create an abundance of follicles each month without producing an egg. PCOS can contribute to irregular periods, depression, excessive weight gain (despite diet and exercise efforts), acne, and excess facial hair.

– Women to Women

A few years have since passed and my biggest struggle has become my weight. I don’t have the hairiness issues, my acne has finally calmed down in the last year or so, but my waistline has increased. I’m not overly fat, but I’m far larger than the girl I used to be. I try really hard to cut down on unnecessary fats, sugars and additives, but as a busy twenty something it can be really difficult to be perfect 100% of the time. I’ve tried getting rid of gluten, and have slowly introduced a larger variety of veges into my diet, but I still have so far to go. I sit comfortably at about the same weight with little fluctuation, so at least I’m not getting bigger.

Fertility is something that I am going to have to take seriously someday soon. I know the stats – I have to reduce my BMI to increase my chances of pregnancy. I’m only 23, but I’m getting married in just over a year and kids are in my 5 year plan. I think it’s been about 4 or 5 years since I’ve properly taken a contraceptive (beyond condoms) and despite numerous amounts of unprotected sex, I haven’t fallen pregnant. It hasn’t really been a big deal to me in the past as I was in no position to have a kid anyway, but as my life is becoming a bit more stable the reality of children is much closer than it has ever been before.

At this point in time, I suffer with PCOS but I don’t have the motivation to fully kick it in the ovaries just yet. I’m comfortable with ignoring my problems for a little bit longer. If you thought this would be a positive and encouraging story about how I overcame my diagnosis, I’m dreadfully sorry that I haven’t been able to give you that today. This chapter of my life is still open and one day I hope to be added to the list of chicks that have an empowering message to share. I’d love to hear your experiences with PCOS, maybe you can motivate me!

 

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Turning one page at a time

If you could have told me six years ago that this what I would have achieved by the age of 24 I would have laughed at you. At the age of 18 I was determined that I would own a house, have a long term relationship, a rewarding career and potentially even a child.  Here I am, only just hitting my career off the ground and making decisions based on maybes and the unknowns.

Many of my friends are engaged, married, pregnant or are a parent already. Your’s might be too.  I used to question if I was moving to slow and if I  was ticking the right boxes for a 24 year old. Over time I accepted that I am where I am because I did what I did to get here.

My story as a twenty something is  not what I anticipated it to be.
For me, establishing a career is alot harder than I thought.
For me, getting this far in my studies to only want to study more was never on the cards.
For me, having a home and being a mother is not a priority right now.

It is so important to be proud of what you have achieved. Give yourself time to reflect. Give yourself some time to be in the sun and under the stars. Life moves so fast and the people who go with it. Your friend may move in one direction and you may move in another. Put your heart into the things you love. Distance yourself from the people who bring you down.

Turn one page at a time.

 Bridget x

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A chaotic decision

It’s nearly been a year since I made a choice to walk down a road without him. I convinced myself I could do all I wanted to do, alone. Somehow he was the only thing holding me back from being able to travel and move up in my career. Realistically the only thing holding me back from anything was my negative mindset and inability to blame myself.

He is normal twentysomething guy with a strong personality, desire to know all there is about technology and innovation and has a unique music taste. He has many friends. He is renowned for his ability to have fun. He teaches himself something new every day. He spent time on us. He sacrificed what he could for us to be happy. He truly loved me once upon a time.

We had been together for a few years and were fortunate enough to  share the experience of university and life on the farm. He lived in another city to me for a year and then worked in another city for another year. He came and spent most weekends with me. When university came to an end we moved in together twenty minutes from the city to live life on a farm. He was a dairy farmer and I moved into my role of communications and events in the city. Some would say we were set up well to start a family. Some would say we were set up for failure.

I would blame life on the farm for my unhappiness. The farm definitely wasn’t for me. I put it in my head that he wasn’t willing to move back into the city, even though he was. I blamed him for my uncertainty –  I wasn’t willing to let him help me through it.  One day, I gave up.

December last year I made the decision to let go of the one guy in my life who persevered with me through university. I made my decision in a time where I was unsettled. Through the chaos in my mind I decided to leave all we had, and him.

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The first month was fine. Okay, it hadn’t sunk in properly. Two months in and boom emotions came out of nowhere. I was definitely by myself. My levels of motivation dropped significantly. My levels of confidence hit ground bottom. What had I possibly done? I had burnt a bridge and it was not going to repair itself any time soon.

I did not become a new person as people say you do – I just ran with life as it came. Some days I would cry. Some days I would laugh. Some days I would socialise. Some days I ran away. Some days I over achieved and others I would do the minimum. Turns out the next few months was really just one roller coaster ride I could not wait to be over.

I wanted to message him – he didn’t want to talk to me. .
I wanted to fix what I broke- no glue will put the pieces together the way they were.
I wanted him back- I was just feeling lonely.

Seven months later….

Today, I am fine. I don’t message him. I still care for him.
I have grown up. I am less selfish. I am happy.
I know he is happy without that girl I was and who I never want to be again.

Today, he is well. He doesn’t message me. I am sure he will care for me again one day.
He has grown up. He remains selfless. He is happy.
He knows he is happier without the girl I was back then.

I am still unsure what drove me to think I could do all without him or that I needed to leave him to ‘find myself’ – If I gave him the time to talk we may have gone further. I wanted more than I could even articulate. I wanted something I didn’t even know myself.

Bridget x