Not too long ago I went to the gynecologist for the first time. It was pretty painless, actually. I expected it to be way more traumatizing since I was basically laying naked on a very uncomfortable table-chair for her examination. That and she had her appendages up my lady parts. I’m cringing now, but it really wasn’t that bad.
I found out a whole bunch of things about myself! I have a whole bunch of overgrown breast tissue (I think it’s fibrous tissue) due to my caffeine addiction. It gets worse with caffeine. While I will not stop, I will decrease my intake of coffee, especially since I don’t really have as much need for it at this point. The tissue makes it painful and a little difficult to do self-breast exams, but it was great news to hear because I was afraid of why it was so painful to do it myself. She also told me I had an infected external cyst, which, well, now I know what those things are. Oh yeah, and she said I might have polycystic ovary syndrome and/or HAIR-AN.
I had to go in for a sonogram and blood work. Sonograms suck. I never had to pee so badly in my life and the technician kept poking and prodding, like she’s supposed to. It was so painful. I’m not sure I know where my ovaries are either. She stayed on the right side of my body the entire time. I always thought one was on the left and the other on the right. Not one a little more left from the right. It was odd. And I’m still confused about it.
She mentioned cysts at the time, but I was told not to worry about it. My doctor called me the week after once the radiologist had seen my sonogram and left a message. She said everything “looked fine” and that I had “nothing to worry about.” We then played phone tag for a few days. The next time she left a message with me, she was serious and said that my blood work was in.
So Saturday morning, after another morning spent on blood work, we finally connected and she told me the news. I have polycystic ovary syndrome. Otherwise abbreviated as PCOS. Male hormones produce cysts in my ovaries. From what I’ve read, it is my insulin overproduction that made it all happen. I am still in doubt about that. The doctor said that my insulin was affected by the PCOS, not that it caused the PCOS. I’m just really confused about it and I’m not entirely sure what to do or think about it. I mean… regardless, I’m dangerously close to having diabetes (“You’re only 24, you’re too young to have diabetes.” – doctor).
Well, I know what to do about it. She said I need to cut out sugar and go on a low-carb diet. I need to exercise every day and do strength and conditioning every other day. I will also have to start taking birth control pills. She wants me to go back in six weeks to do more blood work, but I’m not sure it’s really going to change at this point. I should have asked more questions, but I was very proud of the ones that I actually asked, such as, what the hell am I supposed to do (but nicer, of course). I could call her, but I’m still absorbing things.
Honestly, sometimes I wonder if it’s really true. My periods were horrible, irregular, inconsistent–I went months without my period at the beginning of this year and when they started again, they were so painful and so terrible. But… like… that’s not entirely odd. It happens to people. Other people with PCOS physically show characteristics and apparently my sonogram was “okay.” I’ve had blood work before and no one ever noticed it. No one said that it might be an issue. I just don’t understand, I guess.
PCOS is thought of as a genetic issue, but, in my mind, the only problem in my family was having too much going on in the uterus, not the ovaries. My grandmother was too fertile for her own good and so was my mother. My mother also had a benign tumor the size of a six month fetus. The uterus was what I always thought would become my enemy. However, my mother decided to tell me the day after about the family history of PCOS; my great-aunt and second cousin have it. Fabulous.
I’m only in day four of this realization. I’ve been having difficulties adjusting to the diet change and the thoughts that sprang up from this. It has been a bit difficult for what I’m sure other people would think are shallow reasons. They were important to me. I think that my condition must be mild.
So… that’s been my week. Phone tag with my doctor who gave me some bad news. And PCOS.