Must remember to not forget this.
I’ve decided to write about a disease also known as a syndrome because it can manifest in many ways called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I was diagnosed at the age of 21. Yeah me right?
I didn’t realize that getting my first “cycle” at the young age of 17 was a sign too. Getting my first period late was a joy I thought. I was very mature and knew what to do without the help of my mother. I didn’t get another until I was 18 and so started my journey of barely ever having my period. This was also the same year I had a cyst the size of a lime rupture on my right ovary and was hospitalized for which I thought was pretty normal too. I was wrong.
At 21 I had gained 100 lbs. in a year. I was really worried because I had been thin my whole life. I remember going shopping and crying because nothing fit me….nothing! My aunt used to shop at this plus sized store and her clothes were so bad and I knew this was my fate and I just cried. A friend told me about Lane Bryant and I found that they sold clothes that looked liked “normal” clothes but in bigger sizes. I dreaded from that day forward even today to go shopping for clothing. Even now my husband doesn’t like to join me because it stresses me out to try on clothes.
Around this time a friend had me go see my OBGYN since I wasn’t having periods and the 100 lb. weight gain that year. I went. He diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The massive weight gain, my ovaries had tons of cysts on them, and I did pluck hairs from my chin (again, thought this was normal as lots of women do this). If you take all my symptoms together I fit the profile of someone with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The only thing I hated and have shame of is the hair on my chin. I’m grateful that I’m not like some woman where they have beards or hairy chests. It’s not funny either. How hard it must be for them. I have so much shame that people must think I’m a man though I don’t look like one or sound like one. OK I’m lying I hated the weight gain just as much.
I went on the medication they prescribed me and started to eat differently which was so hard. The first hormone they gave me made me very angry. I remember waking up from a nap really upset and not understanding why. It was so bad. I couldn’t control the anger. No more of that hormone.
I was told a couple years later I’d never have kids or the chances would be super slim unless I had this surgery where they’d cut these oval shapes on my ovaries to help me ovulate. Not going to happen. Really not going to happen. So I kept doing everything I could to make my body normal or as normal as could be.
When I started to see a Ovarian Specialist I thought, he’d fix me. I could lose the weight and be OK. This whole time I began to obsess on my weight. I noticed people were not as nice to me as I gained weight. I knew they thought “Why does she eat so much” or “She really should lose some weight” but they didn’t know I tried. I tried everything and nothing worked. I didn’t realize that the insulin in my body was attacking by hanging out in my fat cells making it harder to lose weight.
I thought Acupuncture. Lots of people do it and seem to get better. This worked…..to get me pregnant. I think between the acupuncture and the pill they put me on for monthly cycles that it made my body “normal”. At 24 and much to young I thought to have my first I was pregnant. I didn’t realize I was but smells bugged me, electrical shocks through my breasts, and some other things so I went to the Ovarian Specialist with my mom and boyfriend and he said there was no way I’d be pregnant and they wouldn’t waste our time. We crossed the street to the hospital and I was 9.5 weeks pregnant. Both my boyfriend “now husband” at the time didn’t know what to do but I knew what a miracle this baby was. I was so happy being pregnant. Although I looked just very fat while pregnant I enjoyed my pregnancy. Nothing bad that happens during pregnancy happened to me and that was all that mattered. All except sitting on my chair at my baby shower and the chair breaking. Oh the humiliation I felt. Sad I was more concerned about how embarrassing it was for me then if my baby was OK. She was just fine and born one week early at 8 lbs. 6 oz. I ran into the Ovarian Specialist who said I’d never have a kid without surgery and let him know I was pregnant. He was shocked.
Now I had heard that if you have a baby and have PCOS it can make your body normal. This wasn’t my case at all. Now I had PCOS still and had gained more weight having our amazing Kaila. It just kept getting worse for me. The only saving grace was even though I was “Morbidly Obese” I was never at risk for diabetes with all my tests and my blood pressure was always low.
In 2006 we were discussing to maybe have another child but NOT if I weighed what I did. NOT being this overweight.
I ended up being part of a study of women with PCOS at Cedars Sinai hospital. The doctor Dr. Azizi was amazing. He reran all the tests to see if I had PCOS and I did. No shocker there. They tried more tests on me. I even did this lovely test to see my insulin levels changing which consisted of me being hooked up to two IV’s, having my pancreas turned off, and being given synthetic insulin while taking blood from my other arm for six hours. Oh the joys of PCOS but I wanted to be better. I wanted to be fixed. I even ended up having a biopsy of my fat done to see what was going on. Nothing seemed to work.
Late 2006 I went to see and Endocrinologist at the suggestion of Dr. Azizi. The woman I met with told me that for women with PCOS they’ve found if they have the insulin type like me that Gastric Bypass will reverse the symptoms of the PCOS. I left in tears, called a friend crying, and couldn’t believe I was a candidate for Gastric Bypass. I thought “I must really be fat if they want me to do that” my self esteem went away even more. I made an appointment with the surgeon and did the Psych Eval (found out that it’s not purging if you have a drive through taco and nachos with a Diet Coke) so I was approved for the surgery. I called to check with my insurance to see if it was approved and the ended up speaking to the woman who approved it and she informed me she did, right away, because of the PCOS. I was told I’d be dead by about 40 if we didn’t do something. I’m 36 now, kinda scary.
I was glad that I wouldn’t be an overweight mom to Kaila anymore. I noticed she gained 20 lbs. one year and the doctors think she may too have PCOS she’s now part of a study at Cedars too. They eventually want to catch PCOS when girls are born. That would be great!
I had the Gastric Bypass and felt very alone after my surgery. Maybe I drove all my friends away. No one wanted to visit me it seemed except for one gal from the support group. I was even judged for having the surgery but seriously, if you haven’t had PCOS you don’t know how frustrating it is. How scary it is and how alone you feel. How many changes you need to make just to maintain.
The weight came off. Within one year the weight came off and I was having monthly periods for the first time ever! They were right, it reversed the symptoms of the PCOS. It did also cause my gallbladder to give out on me so in 2008 I had it removed. That had to be so much worse for me. Really, no joke. Had my first and I hope last near death experience from the morphine given to me. I’m now officially afraid of surgery. Yep.
I had heard around 2008 that Gluten is bad for women with PCOS since my body doesn’t process it like yours. I cut out gluten for the most part. I’d have cheats I guess but for the most part none. Since the bypass I couldn’t have things high in sugar or fat either because my heart races and I have to lay down. I did find that if I did eat gluten or things high in fat or sugar that I’d get reverse bulimia and for sure would not gain any weight. I was obsessed with my weight. I was obsessed with gaining the weight back and noticed I’d have eating issues where I wouldn’t want to eat. I really saw by now how mean people are to those with weight problems. You don’t know why anyone is obese so who is anyone to judge?
I remember going to the support group after the surgery and someone said “We’re all here because we ate too much and we got fat” I burst into tears and thank God the Psychologist saw me and reminded the group that some people have diseases that cause them to gain and hold onto weight. That not everyone overate. It made me feel good to hear that but it then instilled in me even more that society doesn’t see it that way.
In 2008 I also started to get weak and not feel right. Turns out all my levels were low. When they say that I need to take supplements I guess they really mean it. I thought I was different. I didn’t think those rules applied to me. I also wasn’t getting enough protein and my hair was falling out. I started to better and take care of me more.
By July 2009 I was feeling good about my body and decided in September we’d try again for child number 2. Knowing our chances were slim we said we’d try until Kaila turned 10. Well less than a month later I was pregnant with said child number 2. I was SO AFRAID of gaining weight with our son. I wouldn’t face the scale when I’d be weighed. I also had all nutrients sucked out of me by said little guy. I was seeing a cardiologist because my iron was so low my heart shrank. I had our little boy a month early via c-section and was fine for some time.
In May of 2011 I thought I’d try weight watchers to lose the 20 lbs. of Liam I wanted to lose. I thought YES, now I can have gluten. By December I was so sad, depressed, and couldn’t stop crying. We thought I had late onset Postpartum Depression. After seeing a LCSW I found out it was because I was eating gluten and had a long term iron level of 2. Not good. I cut out gluten 100% and started to take my vitamins again. Sad, but I had the proof that both were bad for me. I’ve not had gluten since and never will again. It’s not worth all the feelings I had. I even cut on my hand once and didn’t understand why. I didn’t do it for anyone to notice I was just so hopeless.
I’ve noticed the past couple of months I’ve been exercising and eating right but no weight is coming off. When people look at me I don’t look fat but I feel it. I’ve got 15 lbs. of extra skin on me and I try and remember that but it’s so hard to do. I’ve also noticed my periods coming at further distances of time. Last month around the 20th and this month it’s the 30th and still nothing. It scares me that the PCOS symptoms are coming back. It could be also my body changing. It’s just so scary when I am in so much fear over PCOS. With PCOS they say to not have sugars or starches either. I’m cutting those out as well. Since the bypass I’ve been able to have some but I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to beat the PCOS. I’m going back to the way of eating that worked and saving a treat for when one is really needed. Like Diabetes I have to eat a certain way with PCOS and since the bypass take supplements. I want to be around for my kids and husband.
My husband is amazing. He’s been with me through all of this! YES everything!
I’m going to be OK. I have the resources and the smarts to battle PCOS.
My hope is that if I show what I’ve gone through that maybe it will help someone else. I’ve posted below the symptoms and some information on PCOS. Thanks for reading!
Symptoms of PCOS (PCOS is very different for all and three symptoms usually helps to diagnosis PCOS)
1. Weight Gain or Inability to Lose Weight (ME)
2. Absent or Irregular Periods (Amenorrhea or Oligomenorrhea) (ME)
4. Excess Hair Growth (Hirsutism) (MY CHIN)
5. Thinning Hair (ME)
7. Ovarian Cysts (ME)
8. Fatigue (ME)
9. Other Skin Problems. Skin tags
10. Mood Swings (ME)
11. High cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia) and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
12. Sleep Apnea
To diagnose PCOS, doctors use a combination of clinical symptoms (what you experience as the patient, such as excess hair growth, irregular menses, acne, skin tags, weight gain, infertility, etc.) and lab tests. The blood tests to consider are:
Taking Care of PCOS:
Make sure to be under the care of a Doctor who knows about PCOS, eat right, and exercise. PCOS makes it harder to lose weight. Some women can’t have children without the help of hormone treatments and should see a doctor. Be good to yourself and know that you’re not alone. Something I have a hard time doing.
**I’m not a Doctor. I’m a woman with PCOS and this is my story only. Don’t ever quote me about PCOS because this is just my story and what I’ve gone through. PCOS is so different for all women. Thanks!**
I’m completely honest when I say that I would LOVE to have someone come and clean my home on a weekly basis, do my dishes daily, and cook for me. Even though I have these feelings on a daily basis I do get some satisfaction knowing that I cleaned and cooked for my family. When you have a 2,100 square foot home with hardwood floors there ends up being a lot of cleaning. A lot of cleaning especially when there is a little boy known as Super Secret Liam Pants Super Hero living in this home.
I didn’t grow up knowing how to properly clean, it’s true. I’m sure both my mom and other mother showed me but maybe I just didn’t want to hear it. I found out that proper cleaning included cleaning say above the picture frames. ”Really?” it’s not like anyone can see up there or sweeping before moping or rinsing dishes before they go in the dishwasher (which I didn’t have until this past October).
Knowing I’m not a fan of all things cleaning and that I’d rather be reading, playing, or out and about this time of year brings “Spring Cleaning”. I started on the little boys room yesterday and will be tackling the nice living room, dining room, and little boys closet today. I normally really hate having plans changed on me but today was a day where I didn’t care that a friend backed out on the zoo because it is giving me more time to clean.
I have to pause and wonder where these thoughts are coming from because I hate cleaning. I don’t want to dust and swiffer the place. I want to relax and do nothing. Don’t you know how hard life is with Ms. Tween Princess and Super Secret Liam Pants Super Hero?
They’ve always got something going on.
After pausing I find that I’m growing up. Yep, at 36 I’m starting to see that a clean home really does make me relax more, gets the clutter out, and makes everyone happy.
With Easter and Passover (Easover in our home) approaches next week I want my home to be in the best shape it can be for family and friends. It’s scary but I really am growing up.
I don’t know about you but I have a VERY hard time with relaxing. By the time I can relax it is 9pm or later and by then I’m just exhausted.
I have a jacuzzi tub in the event you didn’t know. This lovely old home came with one modern room that included a jacuzzi tub. I used said tub for the first time tonight. Yep, we’ve been in this house since October and this was my first bath with the jets or otherwise.
Terrible that’s how it ended up because I can’t relax. I remember my husband getting me this spa day and part of it included a deluxe bath for 20 minutes. It took me 15 minutes to sit still and not figure out what I can be doing and to shut off my head.
Today was no different. I couldn’t be still and just relax and left the tub dehydrated forgetting how hot it can get.
I do need some real relaxation just like the next gal and tonight showed me I really need to practice relaxing more. I get up very early for my “Me” time and maybe I should switch it up and make a bath a week part of my time to relax and then maybe over time I will be able to enjoy it and get why people seem to love baths.
It would be great to have another Tween Princess but we have SSLPSH and he’s a bit of a rough guy. I’d love to not have to apologize for my son hitting or throwing a toy at a child but that’s not the case.
Yet again today I opened up our home to my Meetup group and a mom and her son I never met before came in the rain to visit with us. I had high hopes we’d have no incidents today but that wasn’t the case. My little boy had not one but three time outs in his room and I’m sure we won’t be seeing them anytime soon. That’s what my head tells me.
I know that he’s not the only toddler with this problem of playing rough and we do work with him on these behaviors but he does have some bad days too and today seemed to be one of them.
I don’t want to feel judged or embarrassed because he hurts another child and I know that I judge me harder than anyone and the reality is their child isn’t perfect either. They all have their bad days.
I did realize today that maybe play dates here at home aren’t the best idea, that maybe adventures out of the home would be better. He seems to do much better with kids outside the home. That’s not a bad trade off for him to have fun and me to not be mortified. The important thing is I figured this out so I don’t have to keep feeling bad after visits here. Not every time is it this way but if a simple change of no play dates for a while at home makes things easier, so be it.
I’ve been on the quest to not spend so much money on things I don’t need. I’ve also not enjoyed a night out as a grownup without kids in some time just me and my husband for more than two hours with friends.
Now this being said, I used to work and my husband didn’t have a lovely large pay cut. I now don’t work, we have a home, and my husband took a large pay cut.
Don’t get me wrong. I still really enjoy nice things. We just don’t have the money for me to spend $100 up on a casual dress. I’m good at finding alternatives to get the things I like though. Date night with the Tween Princess Friday included a trip to Crossroads which is a second hand clothing store. I LOVE the Free People line of clothes and I was able to get the lovely dress below for a whopping $13.50. I can justify $13.50 even if it was a little big on me too.
I’m enjoying hunting for the things I used to waste money on because though I like nice things I can be saving or doing so much more with the money. I’m also finding a lot of second hand clothing is being a bit more green by Reusing. It’s also something new to me and unless I announce it here you wouldn’t know that the dress I’m wearing wasn’t mine to begin with or from a second hand store.
It’s nice that being thrifty doesn’t have to suck and I can take the time to find what I really want. As my friend put it once…I need to ask myself if “I love” what I’m buying. This dress, I do love.
Yes, that top rag was one of my favorite shirts BUT it’s stained, not being worn and I found another job for it so I can still enjoy “My Favorite Shirt”
In my journey to become even more “Green” at home and at the same time save money when it comes to shopping for the home I’ve decided no more Paper Towels but to use old clothing and make them into rags. My next goal is to put a clothes line in our backyard to save on the gas costs of running our dryer since these rags will need to be cleaned. Fingers crossed this journey is a easy one.
Where do I begin? It’s an adventure raising not only a toddler boy but my real excitement these days seems to be from raising a Tween Girl. Ms. Tween Princess we’ll call her is really growing up. I simply adore my miracle baby BUT she’s so hard to be around sometimes…..
First off, I may be the mom who wants to know too much about her life but I say “Oh Well”. Growing up my mother wasn’t that involved in what I did, wasn’t a “Room Parent”, didn’t Volunteer, you get what I mean. I know not everyone aspires to do those things but I saw those kids doing good in school, I noticed things growing up. Now it wasn’t my moms fault either. She was raising three children alone and was busy working to take care of us. As a adult I see that but as a young girl I didn’t feel too close to my mother and I’ve made it another job of mine to make sure my daughter knows I’m here for her and that she can come to me with anything. She doesn’t seem to like this from time to time. ”Mom, my others friends mothers don’t ask them these questions” or “Really?”. I’ve come to find it’s about balance.
I don’t want this 11 year old to feel any kind of pain and I KNOW that is unrealistic so I’ve slowly come to find she needs to get hurt, sometimes more than once and learn to stand up for herself. She did so well this week with an incident (I find completely pathetic BUT I’m not a 11 year old girl) where these two girls were angry at her for something she didn’t do. The most I did was explain two things to her….
It worked. She had a great week at school and I worried as I’ve found at my young age of 36 has become something I do well. Worry I need to do less of because she keeps showing me she can take care of herself and will let me know when she needs me. That is nice, she doesn’t hide from me but does talk to me.
Ms. Tween Princess has also gotten a wonderful attitude as of late. I do believe yelling is another form of natural talking when I speak to her. We’ve had to explain it’s not acceptable. I also have to remember by 13 I was not a model child and she’s doing great in school and for the most part listens.
I’m finding that this journey is getting harder with her. That she really is growing up but still so much a little girl who wants me to lay with her every night still. My hope is that I’m doing the best that I can with her as my mother did with me. We can only give what we’ve got. I need her to know that I’m here for her which I’ve done.
My saving grace is that I have friends with Teen girls who’ve let me know that it will get worse but they let me know with Love. They also explain girl behavior gets better, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m sure I will post about my not so great days with her but there will also be the great ones too. That’s life….learning and growing and it never stops, even when you become a mom….That’s when the real adventure began for me learning to balance work & home and now learning to balance Two kids and not over extending myself in commitments.
Sometime’s a little too much fun can make SSLPSH a little well crazy. Again, my thoughts of a tired little boy after were shattered. He was a cranky & tired little boy after and boy can he scream. Still he did have fun and we knew when to leave
I’ve been doing more artsy or “fun” activities with Super Secret Liam Pants Super Hero throughout the day. He really enjoys Moon Dough and so worth the money since I can’t stand Play Dough (Lesson learned with Ms. Tween Princess). Today I was brave and thought….Finger Painting. No brush just water and paint. What damage could he really do? He’ll listen to me and make a beautiful picture because when I say “OK, now paint” he’s supposed to, right? Wrong. He being 21 months has a mind of his own and found it much more fun to rub his hands in the water and then mix the paints to make new magical colors.
I noticed something right away…..I was getting more and more frustrated with him because he wasn’t doing what “I” wanted. He however was having a blast and really enjoying himself as you can see from the picture. At that point I just realized that he is 21 months old and that if he wants to just play in the paint and water, so be it!
He did make a picture as you can see and a amazingly great one at that. I tried something different for his second picture. Just let him be and see what happens. He decided to paint his socks so I took impressions of them….Oh he then decided to run around the kitchen with his painted socks and I just laughed. I gave up control and just remembered he is 21 months and he’s not 3 or 4 and his attention span isn’t too great.
My point to all of this is I have to remember as my kids grow up that they are just learning about whatever life event that is happening for them. I need to have patience and know that in time they will understand how to do things. Getting frustrated just takes the fun out of it for me because they can care less that I’m unhappy with how an event is happening. If I remember this, everyone is happy.
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