As a young bride back before 2010, pap smears were recommended before the age of 21. My mom always made sure to encourage me to take control of my health from a young age. Ever since I have been 18, I went to my “woman” doctor yearly, still to this day. Luckily when I was 19, the doctor told me that I did not need to get a pap smear until after I was 21, so at that appointment I was relieved. That yearly check up went well, my doctor said if I hear back from them, then something showed up but no news, was good news.
A year later in 2011, I go in for my yearly. But this year I knew I was gonna judged for my obvious weight gain. At the time, I didn’t know how much I had gained, and I didn’t know why. I refused to own a scale, I stopped looking in the mirror, and I kept buying new jeans and giving my outgrown ones to my smaller best friend. I just figured I went from being very active in my waitress/bar-tending job(s) to sedentary with my new banking job. I also knew, my husband and I were struggling paying bills, and I had received F’s in my classes for not showing up, so I had to choose to drop out. When I was bar tending, sometimes I wouldn’t get off until after 3 AM, my first class was at 8 AM and I lived about 40 minutes away from the college. It didn’t help that my professor was an elderly monotone dude, insert “BUELLER” reference here. I was stressed. At the age of 19, I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew. Food helped deal with my struggles and alcohol made me forget them. I had to figure out a way to pay my bills and afford to eat, I was working at a new job I hated that paid me shit, I was taking care of my father, between running him to Houston (an hr away) for his DR. appts, to picking up his medicine and delivering it to him (30 min outta my way), I had given up my hopes for a college education and lets be honest, I was an irresponsible child, playing a role of someone who was grown. I was broke because irresponsible choices, buying alcohol (my husband is five years older than me) and always eating out! We also use to buy random shit like a KIRBY VACUUM, tell me why I couldn’t pay my rent but I FINANCED A VACUUM?!?! Thank GOD for growing up and learning from your past!!!!!!!! Face palm, I WAS DUMB!!!! Please if you’re in a spot where you can save over spend at an early age, DO IT!!!! If I could go back and tell myself some advice as if I wasn’t taught these things; Those clothes aren’t gonna fit you in 6 years, that new car you had to have is gonna break down by the time you have your first kid, and that alcohol isn’t gonna save you from your life but add to your struggles and almost end everything completely, several times.
There was one time my father called me and asked me to bring him some fig newtons and sliced cheese, of course I was going to buy my dad some, but I only had five dollars to my (our) name, and I can’t recall what day it was but it wasn’t near pay-day. I was too embarrassed to tell my dad I was broke, so I didn’t. I used my last dollar and used the gas I knew I shouldn’t be using to bring him what he wanted. FIG NEWTONS are expensive if you aren’t aware, when you’re broke. So I bought the store brand, you know this man complained when I got there! My dad would have given me the world and his last dollar, but I was never gonna allow him to worry about me, I needed him to focus on getting better and my pride would never allow myself to ask ANYONE FOR HELP. From a young age I was determined to be independent. I started my first job at 12 baby sitting, at 15 life-guarding and working at a local small diner at 16 and by my senior year in high school, I had three job titles: waitress on the weekend, nanny after school Monday – Friday, and lifeguard on my day(s) off from taking care of the kids I watched. My random off-topic point being is that at a very young age, I stopped caring for myself and allowed myself to put other things and people before my own very health and mind-set, I have always chose to stay busy or medicate myself to hide my anxiety and stresses.
So back to that 2011 appt., the lady who called my name in the waiting room took me back and got my weight and vitals. She escorted me to a room and told me the Dr. would be right with me….. the Dr. comes in (now I can’t remember this part to the detail) but I had my exam, she asked the routine questions and then hit me with, concerns with my drastic fifty pound weight-gain and the way my ovaries looked. She said she believed that some of the things we talked about and the exam flagged her for signs of PCOS (I had no clue what she was talking about) but she would have to take me back and do a vaginal ultrasound to look at my ovaries, and I think they also did blood test but I am not sure (I’ve had so much blood drawn since, I can’t tell you which times I have or hadn’t), but I remember this ultrasound vividly, I can still feel the coldness of the room! She confirmed by ultrasound signs of cyst and typical looking PCOS ovaries and then she confirmed the diagnosis. I had something foreign called, PCOS.
Too be honest all I heard was, (possible) INFERTILITY, the rest of the appt is a blur, how she explained what PCOS was to me, I do not remember all I could think about is I may never have children with my husband. I was due to work later this day, but I had to call in, I was an emotional mess. Not only had I just been told what I had been avoiding, my weight gained hit 50 pounds but now I have some kinds of medical condition that I had never even heard of. I felt tainted, and I felt scared. I didn’t know where to go from there, my world shattered and what pieces to stick together first, I didn’t know. A bullet had just shot me.
Ladies it is SO important to take control of your health and own your body! At the top of my page, I have a tab about PCOS and the symptoms. Talk with your Dr. if you’re experiencing several of these symptoms. PCOS is not a death sentence but to improve your life, you must understand your body. PCOS is manageable, it is not curable!