Tomorrow I will find out if kids are really going to happen for us or not. It's absolutely nerve-racking. However, part of this experience has been beneficial to others. What I mean is... I'm educating people.
Here is what I am dealing with: PCOS + HYPOthyroidism = Infertility (at least for me) I am also dealing with a not-so-good set of genetics from my husband's side.
So... what is PCOS?
PCOS is Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.
Below are the symptoms and I've noted next to them if I have them or not.
· Irregular periods or no periods -- my period has always been irregular from day one. It has not made one bit of difference if I was 105 pounds or 205 pounds. It doesn't make a difference. At one point I went over ten months without a period. NOT good.
· Painful or unusually heavy or light periods -- when I do get my period, it's very painful and it's just a terrible experience. When I was in high school, it was so bad that I literally was stuck in bed all day. In college, it seemed to get a little bit better but I learned of herbs to help me deal with it.
· Irregular or absent ovulation -- YES. Sometimes I ovulate, sometimes I don't, and sometimes I go over-board and my hormones are all over the place. I had labs done two years ago and was told that my bloodwork is never normal, it's either above or below. Fun news: I could end up with twins.
· Hirsutism (hair on face, stomach, thighs, arms, breasts, etc.) -- Luckily, I do not have these symptoms as bad as other women with PCOS. My upper thighs are hairy but I shave. I do sometimes wonder if my eyebrows are a factor because I get waxed twice a month
· Alopecia (thinning hair or male pattern baldness) -- NOPE
· High blood pressure -- NOPE
· Infertility -- YES
· Obesity (especially around the stomach) -- YES. This is infuriating to me because from the time I was a TEEN I would tell my family doctor and any doctors I met when I moved out that I wanted to lose weight but it was just so hard. They'd recommend a diet or a pill or an activity but never took me seriously. At one point I was on a weight loss pill and it literally almost killed me. I went off that pill and went to my current doctor who was FURIOUS I had gone so LONG with this issue and no serious attention. She diagnosed me with PCOS.
· Difficulty losing weight -- YES. In addition to this, I have hypothyroidism which is an added kick in the face.
· Insulin resistance or hypoglycemia -- Not that I know of at this time, but it's possible I may find out I am at my appointment tomorrow.
· Fatigue --YES Anytime I'm feeling tired for more than a week, I call the doctor and order up some labs. 9 times out of 10, my thyroid is out of whack
· Depression, anxiety or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) -- ANXIETY, yes. I do not suffer from depression or SAD. I do have anxiety. I get nervous/anxious over silly things. For example, when I was at the airport waiting to board the plane for Ireland - I was anxious. I called my husband to look up my seat number and my mom's seat number because I wanted to make sure we were next to one another. I had a panic attack climbing the Blarney Castle (it's funny now...)
· Mood swings, some women report feelings of anger or aggression -- YES. I do get moody from time to time, but luckily, I have learned to control this. I take a breather and just think about my emotions. I'm very blunt, but I attribute my bluntness to this symptom.
· Acne -- I had bad acne as a teen. I do tend to have a few pimples now and then but nothing too major.
· Ovarian cysts -- I've lucked out in this department
· Skin tags --NO
· Acanthosis nigricans -- NO
· High cholesterol levels --NO
· Decreased sex drive --NO
· Excess "male" hormones, such as androgens, DHEAS, or testosterone -- YES. I have had elevated testosterone but it was not elevated enough to be considered serious
· Decreased breast size -- YES. My breasts have not grown since 6th grade. I'm barely a B cup
· Failure to maintain a pregnancy -- YES
· Enlarged ovaries --YES
· Enlarged uterus -- YES
NOW in addition to this, I also have hypothyroidism which is not uncommon to have with PCOS. It's also not uncommon to have RA, asthma, or IBS with PCOS.
Here are the symptoms of hypothyroidism which is tested easily by a blood test. [Testing for PCOS is done by what I call "naked time" in addition to blood work.] I have put my commentary next to the symptom.
--weight gain -- YES
-- round or puffy face --YES
-- thinning eyebrows -- NO
--low sex drive --NO
--dry or thin hair --NO
--bloating -- YES
--thick skin --YES
--cold intolerance --YES
--cold hands or feet -- YES, feet
--joint or muscle pain -- YES
--thin or brittle nails -- Not really
Now, I know this entry is already lengthy.
This week has been very trying for me.
Lots of things are stressing me out and I've been VERY anxious.
I think the best way to go about this is to make another list...
- Computer virus was the start of it all. I am taking an online grad class and lost some (not all) of my work due to a virus. If you know me, you know I take my schoolwork very seriously. I was really upset that I had to start all over on two assignments and now I'm feeling behind and overwhelmed
- I have been having this cough issue for a while now and they can't get me in for an upper GI until the 27th. This is highly upsetting to me because I've been having issues for almost 7 months and nothing is helping or working.
- My entire schedule and plans for the week pretty much went down the toilet. Yesterday, I woke up to rain... in my third bedroom. The ceiling looks like it may collapse and I had to get all of my books and things out of the room. It was bad. Chunks of ceiling just kept coming down and there's not much to do when the rain won't stop. Luckily, it's being looked at tonight.
- Bloodwork - this is the big one. I had bloodwork done last week and there is something wrong or something going on with it. I'm so frustrated. I always talk results on the phone but these results are for "in person" and that's really annoying to a person with anxiety issues. I'm worried.
- Tomorrow is the big appointment. As much as I'm faithful and as much as I believe in God, I'm still scared. I want to be a parent. I want to experience pregnancy and child birth. But as you can see as I noted above - I'm up against a lot. So of course...
- I'm not sleeping well at all.
I don't like feeling scared
I just need to keep my focus on GOD and know that my job is to just get to this appointment and he will take care of the rest. I'm just worried and anxious ... all while trying to remain optimistic.