I guess the best place to start this story is way back in February 2004. One of my best friends was getting married and my bridesmaid dress had just arrived, imagine my horror that it didn’t fit! How had I gained so much weight in such a short amount of time??? Little did I know that at 23 yrs old that this was the beginning of the end as far as weight loss goes. I joined weight watchers for the first time and thankfully was able to drop enough to get into that dress.
Let’s fast forward to Sept 2005, I went to Massachusetts to visit my then boyfriend (now husband) for 8 weeks. When I got home my mother’s jaw dropped, she brought it to my attention that I had “blown up”. I jumped on the scale and there it was…35 lbs heavier. Freaked out I went to the doctor and told her about my rapid weight gain and struggles to keep it off in the past. After a couple rounds of blood tests and a recommendation to the endocrinologist it was determined that I have PCOS.
Well what the heck is that??
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common female endocrine disorders. PCOS is a complex, heterogeneous disorder of uncertain etiology, but there is strong evidence that it can to a large degree be classified as a genetic disease.
PCOS produces symptoms in approximately 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age (12–45 years old). It is thought to be one of the leading causes of female infertility and the most frequent endocrine problem in women of reproductive age.
The principal features are anovulation, resulting in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, ovulation-related infertility, and polycystic ovaries; excessive amounts or effects of androgenic (masculinizing) hormones, resulting in acne and hirsutism (excessive hairiness); and insulin resistance, often associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among affected women.
(Thank you Wikipedia)
Awesome right? Doesn’t every woman dream of being fat and hairy? Not to mention Acne.
My Dr put me on the pill to regulate my periods, suggested I go back to weight watchers, handed me a pamphlet on my condition and kindly showed me the door. I left feeling confused and over whelmed, but at least I had a name for what was going on.
Jump on over to May 2006, my first encounter with a ovarian cyst. For months I had a dull stabbing pain in my abdomen, it finally had gotten to the point where I couldn’t ignore it anymore and wanted to know what was happening. My Dr sent me to get a ultrasound so she could check out my uterus and ovaries. Have you ever had an internal ultrasound? Talk about AWKWARD! So the technician is turning the screen and looking at it from every angle taking pictures and looking so serious. I keep asking what she’s looking at and her response is you’ll have to talk to your physician for the results. Argh. She’s finished, I’m getting dressed and staring at the screen trying to figure out what the heck is in the grey blob. Driving home I get a gut wrenching stabbing pain. So bad I think I’m going to pass out, so I pull over until it subsides and slowly make my way home. When I finally see my Dr for the follow up results I tell her what happened and she says simply “you had a slow leaking cyst, it must have burst.” I’m sitting there nodding but really thinking “CYST? BURST? WHAT?” as she goes on to tell me that she’s more interested in what the ultrasound showed…"your uterus and ovaries are healthy….. and you’ve ovulated."
I thought that’s what we wanted?
“well, we have you on the pill, so you should not be ovulating”
So what does that mean?
“you know on the packaging where it tells you 99% effective? Well you fall into the 1% that will still ovulate and can get pregnant while taking the pill”
“it’s rare but it does happen. You’ll just have to be extra careful until you’re ready to have children.”
At this point I’m thinking are you freaking kidding me? Which is it? Can I or can I not have children?
I tell this whole scenario to Boyfriend and he says “can’t they put you on extra pills?”
This ladies and gentlemen is how 27 yr old men think.
Between 2007 and 2009 my weight went up and down like a yo-yo, I did weight watchers 2 more times (and in hindsight I do believe this is the best way) but didn’t stick, next was nutri system (expensive and disgusting), the lemon maple cayenne cleanse (burnt my throat), south beach, atkins and probably numerous others I don’t remember at the moment.
March 2009 we got engaged! August rolled around and wouldn’t you know it, my wedding dress didn’t fit. With 3 months till my wedding my sister told me about HCG. This diet was probably my most extreme. I gave myself injections and stayed on a strict 500 calorie diet of lean meat and veggies. I lost 45 lbs and I got into my dress (size 14). But settling into married life, cooking and baking cupcakes (I LOVE CUPCAKES) led to gaining it all back plus more.
October 2010 Husband took me to Hawaii for our 1 yr anniversary. I just started a new job, we had insurance, I had turned 29 a few months earlier…and my baby clock was SERIOUSLY ticking. After some serious convincing of the Husband… June 2011 I went back to the Dr to get a whole new panel done (I hadn’t had a period since January and that was ON the pill, I got off the pill in April), see how things were looking on the inside and have her bring Husband up to speed on how the whole baby making process SHOULD work, she drew us some charts and this is where it all went to HELL. “You’re not ovulating regularly, your eggs are not forming correctly, they’re not viable. I can recommend a fertility specialist, they can prescribe Clomid to help stimulate the egg growth….BUT your blood pressure is too high, you really need to lose weight to carry a healthy pregnancy, you’re in danger of having gestational diabetes and hyper tension if you do get pregnant and I really would not recommend you try at this time.”
I felt like all the air just got sucked out of the room. Crushed.
The new plan was to 1. Take some progesterone to jump start the period 2. really stick to losing weight so that my body would naturally get back in sync, my blood pressure would lower and I wouldn’t have to get on any medication.
Step one worked. Thankfully it’s been an entire year now with a cycle every month. Who ever thought they’d be excited to get their period, NOT ME!!! Haha.
Step two we’re still working on…but my blood pressure has come down so that’s good.
Since this post is SO long I’ll stop now, my next post will pick up at October 2011.