Welcome to the 2014 Voices of PCOS blog series at The Infertility Voice, in honor of PCOS Awareness Month!
A PCOS Diagnosis Before Prom
By Jacqueline Weiss
All my life, I’ve known I was meant to be a mother, and when I was diagnosed with PCOS at age 16, I was scared out of my mind that having children was out of the picture. In middle school, after watching many an episode of Jon + Kate Plus Ei8ht (where star Kate Gosselin has PCOS) and seeing my own cousin struggle with getting pregnant, I wondered if my deep voice, hirsutism, irregular periods, and inability to easily lose weight, among many other symptoms could be PCOS.
I headed first to my pediatrician with my irregular periods and it was suggested I maybe see an endocrinologist so we could get a proper diagnosis. I began researching olgiomenorrhea, menometrorrhagia, amenorrhea, and olgiomenorrhea and self-diagnosed myself with some combination of the four. My endocrinologist suggested that I go on birth control to try to regulate my hormones and cycle, and so I did.
She suspected that I had PCOS and at that point, I was pretty much convinced too because for the first several months, and even sometimes today it seemed as if the birth control wasn’t doing anything to help me. She suggested to me that I see a gynecologist who specialized in PCOS, and so I did. I took tons of blood tests and had lots of meetings only to finally get the answer I was dreading, that yes I did have PCOS.
I didn’t know how to feel because it wasn’t like I didn’t see it coming after years of wondering if it would happen to me. I continued to live my life as before, because after all I was only 16 and a sophomore in high school, but I couldn’t help but feel ugly, embarrassed, and ashamed of myself for having PCOS on top of already feeling like I didn’t belong.
Fast forward almost 3 years to the end of my freshman year of college, I was preparing to enter my last class of the week, when I got a phone call from my gynecologists office informing me that the blood tests I had taken while home on Spring Break came back with less than stellar results. My cholesterol had gone up even more, and the labs showed I could possibly be pre-diabetic and it was suggested that I go on Metformin and another medication to help bring down my cholesterol.
This isn’t exactly news that “normal” people want to get, and certainly not someone like me who has PCOS and a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Since that phone call a few months ago, I’ve made a conscious effort to better myself inside and out, eating better, working out, and gaining knowledge from members of PCOS Communities.
PCOS isn’t something I often tell people about, because for the first few years, and even today, I was embarrassed to talk about it. I was embarrassed that after years of already not feeling like people liked me or that I belonged especially being bigger than all the other girls and never being one with a boyfriend in high school, that this would give people more of a reason to exclude me. I’m lucky today to have a group of friends and family that support me with everything I do and every decision I make.
I won’t lie and say I’m not scared for what my future holds, that I might not have an easy time getting pregnant, or even finding someone who loves and accepts my PCOS because I still struggle with loving and accepting myself, but I know that whatever is put in my path was put there for a reason and that I can make it through.
Jacqueline Weiss is a student and blogger, splitting her time between her studies in her Journalism Major and Marketing Minor at Emerson College and online blogosphere on her blog Polished Perfectly. She aspires to work as a fashion journalist upon her graduation in 2017. You can follow her on Twitter @BloggingBeauty to be notified of new posts, fashion and beauty news, and day-to-day ramblings.