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I made it almost six years without ever considering that having a period once or twice a year isn't right.
I would still be clueless if I hadn't made a friend with the same problem that I have.
Today I know that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is caused by insulin resistance. An insulin resistance can make you gain weight like crazy. It did. The only time I've ever lost weight is when I was barely eating. I mean, I pretty much lived on green beans and cereal for about three months and I lost 30 pounds, and then gained it back. The weight gain thing was pretty annoying. Once, I was talking to my dad and I said, "Oh my God, all I've eaten today is an apple." His response was "You should do that more often." I didn't know myself that I had an insulin resistance at the time, and even if I did, people still aren't very understanding. People will make snide remarks about people for being fat no matter what. Eh, I'm used to it by now, I suppose.
Along with the weight gain, I had pretty high sugar, all the time, cause my body didn't know how to use sugars. I basically just held them. I used to get dizzy all the time and not know why. Or I would get extremely tired after eating.
I hit puberty at 11. I've pretty much had all of these problems since then, or shortly after, and they got progressively worse, but I never noticed. I thought it was all normal. I mean, I was a little kid. How was I ever supposed to know what was normal for my body and what wasn't? And P.S. teachers of America, when you are explaining to kids that their bodies will feel different after puberty, don't. Just stop. Whatever I noticed and thought might be wrong, I put off as "Well, it's normal. The teacher said I would feel different."
Menstrual cramps that leave you curled up on the floor screaming, unable to walk, are not normal. I assumed I was weak and other girls felt the same pain that I did whenever the school nurse told me that I would have to get over it.
The main symptom of PCOS is cysts on the ovaries. Lots of them. These cysts SHOULDN'T (in theory) cause any pain, unless of course they twist or have pressure put on them or rupture or it is time for me to PMS so my ovaries are doing their own thing. Now, I've never seen my ovaries ( Thankfully, my doctor was able to diagnose me through blood tests and not through an ultrasound. To see the ovaries with an ultrasound, it has to be internal. Basically, the doctor sticks a probe into the vagina and look around. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't want to lose my virginity to a probe.) but I would assume that after 7 years of menstruating sort of (each cycle has the potential to leave a new cyst) and the frequency that I feel pain in my ovaries, and the severity of the pain, I'm gonna go ahead and assume that there are a LOT of cysts.
The pain is agonizing sometimes. I've taken every type of over the counter pain killer that I can think of to help. I've taken my sister's vicoden or percocet hoping that the pain will just stop. Once, I think a cyst ruptured during a rehearsal for a play that I didn't have a huge part in, but I tried to be strong and make it through rehearsal without laying on the ground and crying. I didn't succeed (though I didn't do both simultaneously.) When we got breaks, I layed on the stage. At one point, I left and went to the bathroom to cry. I had to have my friends walk back to my dorm with me, taking baby steps the whole way. When I tried to explain to the director, he told me not to use it as a crutch.
My doctor says that hormonally, my ovaries SHOULD be working, they just, aren't. I don't like the doctor. He makes me feel really uncomfortable, so I've never asked him how likely it is that I will be infertile. I've never considered NOT having kids. I know that adoption is possible, if one day I find out that I can't have my own kids, but I just don't see adoption and actual childbirth as equivalent. I think that it's possible to love an adopted child and a biological child the same, but I can't imagine not going through pregnancy, ever, in my life.
I was the typical little girl that wanted to care for things and nurture them. I'm that person that has so much love, and I'm so ready to give it. I'm still that person that wants to take care of everyone else. I'm the one who will give hugs for sad faces. And I'm terrified that I'll never have the chance to do any of it for my own children.
It's enough to make me consider things that are absolutely insane. I've actually had the thought "Maybe, I'll just never use a condom and if I get pregnant I'll consider it a blessing."
Sometimes, I just wish that I could know, what ways will PCOS fuck up my life?
My mother has PCOS and she has six children just survive this and worry about the rest later. I literally had to carry her back to her bed room once it was so bad. I'm thankful it didn't happen to me and I'm sorry it had to happen to you.