I'm trying to address some of the health concerns I've been dealing with for several years, but hadn't had health insurance in order to address any of them until about eight months ago. So, here's some of the back start.
- Back when I very first got my period, it would happen every few weeks and be extremely heavy. I told my dad at the time, and he took me to the doctor for it, who only prescribed prescription pain killers. Eventually, the frequency tapered off, but it was still very, very painful and heavy (like miss a few days of school a year because I only wanted to stay in bed hurt) until I started taking birth control pills at the age of 18.
- Stayed on some form of birth control pills until the age of 21. Conceived my son six months later at the age of 22.
- After he was born, I noticed that my break through bleeding while on birth control pills was very, very light and almost non-existent. I mentioned it to the nurse practitioner at my local health department, thinking that it was probably cause by the birth control, but she just blamed it on my weight (which was between 180 - 200 pounds at the time, still overweight for my body type, but nothing compared to my weight now).
- In July 2011, I had (what I believe to be) an ovarian cyst rupture, even though the emergency room blamed it on a UTI, but I'd never had a UTI that hurt like that and the pain come on so suddenly.
- At the end of 2012, I stopped taking any type of birth control in a "what happens, happens" agreement with my husband. We've yet to conceive.
- In that same time frame, I started completely missing periods for months on end. I'd go to the convenient care of another health issue (like bronchitis or an ear infection when I was in too much pain to work), and mention that I hadn't had a period in 4 - 5 months, and they'd also tell me it was something to do with my weight.
- Speaking of my weight...it's gone from 160ish (in 2008) to 260ish (now)
- I started looking in the mirror more closely on my chin and chest...and cried. I have "chin" hair so bad for me that I have to shave it daily in order not to be self conscious about it. And now there's dark, black hairs popping up on my chest area.
- In November 2014, I was sitting on the couch watching TV, and I just felt pain (for no reason that I could tell) radiate through my lower stomach. In the next 15 minutes, I was curled up in the fetal position sobbing, and I was in severe pain for the rest of the night. I decided not to go to the emergency room and opted to go to the clinic I'd been going to get my depression/anxiety medication and treatment for minor illnesses the next day. This time I definitely didn't have a UTI...but, most likely, based on my other experience, that I'd had another ovarian cyst rupture.
- And I have acne as bad (or as worse) as ever...
Finally, I have been referred to a primary care physician after a spell of double pneumonia last month. Thankfully, the pneumonia looks tons better, and I'm on day 42 of my quit smoking quest...but the doctor, while he was taking my medical history, asked me if I was concerned about anything. I wanted to move into the fertility issues with him...but I mentioned to him that I am concerned about my weight since I know I'm absolutely not at a healthy weight, and everyone (besides my wonderful, loving husband) says things to me like "You've got to lose weight." "You have no energy because you're fat." "I don't know how your little legs carry your big body." "All of your problems are caused by your weight." "You're depressed because you're fat."
But after mentioning my weight concerns to him, he asked be a lot of random questions, how many kids I had, if I'd suddenly gained the weight or if it was over a period of time, if I had been trying to conceive, if I had any hair growing in awkward places...things like that. And at the end of our exam, he finally mentioned PCOS, along with giving me some blood work to try to confirm/deny whether I could have the syndrome. He set up a follow-up appointment for me for three weeks later.
But in the meantime, my hospital/medical system, but tests results from the blood work, xrays, etc. online for you to view them for yourself. The majority of the tests, I had no idea what they meant and Google wasn't much help at all, but I did understand that I wasn't diabetic yet (yay) and that my cholesterol was slightly high (ugh). But the test that I Googled that has been weighing on my mind is this one...
My level is 23.36...this hormone, if I'm understanding correctly from Google, is a hormone that controls ovulation...and my levels put me into a category of post menopausal women with no ovarian function.
I've also been doing so much research on PCOS myself.
So...basically I'm wondering if anyone that has knowledge of PCOS has some words for me to see if my doctor could be on the right track here...I've struggled and struggled for years thinking that my weight was my fault (even though I've tried unsuccessfully to lose weight off and on since 2008 -- I lost almost 50 pounds once, but gained it all back), that I was having menstrual issues because of my weight that was my fault, that my weight was causing my acne and facial hair. I just so desperately want to find out something...something that isn't my fault. Just looking for support, words of encouragement, experiences, knowledge, anything that anyway has around here.