Welcome Cysters to my PCOS life… it started in 2015 I commenced a new job working for the government in Australia my home country. The job was a fantastic change for me and opened a lot of career doors however it was a very sedentary job where I was sitting on my backside for 8 hours a day. Prior to this job I never had to worry much about what I ate, as I was very active and managed to maintain the weight I was. With these new lifestyle changes I began to see a slight increase in my weight but nothing too serious that I was initially worried about. On the 4th of August 2015 I met the love of my life in the work lunch room, by November we were living together and brought our first fur child. As we all know everyone puts on a little “relationship weight” and honestly that’s what I put it down to I would usually light snack throughout the day and hardly ever had dinner this obviously changed when I had a big strong man in my house. I started eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and waaaaay too many snacks! I stopped exercising and before I knew it I had put on 23 Kilograms (50 pounds) and all I could think about was holy cow.. How did I let this happen and how can this amazing man still want to be anywhere near me?! Around March 2016 I made an appointment with my GP as I was having some serious digestive problems. I have always had issues with dairy but I knew this was something else. I was in serious pain any time I ate and Joel was obviously complaining about my farts haha, we soon discovered that I was intolerant to gluten products and that I had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). We visited a dietitian who was no help at all and gave me a giant list of things I couldn’t eat and sent me on my way. As my body was basically removing all food I put in my mouth quite rapidly my body wasn’t absorbing the required nutrients I needed, which meant I was constantly sick and my body was storing a lot of the fats from food which contributed to my weight gain. Our first grocery shopping trip was a disaster and soooooo expensive. Having to read every item and realising everything I loved had gluten in it seriously sucked! After many shops later with a lot of practice with different recipes from my creative lover and money on trying different products I’ve found that I hateeeee gluten free bread but gluten free chips are the bomb.com and that you can seriously find a gluten free alternative to just about anything these days. Detoxing from carbs was seriously so crap, I really don’t recommend it to anyone my cravings were out of control.
November 2016 a year into my wonderful relationship, my periods just STOPPED… out of the blue, I’ve been taking the contraceptive pill since 2014 and my periods came every month lasted 3-4 days and were always super light. I immediately thought I was pregnant, I couldn’t even tell you how many pregnancy tests I took. I waited until January 2017 till I went to the doctor just to make sure it wasn’t one month and maybe I was stressed. I saw 2 private doctors in January/ February 2017 both of them said that it was because I’ve been on the pill for so long and that it sometimes slows down the lining build up each month. None of them listened to a single thing I said, it was so frustrating!! I knew something was wrong but nobody had a logical explanation as to why. I was still actively taking the contraceptive pill in hopes that my period was just magically turn up again one day. While my period was MIA, my pimples were definitely here to stay. They were all over my chest, back and chin it was as if I was a 20 year old in a 14 year old’s body. I felt my hormones were out of control. It was a minor miracle that Joel put up with my emotional break downs, my back always hurt and I was tired 24/7. Unfortunately it impacted our sex life as well, everything was seriously inflamed internally (ovaries) it made everything a little tighter down town if ya know what I mean but unfortunately not in a good way, sex became painful and uncomfortable no matter how much foreplay was involved. There were certain positions we couldn’t do anymore this didn’t immediately affect Joel as he was super understanding but it really impacted me, sexual connection in a relationship was super important to me and not being able to connect in that way really hurt me.
After months of no periods and absolutely no sign that they were going to return I decided to go back to the doctor not only to get another contraceptive pill but to get another opinion. I went to a local bulk billed medical clinic on the 4th of June 2017 I saw an amazing doctor call David Nahrung who actually asked me to explain every single detail about what I was feeling and he immediately ordered blood tests and a ultrasound to be done the following day as he believed it to be PCOS. I go home that night, googled till midnight and cried for like 4 hours the second I saw the word infertility. On the 5th of June 2017 at 8am, Joel held my hand while a very very older man inserted good ol Wanda up my toot toot (to this day the worst experience I’ve ever had) he wasn’t supposed to but I asked him what his opinion was considering he looked like he had worked in the industry for a million years!! He advised us that he was just a technician however he believed based on the 16 cysts on one ovary and 20 on the other that it was definitely consistent with PCOS. Both Joel and I didn’t go to work that day, I was uncontrollably devastated all I could think about is that I will never be able to give this amazing man a child. Blood work was done the same day so here we are back at the GP clinic. On the 7th of June 2017 at 4pm (Joel 27th birthday) after reviewing the blood work and ultrasound I was diagnosed with PCOS to this day it was the worst news I have ever received. Dr Nahrung advised me that in order to improve my symptoms I would need to lose some weight and have better control over my diet .
I went home and cried, cried and cried some more, however lucky for me I have the most optimistic partner on the face of the earth. Joel was so supportive through the entire thing and reminded me that it doesn’t mean we can’t have children at all it just means it may take us a little longer or that we would more than likely require some help from science. I knew in that moment that if we ever wanted to have children and lose the weight I had put on I really needed to take this seriously.
We immediately joined a gym, got rid of all of the junk food and “tried” to implement a healthy eating plan. We were exercising 5-6 times per week, I lost 4kgs in the first month which was sooooo hard and took a lot of will power and consistency because I went from doing nothing at all to exercising frequently it triggered the weight loss pretty well in that first month. On the 8th of July 2017 I got my PERIOD back!!!!!!!!! I literally couldn’t believe it… I don’t think I have ever been so happy to have a period in my entire life I cried AGAIN like the biggest baby in the whole world. I was so emotional and of course rang my mum, hahahha. After 2 months into the healthy changes which was slowly helping with the regulation of of my hormones and reducing the inflammation (ovaries). Our sex life also improved, extended foreplay is still needed but it no longer hurts to be intimate with my partner and we are back to all of our favourite positions which helped my stay as optimistic as possible.
September 2017 I went back to Dr.Nahrung for a progress check up and to discuss my cravings, he was impressed with what results he could see so far even though they had slowed down by that stage and I was extremely unhappy about that. My cravings for sweets had begun to get out of control to the point where I would get a headache if I didn’t have something sweet which is what I put down to why my results had slowed down. Although I was completely against any medication at the start he recommended I try metformin as I had insulin resistance a known side effects of PCOS. He put me on the absolute lowest dosage possible, I went home that night and started to read reviews, side effects and basically anything else you could think of metformin related there were so many mixed reviews but I decided to give it a go. I commenced taking metformin whilst on holidays just in case the side effects were too much at least I would be at home if anything happened. Lucky for me I only had some slight nausea for about 2 weeks. Much to my disgust it actually helped with my cravings and lowered my insulin resistance. Apart from metformin I take a combination of women’s multivitamins and a immune booster as my immune system still plays up from time to time depending on how good I am with my diet. Since June 2017 I have slowly but surely lost 11kgs and still have 12 to go to get back to the weight I was when I met my partner. PCOS is something I know that is not going to go away and I will have to live with its impacts for the rest of my life but I’m sure as hell not going to let it mess with me along the way. PCOS does not own me.. #notaprofessionalwritterpleasebenice