NELLY B - A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PLUS SIZED NATURALISTA. Powered by Blogger.

PCOS...How I found out...and the journey since

It took a long time to learn how to love myself
again, but it was definitely worth it.

"I just can't give up now, I've come too far from where I've started from, nobody told me the road would be easy and I don't believe He's brought me this far to leave me"-Can't give up now by Mary Mary

November 2nd 2003. Two weeks after my 18th birthday actually (please don't go calculating my age lol!!!). Its funny that I remember the date it all started, but then again I'm good with dates. It was a Saturday morning, and most of what I remember that morning was pain...brutal intense pain in my lower stomach. My cousin had come over with his little sister (who was about 1 or 2 at the time) and I remember her jumping and landing on me while in bed and having to fight back tears because the pain was so intense. Mom gave me a painkiller which helped but by the time we were getting ready to go to church that evening the pain resurfaced with a vengeance so my older brother and sister took me to the district medical facility.

Doctor- Well it looks like you have a mild case of appendicitis...
Me- What??
Doctor- Yup, we're going to write you up a slip and have you sent down to San Fernando General Hospital for observation.
Fast forward a few hours, and I'm at Gulf View Medical getting checked in for over night observation. Before this I'd never stayed in a hospital more than a few hours. I remember being scared..very scared and then the intense pain of having an IV inserted into my arm (do note-I have a crippling fear of needles). My night was an uneasy one, with one moment of peace when older sister came to check in on me and drop off an overnight bag. The following morning (Sunday November 3rd 2003), to my dismay I was being rolled in for surgery to get my appendix removed.

After a messed up night of throwing up, dealing with the side effects of being cut open and stitched and the drowsy effects of the anaesthetic, I finally saw one of the doctors who oversaw my surgery. He explained that not only had they removed my appendix, but they discovered a growth (which I would later learn was a cyst) on my right ovary and did their best to remove as much of it as possible (The surgeon was considering removing my ovary completely but the OBGYN objected). 

After the surgery, things were fine. I finished high school and started my Bachelor's degree at the local University. It was only until the middle of 2006 after the end of my first year at University that things started to get out of hand with my menstrual cycle. I never did have a regular cycle as a teen now that I think back. It was okay, but ever so often there were sporadic moments, like I'd miss a month here or there, or just bleed heavily for a day and then it would stop, but even that didn't prepare me for what would come next. I missed my period for about three months well (to the dismay of my parents who I'm guessing were thinking I was pregnant, little did they know I was still a virgin at the time lol). Eventually I made an appointment to see an OBGYN, who did ultrasounds and sent me to do a rectal scan (I'm not going to get into details on that one, all I will say is that it was literally a BUTT HURT!!!!!!). The diagnosis was confirmed. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. I ended up with Depro Provera to bring my period and then Yasmine to regulate it.

Words cannot describe the torment I underwent the first time my period came after taking the Depro Provera (Disclaimer-my experience does not always happen with this  pill, it only happened with me any time I had to take it after not seeing my period for a few months, other times I took it and had no side effects). I missed half a month of work of work due to constant vomiting (I was on a vacation/summer intern-ship) added to which the intensity of the cramps I experienced could be compared to contractions/labour pains. I bled HEAVILY...and in many cases experienced clotting (I won't get too much into that...it tends to freak people out lol).

As if that weren't enough, I had the doctor's words looming over my head..
"Understand that it will be difficult for you to conceive...and if you do, there is a good probability that you will miscarriage."

Continuous use of the prescribed birth control combined with out of control hormones caused a lot of changes in me, especially physically. I gained weight and I had a hard time accepting the body I ended up with (I touched on this in previous blogs). At times It affected me emotionally. I got depressed, not being able to cope with these changes..having to deal with being bombarded by all the comments/insults from family and so called "friends" about me putting on weight (highly annoying and in some cases very hurtful, talk about a self esteem killer)..then the issue about having children...sighhh...

I realised that in order for me to cope with everything that was going on, I had to understand what I was dealing with. I did a lot of research so that I could understand what was going on with me physically and emotionally. Adjusting to my new body literally included things like having to get resized for bras every year because I'd out grow the ones from before lol (I was a 34DD before surgery, and to date I am a 34H..they have been this size for a while but I'm praying to God they don't get any bigger). Sometimes its good, I'm seeing my period every 5 weeks (that is as normal as it gets when I'm not on the pill) and I don't have any major mood swings; other times I'm in a hot mess folks sad to say, such as my episode last year where I bled for 26 days straight, added to which I was on an emotional train wreck. I'm having good days now!!! And since my cycle is coming regular enough, I'm not too fussed about taking the pill or going back on any medication any time soon.

I am however fussed about my health. Having PCOS means that I am at risk for diabetes which is a BIG NO NO. I remember once hearing a girl say that since she can't lose the weight because of the PCOS she might as well eat whatever she wants. I totally disagree with this. PCOS should never be used as an excuse to adopt an unhealthy lifestyle. I watch what I eat, in all honesty I should be exercising more, but I am definitely more active than before.

After my health, the next concern is what options I have when I'm ready to have children. I've done my research and I've seen fertility drugs options, surgical procedures and even herbal remedies. Being the spiritual person that I am, I know that if God has a child/children in my future, it will happen no matter what those doctors say. 

I've taken everything that has happened in stride and I will continue roll with the punches. It took time...a lot of time from me to be comfortable in my own skin again. I've grown to love me for me....especially since there is more of me to love lol!!!!! To be honest the only thing nowadays that bugs me somewhat is the extra weight around my mid section. But I guess there is shapewear for that lol!! As far as science shows, there is no cure for PCOS, so it's something that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I've actually seen some women consider it a death sentence (honestly, that's a bit extreme, PCOS won't kill you), but nonetheless, I'm not letting my PCOS or its side effects stop me from doing me and living the life I want.


Regards,
Tshenelle aka Nelly B. 

Photo credit-Christian Hume (Portrito) www.facebook.com/portrito
Clothing/Accessories-The Fashion Blvd. www.facebook.com/TheFashionBlvd 
Make up-Mekelia Miller