Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blessed to have PCOS by Beth Wolf

How can I be blessed to have PCOS?  I took a death sentence and turned into a life journey to find myself and God.

Here is my personal PCOS story:
     As I was growing up, I always had issues with my monthly cycle.  It was never regular and they couldn't find out why.  I went on birth control and then went on the depo shot.  I coudn't get pregnant either.  I finally ended up getting pregnant by chance in 2003 and had my daughter in 2004.  After I had her, things got a lot worse.  I couldn't lose the pregnancy weight, my cycle's were all screwed up.  Either I had no period or I had a period all the time for months.  I had some other not so great symptoms that we women don't like to talk about much.  I had HAIR (OH NO!) in bad places.  I had other symptoms as well but the weight, periods and hair were the most depressing.  Oh, yeah, I forgot the depression and anxiety.  I was actually diagnosed bi-polar but it went away the next day.  Get that!  Turns out your hormones have a lot to do with how you act.  I would have never known.
     OK, so on to the serios stuff.  In 2008, after being un-diagnosed for years, I was told I had PCOS. I spent the next few years sitting on my behind feeling sorry for myself. I felt like I was the only one out there and I had no hope of a better life.  My symptoms got worse and I just felt like dying.  I also found out I had Polyups which made things even worse than they already were.  I went in for 2 D&C's to get rid of the polyups.  Nothing was changing, I was alone and there was not hope.
     I sat there day after day thinking what I could do to change this.  i saw women post about how they were getting healthy to get pregnant and I definitely wanted more children but it just wasn't enough motivation to make me do something about my PCOS.  Then all of a sudden, I figured out what could motivate me to get off the couch. I would start a walk-a-thon to raise money for PCOS research and awareness. I didn't care if I was the only one out there walking. I told all my friends and family as well as posted it everywhere before I could change my mind. Then I went in search of somewhere to give my money to. I could find nothing. I was turned down by several places including a hospital. The hospital had told me that pcos wasn't a sexy enough disease to raise money for.  They considered cancer their sexy disease because it has touched everyone.  1 in 5 women have pcos, how can that not be enough to raise money for?  I was frustrated and gave up.
     A few months later, I received an e-mail asking me if I was still doing the walk and if I could give them a pledge form because they wanted to walk with me. I felt re-newed knowing there is someone else out there that wanted this. During my crazy moment of trying to figure out how to tell them I couldn't do it, my dear husband went in search of places to donate for PCOS. He found an article about a research foundation that was started because of my contacting all these places when I had originally decided to walk. I was amazed, overwhelmed and a wreck (in a good way). I couldn't believe that just little old me could spark something like that to happen. The article was by Monika Woosley and she started the InCyst Institute for Hormone Health. She created it to helps fund research about hormone disorders with a focus on alternative/nutritional/complementary treatments that are difficult to find funding for. I contacted her right away and she put me in touch with other people in my area that could be of help for my walk. Before long, we even had a hospital telling us they would sponsor us. I was amazed at all this happening so quickly.
     I look back now to where I was not even a year ago and I think to myself, I am PROUD!  I feel like a new person and I feel like I can inspire others to make changes in their lives.  At this point in my journey, I cannot say I have managed my PCOS but I feel I am on the right path and will be there very shortly.  I am so in tune with my body now and I can feel it inside.  I understand that this does not make my PCOS go away.  There is no cure.  You can take those words and do what you wish with them.  I chose to make my PCOS into a positive thing for me.  Now I go to my PCOS support group and choose to tell everyone I meet that I have PCOS.  When they ask, I have no shame telling them all about the symptoms it causes and to make them aware of how many women have it.  They are always shocked but I always think to myself, what if someone they know has those symptoms and they end up telling them to ask their Dr. about PCOS.  Then i would have helped someone get diagnosed that might now have been.
     When I go to these events, I meet so many amazing women that I relate to with-in a second of meeting.  They inspire me everyday that there is a silver lining on this cloud.  Now I look to the future and what I can do to make this world easier on my daughter and future children that may or may not have PCOS.  I will fight the battle now so they can have peace later with PCOS.
     Along this journey, I also found God which has helped me through so much of this.  I thank him for guiding me to be open, honest and confident to take on this challenge of spreading the word and hope about PCOS.

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