She said, “Don’t worry, this happens sometimes when you come off the pill.”
I didn’t like that answer. And I certainly didn’t want to continue passively waiting for my symptoms to disappear (cuz my belly definitely wasn’t going anywhere).
So I kept going back. I kept pushing.
Eventually, my doctor did some blood work and the results were concerning, so she sent me to my gynecologist.
Then more blood work. And ultrasounds.
And at last- a diagnosis! It only took a year of my life.
I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
My gynecologist gave the same advice so many women with PCOS receive:
“Take these birth control pills and metformin, and lose some weight.”
I thought, Is this all she’s got? Do I really want to be tied down to using weird meds forever, I’m so young! I can’t believe this is the only way.
There’s no f#%king way I’m taking these medications. I just learned about the potential infertility, blood clots, depression and cancer birth control can bring, and a random diabetic drug? Not a chance.
I refused all meds and she shrugged saying there was no other way.
I wanted to yell some pretty crazy obscenities at her. I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from launching into a rant about how she definitely, in no way actually CARED about me or knew a damn thing about actually getting rid of PCOS -- rather than just covering it up with some pharmaceutical “band-aids”.
I’m so grateful to have known these pills were “band-aids” because of my holistic nutrition training- unless it’s getting to the deep root of a problem, I don’t want it!
Not to mention the depression, anxiety, generally feeling numb and crazy acne spurts that I experienced those years I was already on the pill. Never again.
I took that as a challenge and spent WAY more hours than I’d like to admit researching PCOS and using myself as a guinea pig. I even went to the bookstore and spent a bundle on PCOS books the very same day I was diagnosed!
After I started making changes I got my first period off the pill. OMG, I was sooo excited!! A period, with legit ovulation, and not terribly heavy flow! This was not anything I’d ever experienced before.
My weight started to decrease and stabilize - no diet pills or Metformin needed. I truly couldn’t believe how easy it was when my experience with weight loss in the past were all about horrible deprivation and counting the hours until I could have a few more almonds. . .
My skin started to clear up and the growth of facial hair slowed to a snail’s pace -- Spironolactone? Who needs it!
My brush (+ bathroom floor) weren’t covered in hair after a week anymore.
And somewhere in there like a stealth spy, JOY began to come out.
I’m not talking fleeting or situational happiness here, I’m talking heart-bursting, heel-clicking, ever-present JOY.
What a revelation!