“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~~ Thomas Edison
Amen, Thomas! Especially to the “looks like work” part.
The time sine my last entry has been spent in a lot of fact finding. Finding out what my tendencies are, finding out where my system needs some tweaks, and areas where I definitely need to focus some concentration. This opportunity in my life looks exactly like work because what do you know? Its name is Work!
I don’t like work. I like things to be easy. I like to make a plan and have it work like a charm the first time. I am an instant gratification kind of girl. Waiting and watching and being patient are things I am no good at.
These are all characteristics that I am going to have to develop if I am realistically going to make the life style change necessary to fight this. To become the PCOS Diva (look for the website by the same name!) that I know I can be.
To help me on this path, I have remembered the advise of a wise old twenty five year old named Rafael Nadal. In his new book, Rafa talks about the sacrifices that were necessary to make him the athlete he is today. He uses words like, “commitment” and phrases like, “mind over matter” and talks about the habits that needed to be formed if his goal was to be the very best. He says that you can not stray from your routine, because the moment you do, it will be easy to find reasons to continue to do so, and your goal ceases to be of greatest importance to you.
That philosophy has gotten me out of bed at 5:30 am to hit the gym before work and has kept me thinking about how to fit gym time into my schedule on days when morning workouts aren’t possible. Kept me walking on that treadmill when I wanted to give up a little early because my new tennis shoes pinch and are rubbing blisters on my feet. Sure, it’s only been a week, but that’s something, right?
Eating habits are coming along a little more slowly. I see the value of a food journal but am quickly finding out that keeping one takes more time and diligence than I am generally inclined to put in. I am forever saying to myself as I frantically calculate totals in my head, “OK….got it….write it down later. I don’t know why I tell myself that lie. I never write it down later, and several “will do it laters” later, I’ve forgotten half of what I was supposed to remember.
I do know that journaling is an effort that will be worth putting in, though. It was through journaling that I recognized that counting protein grams was fine, but I needed to watch the fat grams more closely as well. I also found that it seems to be crucial that I eat and work on the computer at the same time. Apparently one will not function properly without the other in my brain.
I also noted some things that I feel I am doing well. I do get that liter of water in everyday, and I am better aware of my caloric intake than I thought I would be.
This last week hasn’t been flawless by any means, but I am happy with what I have learned, and will keep trying to incorporate them into my plan to live a healthier life.
So don’t worry, Tom. I won’t miss this opportunity. ;P
By the way, have you met Rafa?
(Listen to the message, not just the words, Mom… **wink*)
“You have PCOS. You will not be able to have children. Not without a lot of help anyway.”
“The problems with your blood pressure, all the weight gained, it’s because of the progression of the disease. Here’s another blood pressure pill.”
“You need to have a baby.”
“I’m not saying that you should try to get pregnant tomorrow, I’m just trying to illustrate how little I have to offer you.”
My name is Kelly, and I have PCOS. Like most of us with this disease, I was misdiagnosed from the first day. From the time I was twelve and had missed my second ever period for six months until the time I was twenty-five and was having hot flashes and mood swings so bad that I felt like two different people.
I had spent my whole life up to that point watching the weight gleefully pile itself around my middle and listened to one parent or the other remark about how round I was getting and trying every diet they encouraged. All without success, of course.
I suffered with the worst case of acne I had ever seen (at least in my self absorbed adolescent life), and I learned quickly to keep my head down because I was too young for make up and too ashamed to be seen. My parents wished they could send be to a dermatologist for professional help, but we didn’t have insurance, so well…there you go.
I became more and more withdrawn, more and more irritable, and then I finally succumbed to depression. My parents tried everything they knew to do to try to make me happy, and I really appreciated their efforts–I did–but nothing helped. I tried to hide it from them, but you know how parents are. They knew everything, felt bad, and I felt even worse. I wish we had known that it wasn’t anyone’s fault and most certainly not theirs.
I wish we had known that I was being held hostage by my own body.
Deep down in my heart, I knew. I knew something was wrong. But after doctor after doctor told me I was fine, shrugged their shoulders at every normal lab level and implied that I wasn’t being entirely truthful about how much I was eating and how much I was exercising, I stopped going. How many times was I going to put myself through that?
So that is how I went on for 13 years, developing every symptom in the book and just dealing with them because what else was there, until I felt the first hair on my neck.
Funny. I already mentioned I was feeling like two separate people: the nice girl everyone saw on the surface and the witch that only I lived with 24/7, but living with the two me’s didn’t bother me as much as that did. Hot fashes? I could deal. Mood swings? Bring ‘em on. Hair on my neck? Not to be tolerated.
I marched into my gyno’s office, demanded she fix me, and she proceeded to rattle off every symptom I had ever had before she told me, “You have PCOS.”
In retrospect, I think I was so relieved to know that there was actually a reason for everying I was feeling, I didn’t do as much research as I should have. I figured that since someone finally could tell me what was wrong with me, they knew how to “fix” it. There wasn’t a cure, but they would make everything go away and I would be normal. Little did I know that even with three knowledgeable doctors on my case, they only thing they could do for me was give me more pills that created as many problems for me as they were supposed to be fixing. Eight years later, I seem to have as few answers as I ever did. That point was driven home quite clearly about a week ago when I had my first appointment with my new endocrinologist (since I just moved back to this area eight months ago).
But before I get to that, I have to go back about five years. Five years ago, I tipped that scales at just over 240 pounds. At five feet, one inch tall…that wasn’t cute. Not at all. I decide enough was enough. I had tried all of my life to do lose this weight on my own, and I was steadily gaining. Even the Metformin wasn’t working. I was deeply ashamed of how I looked, felt constantly judged for every bite of food (healthy or not) that I put into my mouth, and on top of that, my health was in serious jeopardy. To quote my mother, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” I had LapBand surgery, and in addition to the metformin, I lost about sixty-five pounds.
With only forty pounds left to go, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then the band sprung a leak, and it was a year and a half before I could get insurance that was good enough to cover the revision and the care that would come after.
That was six weeks ago (yay!), but one of the instructions I was given is that I can’t take any pills bigger than a aspirin. That poses an immediate problem. Since I could never tolerate the regular metformin, I was put on extended release tablets, and those are bigger than an aspirin and can’t be cut in half. My bariatric surgeon wouldn’t change his recommendation, and my primary doctor opted to have me stop taking it all together until I had my endocrine appointment. And that ended with the same answer I have always gotten: “I don’t have anything else, so unless you want to try the regular Metformin again, I guess we just won’t have you take it. You are going to be losing weight now anyway, and that’s what is really going to help you.”
I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to scream that I know losing weight would help, but I can’t lose weight without the metformin, so what does she want me to do? But I didn’t. I just said, “If that’s my only option, I guess that’s what I’m going to have to do.” As I was leaving her office, upset and nearly in tears, it finally hit me.
The doctors can’t help me. I guess I’m going to have to help myself. I’m going to have to fight this on my own.
I’m going to have to fight like a girl.
But I know me. I know that at the first sign that my best intentions and my well organized plans don’t go as I hope, I will be discouraged and will give it all up. Decide it isn’t worth trying for because nothing will make a difference. I am going to need lots of encouragement along the way. I hope I am not being to forward by asking for help from anyone reading this blog.
Could you please, help me find any natural treatments that you have found helpful in treating PCOS? Could you encourage me to keep getting out there and exercising when I don’t think I can go to the gym one more time? When I am sure that all my work isn’t paying off at all? Could you pass on any tips at all that you found were helpful for you in your own journey?
I would be more greatful than you can ever know.