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Adoption, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Women's Health

The Joys of PCOS and Immunity

I have not written in awhile because I had come down with the flu. I get the flu shot every year, but this year it did not work. I do believe that if I had not gotten the shot, that the flu would have been much worse. Having PCOS, there had been some evidence of a correlation of having decreased immunity. I was around my brother very briefly when he returned from Maryland and a couple days later, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was not able to take vitamins because I was getting ready for my sinus surgery. Needless to say, that surgery has now been postponed for at least four more weeks. This will not work because I will be at the beginning of the one of the most crucial parts of school. I need to begin my testing to make it into the dissertation courses.

I have been struggling to get caught up this week. I have basically been sleeping the majority of it away. It has been hard to function. I am finally feeling like I am coming out of the other side of it.

There are some good things happening in life. We looked at houses tonight and have decided to put an offer on a four bedroom/three bathroom that we found about a mile away from where were are now. It is an older house and we have a lot of work to do to update it and make it look nice, but it has so much space for all of us. This will mean breaking the lease on where we live now, but it will be worth it. It had pretty much all of the musts that we had on our list. The basement has two rooms for our stepson to have his own privacy with his own bathroom. It has four bedrooms, so our little girl can have two rooms. They will not connect like they do now (but we could knock down part of one of the walls for that to happen). There are two living areas. The coolest part is the main area has a fireplace with shelving on both sides like on Sherlock. My husband and I are huge Sherlock fans and have decided that this will be our study.

Tomorrow we go to sign the papers at the attorney’s office to further the adoption of our stepson. This will allow us to set a court date for the adoption. We will also begin the adoption process of my stepdaughter. That way if there were to be anything to happen, she would be taken care of with me. Unfortunately, when my stepson’s mother passed away, the laws did not see my husband as his legal guardian even though he had been living with him. He was immediately kicked off of his insurance and lost all of the other benefits that my husband afforded him. This will fix this and make sure it never happens to my stepdaughter. I am actually really excited because I will be their adoptive mom. I will never try to take the place of their mom, I never wanted to. I just want to make sure that I am an adoptive mom that they can come to when they need something and to help them through the trials in life.

So, there is my update. Now my stepdaughter can stop asking when I am going to update. I still wish she’d let me get a picture of her adorable new hair cute!

anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress

The Anxiety and Stress

I am going to be completely honest. I am struggling lately. I have been having many stomach flare ups which may be caused by stress or by medication. Due to the stomach issues, I had been confined to bed for a few days. I went to the ER, and they gave me a medication that I had a really bad reaction to. I had the worst panic attack and felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin. They had to give me two other different medications to counteract the reaction. What angers me is that they say that it is a rare reaction. If it is such a rare reaction, then both of the ER doctors who look to be just out of med school should not have seen the reaction as many times as they have. Since then, my anxiety has been through the roof and it has been hard to function normally.

I know that my hormones are off balance right now. That does not help with the depression and anxiety going on. I had an appointment with my therapist yesterday and have decided to move forward with seeing her once a week for now. We are going to do some hypnotherapy again. I am a huge advocate for hypnotherapy. I also met with my new psychiatrist. Things are definitely going to be changing to get me back to my self. They are going to begin weaning me off of one of the medications that they think is upsetting my stomach and begin putting me on another.

My brother’s alcoholism has gotten worse. He looks horrible from the addiction. So, instead of actually working or studying right now, I am on the phone trying to find an affordable interventionist to work with my family to get him into a treatment. I honestly do not see him being around another year if he continues down this path. It is heartbreaking and a major cause of stress. I really want my brother back in my life, the one before the alcohol took over.

Another area is stress is the adoption that we are working on right now. My stepson is an adult and has made his decision. It is stressing everyone out. He would be afforded so many opportunities to better his life in this adoption. But, people keep sticking their noses in places that it does not belong. I have never seen a family so in each others business and so judgemental of what their family members do. It is so toxic. The worst part is when they google information and all of a sudden become experts on the law. I guess they know more about the law than the attorney that has been practicing family law for over 30 years, who is also a partner at one of the top law firms in the area.

Speaking of that, the reason I was told not to use the internet is that with adding on one medication to my other one, there can be a reaction. There is a tiny chance that there can be one, and none of the psychiatrists that mine has worked with have ever seen it. So, I need to steer clear of looking up symptoms. That way I do not cause the symptoms in myself. Part of the issues with treating an anxiety disorder is that the anxiety disorder fights the treatment. Part of the reason I think this country has been dumbed down is the fact that so many people google subjects and all of a sudden think they are experts.

I know this blog is based around my battle with PCOS. But PCOS can be worsened by stress and outside factors. I am not one to sugar coat or hide things. I have been fighting a battle every single day these past few weeks. It is a fight for my life. I cannot let anxiety and depression rule my life as it once did. It is not a way to live. I am taking every step possible to get out of this funk. I know it won’t be the last funk, because funks happen. I must find a way to handle this stress before I lose myself. I am tired of being sick and tired.

Health, Infertility, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Pregnancy, Uncategorized, Women's Health

Baby Talk

My husband and I have always talked about trying for a baby. I had always wanted kids, but was never sure of the pregnancy part. When I was a teenager, I had thought I would get married and have children. Yet, I wanted a career more than a family at the time. When I was 22, I began dating someone I went to high school with. This relationship ended up being one that would wreck me. He was extremely emotionally abusive. It was not just him that was emotionally abusive to me, it was also his parents and brother. I lived with them for a short time in Des Moines before him and I got an apartment together in Ames. Things escalated and to cut the story short, he got physically abusive and broke my leg. More on that in another blog. Anyways, because of this broken leg, I had a DVT (blood clot in the leg) that traveled to my lung and caused a pulmonary embolism. My first night in the hospital, they did not know if I was going to make it. Again, more on this later.

The reason that I bring this up is because of having a blood clot in the past, I am unable to take any hormones. I am watched closely with the IUD in. I still get panic attacks. When one gets pregnant, they are at a higher risk for blood clots. If someone has had a blood clot in the past, it is an even higher risk.

This brings me around to the doctor today. This was my second opinion doctor. With having PCOS, it is already hard for me to get pregnant. I cannot do IVF because it has hormones. I cannot do a surrogate, because I would have to use hormones to get my eggs ready to harvest. Basically, either way I look at it, it would be too much of a risk for me to get pregnant.

Through the years I have grappled with anger and depression over the baby issue. It is hard to be excited for other women that get pregnant and even harder to go to baby showers. I am angry that my ex has two healthy children. Because of his abuse, I cannot have a baby of my own. I am angry that there are women out there that have no business having children. Some women can pop out babies left and right. They are usually the ones that do not properly care for their children.

That being said, I have always thought about adoption and foster care. There are kids out there who do need good homes. I honestly felt a bit selfish wanting to have my own kid and add to an already over-populated earth. There are plenty of kids out there that need parents. I have two stepchildren who are amazing and keep me on my toes. Soon, that will change also.

I also have to look at my life as it is now. My husband and I are looking at houses to buy. My best friend’s sister is our realtor. We have found a few. I am in my last actual class for my doctorate. I begin the dissertation process in May. I will officially be a doctoral candidate and not a student. I have picked out my dissertation topic. This time next year, I will be getting ready to defend my dissertation. My husband and I would like to travel. We are planning a honeymoon in May. Life is pretty full. So, while I was angry and cried a bit today, I am okay. I have already gone through the motions and grieved. I may never forgive my ex for hurting me, but I will not be angry for things that are out of my control. If we always focus on what we cannot control, then that controls our life. I already let anger, anxiety, and depression take my 20’s away from me. I refuse to let it take anymore.

This year, I am kicking PCOS in the ass. I have finally gotten an appointment to meet with the bariatric surgeon. The next six months will be a hard road. I have my sinus surgery coming up next month. Every little bit to help me feel better. I will soon be officially (on paper) a parent. As much as I wanted a baby, having a baby does not make life full. It is not a curse to not be able to have children. I have two children now who needed someone in their life. Sometimes things work out how they do. I do believe in fate.

Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Women's Health

Finally, An Introduction

Here I am, 39 years old. I am six months away from turning 40. I am not quite sure when the symptoms of PCOS started. I do know that when I was a teenager, I had horrible periods. I would have such bad cramps that I would miss school at least once a month. I tried everything from medication to crazy treatments that were handed down by generations of women. I was a skinny little thing growing up. When I was 19, I finally saw a doctor about my issues with anxiety and period issues. I was put on birth control for the period issues.

I began putting on weight. I stopped taking birth control and I literally blew up. It was really tough because I was raised to think my worth was in my looks. The mom issues are for another blog. I was in and out of doctors because I felt horrible. I would miss periods and have to take pregnancy tests because I had never heard of PCOS. At that time, I had no idea that I had anything too serious. Around the age of 22, I missed a period for three months. When I did end up having one, it was so heavy and horrible that I was stuck in bed for days. The doctor had thought it was stress. She could not explain why I had gained weight or having issues. She figured it was because I was part of the “real world” now. That means, I was out of college with a full-time job. I still exercised and ate healthy, yet I kept putting on weight.

When I was 25, things took a turn. I ended up in the emergency room because of having a period that would not end. It was heavy and painful. I was finally diagnosed with PCOS. I was told that I would probably never have children, if I just lost weight that the symptoms would dissipate, and that there was no cure. I bought every book that I could on the subject. I joined online groups. I needed to learn all that I could. I was put on metformin.

On a side note, I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and self-worth issues my whole life. I was in several abusive relationships in my early 20’s. At this point, I was in a depression and I was continuing to slip right down the drain. I was drinking heavily and stopped taking my medications.

I was 30 and had a good job and a nice boyfriend (or so I thought). I had not had a “real” period in months. I say real, because I spotted every month. I began a period in March of 2011. By April, I finally went to the emergency room because it was so heavy and was not stopping. My blood count was still good and I was sent away with an appointment with an obgyn. By the time that appointment came around, my boyfriend had broken up with me. I had been in so much pain and was bleeding through pads every other hour. I woke up that morning and I was white as a piece of paper. I felt so faint. My mom drove me to the doctor and when she took blood, I nearly passed out. She had made an appointment for me to have surgery on Friday (it was Tuesday) to stop the bleeding. However, an hour later, she called me and told me I needed to get to the hospital right away. My hemoglobin level was at 5. Transfusion levels are at a 7 or 8. I needed a transfusion and I needed one now. By the time we got to the hospital, I could no longer walk. I had to be wheeled in. I ended up with a blood transfusion and a dilation and curettage surgery.

It turns out that my uterine lining was over ten centimeters. Because I have had a blood clot in the past, I am not a candidate for oral contraceptives. I ended up having an IUD put in. I am now on my second one, and it has been a life saver.

The journey I have been on with PCOS has not been easy. There are many symptoms of PCOS and not everyone suffers the same way. I was taken off of metformin a couple years ago due to stomach issues. My doctor does not like to put people on metformin unless they meet the diabetic levels on their A1C. Since I test under, I am safe for now.

Some of the symptoms that I have with PCOS are the insulin resistance and inability to lose weight properly, oily skin and acne (though that has gotten better with age), missed and heavy periods (I am not sure if I still have this due to the IUD), anxiety and depression, cysts on my ovaries, I have never been pregnant, and others that may not be typical of PCOS, such as stomach issues.

PCOS is beginning to gain momentum in the medical field and more attention and funds are being given to the study of it. It is thought that one in ten women suffer from PCOS, but there is talk that it may be as many as one in five. There is also rumors that PCOS may be renamed to better include all of the symptoms. It is not clear what causes PCOS.

Fighting PCOS every day is exhausting, but I know that I am not alone. I will not stop in educating others about it. There are days that I have to push through it and there are days where I feel good. I am still on this journey and will be for the rest of my life. This year things are changing. I am taking better care of myself than I have in the past. There are so many misconceptions about PCOS and I am here to set the record straight and share my journey with others. I hope sharing helps keep me heal and keep myself in check. I also hope it helps to educate and inspire others.

Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Uncategorized, Women's Health

New Blog

Well, here I am again. This is my new blog. My old domain will expire and everything will move over to my domain. I decided to keep the same website and start over. You can now follow me on Twitter @mypcosadventure and on Instagram at @mypcosadventures. I have not set up a Facebook yet and am still in the works on the other two items.

I will be getting to a longer introduction in the next day or so. It takes awhile to change, and I want to do this right. There is much more to come in the future and I am excited for the new changes. Thank you to the ones who are still following me. Here is to new beginnings!