Thursday, November 8, 2012

#NHBPM 7 of 30 - Raise awareness for another condition - PCOS/Fertility Issues

My friend PJ writes about her battle...

This may be a 2 part post

When Mel asked me to guest post on her blog I, without thinking, immediately said “yes”.

 Then I realized what I had just committed to.

 I had just committed to saying out loud the things I keep locked away pretty tight in the box at the back of my emotional wardrobe. Upon inspection I find my emotional wardrobe to be kind of a mess and a good spring cleaning is probably in order.

 The exact text that came from Mel is “Wondering if you’d like to write a guest blog for me on fertility issues”

 So there it is.

 Let’s back up.

 I’m PJ.

 I know Mel from our time spent at Great Lakes, IL when my husband was still in the Navy.

 I love Mel, can I say that real quick.

 I don’t think she knows how amazing she is.

 Can we get a moment of appreciation for the woman I lovingly call friend.

 I blog about crafts, DIY, and other random bits of life at Planned in Pencil

I originally started my blog as a more positive place to share my life after my original blog “Confessions of a Sugar Addict” got to be a very dark place for me. Sugar addiction is a whole different post. I could write a book on the drama of dealing with a disease that is not technically recognized by 99% of the world.

 My diagnosis is Insulin Resistant, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Non-Ovulation Infertility.

 Here’s how it goes. I eat (too much and of not the right food but that goes back to that other issue) my body recognizes sugar and creates insulin, my cells kind of know what to do with the insulin, but not really so I have too much of the stuff. This excess insulin cause two things, hormonal imbalance and body fat. It’s funny because the more you weigh the worse your insulin resistance gets, and the worse your insulin resistance gets the more you weight.

 Anyone else see the issue there? The hormonal imbalance is the part we’re going to discuss today.

Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a lot more common that you know, you probably know women who have it, you may even know women who have fertility issues because of it… but what you may not know is the toll it takes on your health and your heart.

When I ovulate (which is rare) my ovary does not release an egg like a “normal” ovary, instead a small cyst is formed around the egg. Normally these cysts are small and contained within the ovary, but it is not unheard of for a cyst to grow, and burst and cause extreme pain and damage.

An ultrasound of a PCOS ovary looks like a chocolate chip cookie

Rare ovulation + no egg = no babies.

Women with PCOS are often overweight because of the Insulin Resistance. Although this is not always true because I’ve met women with PCOS that can’t gain a pound if they try! I wish I had that problem! Instead my weight has steadily increased over the years since puberty until I am where I am today. Morbidly Obese (yuck I hate that term!)

 I have lost weight but only if I completely cut out carbs and sugars of all kinds.

So far I have been unsuccessful in breaking the cycle of sugar addiction in my life, it’s not easy folks. 

So you’ve got PCOS… what now?

 For some women no medical intervention is required, they get pregnant and have healthy children without ever knowing they have it.

 For others, like myself, even after years of trying they never achieve a pregnancy.

I decided at the beginning of this journey that I would take all the pills they could throw at me, but that I wasn’t willing to put my body through IVR or IVF (link to definitions).

 I have gone through fertility treatment cycles including a medicine to chemically induce a cycle, and then another to force ovulation (Clomid),followed by progesterone suppositories (I’ll let your imagine figure out what I had to do with that!)

This works for a lot of women with PCOS, but I was not one of them.

 In the almost 10 years since my husband and I married I have never gotten pregnant. (“But you sure do have fun practicing” was a joke that was appreciated by no infertile woman ever)

 This was all during the time that my husband was actively serving in the US Navy. Our treatment cycles were often disrupted by work ups, sorties, underway periods and deployments.  Maybe with a normal schedule we would have had better luck, I don't know.

Now however T is out of the Navy, we're re-establishing our lives, finding jobs, creating a support network.  It's not the first priority on our list of things to do right now (heck, get insurance is numero uno)

Someday we hope to adopt.

Our road to parenthood is not going to be normal, or easy, but I do think it's going to be worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment