PCOS Awareness Month

pcos-awarenessdownload

I wish I could tell you where that graphic originated from, but I can’t. If I find it, I will cite my source 🙂

I suffer from PCOS. I am pretty sure it is about 90% the reason I have to conceive via IVF only. You see, I had PCOS starting at about 15, but I didn’t know. I was in and out of ERs through my teens and no one could tell me why I was blacking out and had excruciating pains. Turns out, I had ovarian cysts that were rupturing. I found that out when I was about 19, and by chance when a nurse ordered and ultrasound because it sounded suspiciously like what her kid sister went through.

My PCOS story -originally posted in The Beginning to the End

PCOS

 

Ever since I started my first period on my 10th birthday (Thanks! What a present huh?) I have had irregular painful periods. I would go straight on for 2 weeks with a heavy flow, off one week, or every other week, or skip a month or anything else. I would always have to carry spare clothes and be weary of the “double over in pain” moments.

 

I had severe pain during my period and 2 weeks after. Then one day, shortly after I met my now husband James, I had the worst pain of my life. It was about 2 weeks after my period. I was throwing up and blacking out. He rushed me to the emergency room. I stayed there for hours with doctors hovering never finding the cause. They sent me home with some extra strength ibuprofen.

 

I went home dumbfounded. What the hell was wrong?? Two weeks later while at James’ dorm, it happened again. This time I couldn’t move it was so bad. Again I was rushed to the hospital only to be sent home several hours later with a mild pain medication.

 

I was fine for awhile after that, only the normal pain, then one day at work that summer… It hit again. I had to wait in the cafeteria at the factory I worked in for my mom to come get me.

 

Luckily, my brother worked at the same place and it got around that something was wrong and he came and sat with me while I waited. I don’t think he will ever know what that meant to me 🙂

Finally, mom gets there. I have a bucket to throw up in and I am ready. The hospital was less than 5 minutes away. As we start driving, I am sweating and disoriented, nut I notice we are going the wrong way! I cough out, “where are we going?”

 

“Greenfield, this hospital is no more than a Band-Aid station. I want answers.” Great. Greenfield was 30 minutes away! I just hang in and go. When we get to the half way point mom pulls off the highway. Oh great another detour. I am in intense pain and vomiting….and she goes to pick up my sister and nephew! I was furious. My sister gets in the car.

 

“What the hell, mom? Krystal looks horrible! Why didn’t you just take her? You just said you were going to take Krystal Greenfield. You didn’t say to the doctor!”

 

Wow, she didn’t even tell her why?! Could this get any worse? Another wave of pain and nausea washed over me and I realized it could. I couldn’t hold in the screams and vomit. Then, there sat my poor 2 year old nephew terrified and crying as well.

 

But wait! It gets better, my mother stopped at a gas station on the way to get a cold soda! At least before she went in she asked me if I wanted anything, right?

 

Once finally at the hospital a mere 45 minutes later, I was put into the waiting room crying and vomiting, in a wheel chair shaking uncontrollably. To make it better a man and his son were laughing and pointing at me. Finally my mother blew up at them (go momma bear) and I was put in a private waiting room where my sister held my hair and cleaned the vomit off me (what an amazing sister right? She soon went to school to be a CMA. Very appropriate).

 

Finally, I am called back and tell them my history and all the other visits. Again, they are in the dark. It is not until I am sitting there with a morphine drip that a nurse comes in the clean my vomit tray. She takes one look at me and rushes out to get the on call Doc. They come in and explain. The nurses little sister had PCOS and was exactly the same. She knew right away.

The doctor ordered and ultrasound. 1 hour later I was told I probably has PCOS and would have to confer with my OBGYN. I had had a mass of cysts so large that it engulfed my ovary on my left side and my right ovary was covered. One chat has ruptured on my left side and caused a pressure chain reaction of ruptures….

 

That explains the extreme pain. Finally, an answer. All the other visits were similar. Ruptured cysts.

 

I was put on birth control and after a couple months all was well with the world.

Little did I know how devastating going untreated for so long would be down the road.

PCOS and cyst rupturing left my tubes and ovaries scarred beyond repair. Eventually one tube would come out.

PCOS Facts

ALL INFORMATION I HAVE LISTEN HAS COME FROM WWW.PCOSFOUNDATION.ORG

How do you know if you have PCOS?1

While there isn’t a single sure-fire test to tell you if you have PCOS, there are several factors and common signs and symptoms that you may display:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Irregular periods referred to as Olingomenorrhea
  • Weight gain, overweight, and difficulty losing weight
  • Excess hair growth on the face and body
  • Darkened patches of skin
  • Skin tags
  • Infertility
  • Thinning hair
  • Insulin resistance
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • High blood pressure
  • Cysts on the ovaries (multiple)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep apnea
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Increased stress levels

Just to name a few. Sounds wonderful, right?

What is PCOS anyway?

PCOS is an acronym for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also referred to as Stein-Leventhal Syndrom (what a mouth full!). PCOS is one of the leading hormonal endocrine disorders in women today. For over 75 years, PCOS has been recognized and diagnosed. PCOS has been referred to as the “Silent Killer,” as it has been linked to increased risks of developing several major medical risks including, but not limited to, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.1

Below you can find links to helpful and useful information found at www.pcosfoundation.org

Sign and Symptoms of PCOS

Risks and Related Conditions

Getting Help

  1. “PCOS Foundation.”Welcome to. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2014. http://www.pcosfoundation.org/

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