Thursday is my follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist, who will have had a chance to review my lab results. Thursday, I will finally have an answer.
Since my teens I have had unexplained weight gain, fatigue, acne, slightly elevated prolactin levels (leading to breast discharge), hirsutism, mood swings, bloating, pelvic pain, fluctuating blood pressure and scalp hair loss. My cycle isn’t regular, but I do menstruate.
At age 15, I was diagnosed with Depression. After that, it seemed every doctor with whom I pleaded for an answer told me my physical problems were a sign of a mental health disorder. Thirteen years after that, my new primary care physician decided to start from scratch to rule out actual physical disease. It took about two years after that to get a diagnosis of Celiac Disease.
Since then, I have been on a gluten-free diet and my health has greatly improved. However, Celiac Disease cannot account for all of my symptoms. When the routine annual bone density scan I take as a Celiac petient revealed Osteopenia at age 32, I was told to see an endocrinologist. At the time I had no idea that one endo isn’t as good as another, so I made an appointment to see the doctor nearest me.
After many expensive and, I found out later, useless tests (she tested me for a rare cancer found only in geriatric, male patients), she told me there was no medical issue and that all my problems would be solved if I just lose weight. Of course, why didn’t I think of that! I asked her if I could have PCOS. She told me that if I had PCOS, my OB/GYN would’ve diagnosed it by now. My PCP disagreed with that, and sent me for an ultrasound. When it came back normal, PCOS was officially ruled out.
When my next bone scan showed even greater deterioration, my PCP urged me to see an endocrinologist that he trusts. Less than a week later I was in the new endo’s office, being assured we will get to the bottom of this. For the first time, I learned that women can have PCOS even when their ovaries are normal on examiniation, and that some PCOS patients even have normal menses.
My doctor took some blood to rule out a few other things (guess she doesn’t trust the results from last year) and test my insulin level among other things, but told me she is fairly convinced I have PCOS. Because it is a syndrome, she says, there is no one definition or test. Therefore, as long as everything else is ruled out (again), I will have a diagnosis on Thursday. Less than 72 hours from now. Finally, a diagnosis. Then a treatment plan. Hallelujah.
Want to connect with me? My name is SaguaroStings on the SoulCysters Message Board.
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