I am 32 years old. I have had PCOS as long as I can remember.
I started my period when I was 11. I had full breasts (C-cup) in 5th grade and I got teased alot for it. I was always a “thick” girl, I have thick wrists, long skinny fingers and very little in the way of hips or butt. I have always carried weight in my middle. I had a lot of arm hair very early and I honestly probably needed to start shaving my legs and armpits when I was about 10.
Even when I was a young teen, my periods weren’t normal. I told my mom when I was 13 that I hadn’t had a period for 4 months and she chalked it up to growth spurts and just being young and not regular yet. I knew something wasn’t right even in those days. I had weird feelings in my stomach, which I now realize were growing cysts and other issues with my uterus and ovaries. I finally became a bit more regular when I was 15 and stayed that way for about a year. Around this same time I lost about 15 pounds and was finally becoming a pretty young lady.
At 17, I went through some serious psychological issues. I lost my best friend of 10 years, I had bad acne and I was just really awkward. Coupled with parents who had very high expectations for me and who took NO time to get to know me or care for what I was dealing with, I nearly had a breakdown.
I turned to sex for comfort and in a short period of time I had several partners. I wasn’t being careful, and I never had a pregnancy scare. I knew that promiscuity was wrong, but I was so desperate for love and attention that I didn’t care. About this same time I stopped having my period. I was TERRIFIED! I was sure I was pregnant and I started thinking of ways to runaway so my parents wouldn’t find out. My boyfriend, who was almost 16, started telling me that we could run away to Canada and get married, but I knew he was wrong. Besides, I was a junior in high school and didn’t really want to marry him. I bought a HPT and it was negative. I went to Planned Parenthood and got another test and they told me I wasn’t pregnant.
It was here that they found the first signs of PCOS. I had started having HORRIBLE periods that would make me miss school because I would vomit and be in so much pain that moving hurt. I told them this and they told me to go to a gynecologist.
I explained to my mom the situation. She decided to make me an appointment with a doctor–a PEDIATRICIAN! She hadn’t transferred my records yet, so I was 17 and getting blood drawn while sitting on a firetruck bed.
Humiliating. When the bloodwork came back, they found nothing unusual and convinced my mom that I was having some sort of psychosomatic illness. I told her they were wrong. I was falling asleep in school all the time because I was completely exhausted despite sleeping 8 hours the night before. I was bleeding so heavily that I often brought extra pants to school in case I had a bleed through.
I was missing school because I was so sick. I had diarrhea all the time. I gained 15 pounds for no reason. My breasts were unusually veiny for someone so young and I just felt sick all the time. Finally we went to a GP who diagnosed me with cysts and put me on Ortho Tri-Cyclen. It helped for a while, despite the weight gain. I had regular periods again and much of my sickness went away. I was finally starting to feel normal again.
At 19, I took a job at a sealants factory. I worked around awful toxic chemicals all day. It started to make me ill. When I met my DH, he made me quit. When I was working there I lost a lot of weight. I went from a size 14 to a size 9, and I was very toned and muscular. I gained about 30 pounds in six months after quitting. This was when the hair started growing on my chin and my periods got crazy. Since I didn’t have insurance anymore, I didn’t go to a doctor.
Fast forward 12 years to 2011. I was diagnosed in June of 2011 with PCOS. Things haven’t gotten much better, except that I have a name for my illness. I still suffer from irregular periods, hair issues, weight gain, general malaise. I am on Metformin and Vitamin D. The Metformin has just stopped me from gaining weight, but hasn’t actually helped me lose weight. I have severe anxiety and I am working through my issues one day at a time. I hope to be able to have a baby in the next year or so.
Want to connect with me? My name is libbielibbie on the SoulCysters Message Board.