For just about as long as I can remember, I’ve always had really bad acne, irregular periods, a ton of hair where I didn’t want it, and a number of other symptoms that I have come to know as characteristic of PCOS. Finally, earlier this year, my dermatologist wised up and sent me to the endocrinologist.
I’ve been on just about every single acne drug on the market since when I was about 8 and the doctor realized that the funny bumps on my forehead were premature acne. She prescribed some cream and dismissed itas something that would pass, but as soon as I hit puberty it went from bad to horrible.
I had really terrible cystic acne, not just on my face but also on my back and chest. I still have very visible scars from it years later. I tried everything from creams that needed to be refrigerated to cipro to every single antibiotic in the family designed to fight even the toughest acne. Even two courses of acutane could not tame the beast.
Then there’s the hair. I don’t have too many friends who can’t skip a day shaving their legs or who can’t leave the house without a thorough plucking of their chin. I also don’t have many friends who have a happy trail or a bush that could put the afros of the 70’s to shame. Keeping up with my hair removal is practically a full time job and it has gotten progressively worse over the years.
When I first got my period, I was told that it would take a year or two for it to regulate itself and I patiently waited. Since I first got my period at 14, it has never come in a regular, predictable cycle. Sometimes it would be 28 days, sometimes it would be 36 or even 41 days, and sometimes it wouldn’t come for months. When you are an 18 year old college student who is sexually active and using condoms as your main method of birth control, getting your period is like christmas. By the end of freshman year, the clerk at CVS knew which brand of pregnancy test I preferred.
The problem was, that I chalked all my symptoms up to other causes. I thought I had bad acne because my mom did when she was my age. I thought I was hairy because my dad is super hairy. I thought I was missing my periods because I was stressed out.
One day while I was at my 3rd appointment for laser hair removal at the highest voltage possible without any results thus far, my dermatologist asked me if I had regular periods. No. She asked me if I had dandruff, Yes. She commented on my weight gain around my middle despite my active lifestyle. She suggested that I forego any future laser treatments and get to an endocrinologist as soon as possible because it seemed like I had a textbook case of PCOS.
Since my diagnosis, I have been taking 100mg of Spiro twice a day as well as Ocella (generic yasmin.) So far I have lost 8 pounds–I still have a ways to go before I reach my goal of 50 pounds, but I’m getting there. My skin is feeling less oily and the hair on my upper lip seems finer!
For the first time in a long time, I’m starting to feel like a girl again and it’s the best feeling in the world!
For me, PCOS has been this baggage that I’ve been carrying around for so long without ever knowing what was in it. Now that I know why I am the way I am and how to fix it, I don’t feel like a freak anymore. I know that I am someone who has a disorder, BUT I know that living with it doesn’t have to be a daily shame-fest anymore.
When I walk down the street these days, I have a swagger in my step. Guys are starting to look at me again the way they did before I got fat and hairy. And it’s a great feeling!
Want to connect with me? My name is jetslover on the SoulCysters Message Board.
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