The Story Behind the Diagnosis

First of all I want to thank everyone for their kind words and support after my last blog post. I can’t even tell you how much it meant to me!

This next post describes the background about the health problems that are contributing to my fertility difficulties.

OK so getting engaged is really what kicks off this nightmare of a health problem. I got engaged to the most handsome man on the planet and began “the pill” (as poor college students, we decided the pros outweighed the cons). I immediately regretted my decision and within a week I had become a crazy person.

My emotions were all over the place and I didn’t know what to think. I mostly blamed myself thinking that all these life changes were just stressing me out. By “stressing me out” I mean I was constantly crying, a short temper, had terrible PMS, and terrible insomnia. This went on for our entire first year of our blissful marriage. Finally, near our anniversary I decided to stop birth control so that we could start trying to get pregnant.

I have always assumed (based on my family history and every story told me by aunts and my mom) that I would be a fertile goddess and have 7 kids whether I meant to or not.

Well, that didn’t happen. And I still was completely unaware of any real problems. I just continued to blame myself for how my body and mind were acting. (To be fair, Dallin was nothing but helpful and kind throughout this whole time.)

My original life plan was to have a baby by the time I graduated, hide my Anthropology degree in a box somewhere and be a stay at home mom. But I graduated ASU earlier than I planned which gave me a chance to work full-time while trying to have a baby.

And try we did.

After 6 months I became emotionally consumed with the task. I began tracking everything. Every calorie, every temperature fluctuation, every cycle. I slept 3 or 4 hours a night, maximum. Sex became a chore (in the second year of marriage…). My emotional stability was all over the place. I felt like I was breaking down in tears each day, snapping at Dallin for absolutely no reason, and the insomnia continued to worsen. Most nights I would fall asleep on the couch at 4am, and wake up at 7am completely wired.

Among these issues were other health issues that I have to assume were connected. I had severe eczema, constipation, anxiety and a constant, gnawing hunger. I gained 20 pounds within the year, was bloated, and sick.

Dallin was always looking for solutions and trying to present them to me in a kind way (you know, without coming out and saying, you’re being crazy you need help.) One day, Dallin read an article online about Gigi Hadid and Hashimoto disease. He sent it to me on Facebook along with the mayo clinic explanation of all of the symptoms and said: “you literally have all of these things.” Well hot dang, I did. (And no, I do not have Hashimoto’s disease that I am aware of but it gave me a wake-up call).

Suddenly I began to think that maybe all these things ruining my life were more than just a negative attitude and lack of self-control. Maybe it really was a hormonal imbalance. (Spoiler alert, it was).

I made the New Years resolutions to get my health figured out. I made the goal to ditch sugar beginning in 2017 (and have done pretty well so far). And I decided to test out my intolerance foods, but ditching them one-by-one, starting with gluten and then dairy a month later.

But just diagnosing myself based on internet clickbait hardly seemed the best way to approach modern medicine. I called a doctor that had worked with my family before and she took me on. She diagnosed me with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) meaning I have cysts growing on my ovaries. These cysts are the eggs that never release from the growing follicles and can and cause all sorts of problems.

And as bad as that sounded, this was the greatest news I had ever heard. You have no idea the relief that comes out of hearing that you’re not actually crazy. Now I have a potentially solvable problem, that through the right treatment, could help me one day have kids.

It’s not a guarantee and I could be struggling with infertility for a long time. This process is not going to be short or easy. And it might not even have the happy ending that I dream of, but it’s a step forward and that’s definitely the best way to go.

Ever since getting diagnosed with PCOS, I feel so much more relief and hope just because I have a clearer picture of what’s going on inside my body and I can try certain things to address it.

I will be blogging more in the future about what I am doing to address PCOS. If you are interested in being updated as  I write, you can sign up here.

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