Okay, it’s time to tell y’all what in the hell is going on. And if you’ve been following me on social media this last week you know that it’s been a whirlwind start to 2020.
This blog post is going to raw and real. No filter. My thoughts. My worries. My current diagnosis. How I got to the doctor in the first place. Unfiltered medical talk/symptoms. I’ve treated this as my diary over the last few days! I’m warning you now that this blog post will be long, but I’m looking forward to sharing this all. We haven’t sat down together for a life update in a while!
So if you are okay with all of the above and still want to read this. Buckle in. Grab a tea, coffee, glass of wine and let’s have girl talk.
Chapter 1: Where did my phobia of the doctor come from? LET 👏🏿 ME 👏🏿 TELL 👏🏿 YOU 👏🏿
The Start: Let’s start with the fact that I hate going to the doctor. I’ve developed a phobia over the last couple of years after some awful times and experiences at the doctor. And I’m not trying to keep y’all here all day. BUT I’ll share one for some context.
One time, I went to the doctor a couple of years ago for a swollen/sore throat. Now y’all know I’m plus-size (this will come into play in a bit.) It’s also important that you know that I’ve been on birth control (the pill form) for YEARRRSSSS. I started around the time I went to college. And I originally started it to regulate my periods and get my cystic acne under control because who wants pimples when they are going into college?! I didn’t. Back to 2017 lol … So I went to the doctor thinking I could get some type of antibiotic to clear the symptoms right? WRONG. I got to the doctor and it felt like once she saw that I was plus-sized and heard that I was on birth control. She went into immediate overdrive. “Do your calves hurt?! Do you have pain in your chest?! You may a blood clot! We are calling the ambulance now. We can’t give you anything for your throat! YOU GOTTA GO TO THE ER NOW!!”
Spoiler alert: The EMTs in the ambulance laughed at me and my situation. They said that if I wanted to get something for my throat I would have to go to the ER. So I took an Uber to the ER (didn’t need a $500 bill to go 10 blocks) and the people in the ER were like why is this girl here?! She’s fine! They gave me my sore throat medicine and sent me on my way with a $500 bill!
Y’all this event has scarred me for life. I have little trust in doctors now. Like I know weight is a factor in health, but it’s not the only factor and it’s not an excuse to not listen to my symptoms and draw to the conclusion “All of this would go away if you lost weight”. That isn’t it.
And because of that and more experiences like that I’ve started to avoid the doctor like the plague. Now let’s get to the symptoms I’ve been having…
Chapter 2: Much needed context
A little background: So remember I’ve been on birth control for years. And around June/July my birth control prescription ended. I went to another doctor trying to get it re-prescribed but she definitely said no, because you guessed it… my weight. She wasn’t an ob/GYN but again added this experience into my phobia bucket/stereotype of doctors.
So instead of just going to another doctor, I decided to get off birth control.
Aaron and I are safe and aren’t trying (if you know what I mean) so we discussed how it would be okay. So I thought.
Chapter 3: Symptoms from a horror movie
My Symptoms: For the last few months I haven’t been having a period. Which per my Google searches is normal. I’d have random spotting here and there but nothing substantial. Living the life! lol. But I have always had these fatigue spells. Where my exhaustion levels hit an ultimate high and I take these long naps and wake up feeling even more exhausted. Come December 20th, I was having the craziest work week. I mean my boss was out, late nights, I was the commander of my team and designing at the same time which was taking all of my energy and sleep. I remember being in a meeting and feeling the sharpest pains in my side. And literally (all women are on my team), being like, this team has made me start my period LOL. I’ve gotta take a moment for myself and go to the restroom FINALLY (Back-to-back meetings = not enough bathroom breaks)! Having a laugh about it and rushing to the bathroom. I hadn’t had a cramp this bad in a while. I almost felt like my vagina had dumped at one point which is weird to describe but it almost feels like when you really have to pee and your pee passes that second threshold and when it comes out it’s more like waterfall versus a stream.
TMI ALERT: I had so much blood when I went to the bathroom. LIKE SO MUCH. I had bled through my clothes bad. And I don’t know if it was seeing all the blood but at that moment sitting in the stall, all of my exhaustion hit me immediately. It honestly knocked the wind out of me and not to be funny scared me s#itless.
So my brain immediately went to “Oh! It’s a period! After a few months without one this makes sense. The ultimate period! It’s been waiting. My body is finally back to pre-birth control.” Makes sense.
Well, the bleeding would come and go. I’d spot randomly. Bleed alot. Somedays not at all. Which I’m not used to personally. My periods from my memory would always be this gradual increase to hit one or two heavy days and then come down to an ultimate stop. Well I was into day 4 or 5 of bleeding when I had another alarming moment.
TMI ALERT: That night, I think it was the day before Christmas Eve. I passed the largest blood clot that I’ve ever. Which was really alarming. My mind immediately went into a spiral.
Was I pregnant?
Did I miscarry?!
This can’t be normal?
Is this from work stress?!
Do I have fibroids?!
WHAT IN THE F*CK IS HAPPENING?!
It’s always something.
Maybe it’ll go away. It’s built up months of periods!
I don’t want to go into the doctor.
Tears started to follow. I was full-on anxiety attack and called Aaron for a second opinion.
Can we pause a second and thank God for the angel that is Aaron?! I’m sure y’all already know. BUT I LOVE THIS MAN. I have shown him IT ALL. And every time he remains unphased and comes to meet me and support me right where I’m at.
Even if that means angry, scared, and hanging over the side of the sink while sitting on the toilet. I’m so blessed. Now that’s a whole blog post in itself so I’m gonna get back to our scheduled discussion. ♥️
Aaron immediately was like “You need to go to the doctor” and I honestly was playing around. I did NOT want to go. For someone to tell me I just need to lose weight?! Absolutely not.
But this cycle of spotting, bleeding heavily, exhaustion and passing clots larger than a quarter kept continuing. Google told me clots larger than a quarter were a concern. So I scheduled an ob/GYN appointment after work Thursday thinking all it was is the need to get back on birth control.
Chapter 4: Thursday’s OB/GYN Appointment
My Appointment: So I went into my appointment Thursday nervous as hell. Aaron met me at the appointment and I even figured out some way for him to be in the room (*shoulder shrug*) I needed my bae. AND he’s seen it all right?! So it started off as a normal ob/GYN appointment. I got my breast checked, did a urine sample, and my annual pap smear. (Which let me tell you when you are bleeding is so much more invasive in my opinion. I couldn’t get the thoughts about smelliness and grooming out of my head. If I had stayed ready, I wouldn’t have to get ready! LOL)
After my pap smear based on my symptoms, they decided to do an ultrasound. They took SO MANY photos of my uterus. Which immediately had me start to think the worst. And the nurse didn’t speak much through it. It was very like we’ll review with you after we review more. (*insert the nervous emoji face here*)
After waiting what seemed like forever the doctor pulled Aaron and I into her office and let me know that they were giving me a preliminary diagnosis of PCOS.
Chapter 5: What in the hell is PCOS?!
“PCOS is Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.” (Literally stole this excerpt from our girl Wikipedia.
My thoughts: WHAT IN THE HELL IS PCOS?! Couldn’t I have just needed birth control?! Lord. I’m exhausted. This?! First thing in 2020?! LORD.
The doctor went on to explain that there was more concern. My uterine lining was thick. (more about this in a second) And they would like to run a blood test to see if anything else was wrong. Had I developed anemia? I wasn’t pregnant or miscarrying. We needed to figure out a cause.
But what through me for a loop is that an option on the table was if my uterine lining was cancerous. That was further down the list of potential causes but she did say we would need to assess if I needed a procedure once we got the blood tests back.
Well they needed the blood results ASAP. So they wanted me to come back Friday for another appointment. WHAAATTT?! Tomorrow?! I barely got here today?!
By this point, my anxiety has moved from my chest straight into my throat. I could feel it coming and strong.
When I got to the desk to schedule my Friday appointment, I couldn’t hold it. I broke ALL THE WAY DOWN. HOW?! WHY?!
Thank goodness for Aaron and the loveliest doctor staff. The doctor pulled me back into her office and talked to me about my anxieties and said that they just want to be precautious about this. That we’d figure it out. Cancer was so far down the possibilities and highly unlikely. Maybe PCOS was causing the symptom of my lining to be too thick we couldn’t be sure just yet.
Chapter 6: Friday’s follow-up appointment
So I went back to the doctor Friday morning. First thing! Because they overnighted my results.
Well I’m excited to say that my blood work came back completely normal. I don’t have anemia or high blood pressure or anything other blood related concern of cause with my symptoms.
Chapter 7: Is it all due to PCOS?
Well. Although my blood test came back normal. The doctor gave me more info on another concern.
My uterine lining is at an ’11’. Most women get to a 5/6 before shedding on their period.
This is alarming and explains why I’m passing large clots. My body is unable to shed so much! My lining is way too thick and it’s a concern. They are expecting me to bleed for a while (UGH! I’m so over it.) And they’d recommend me getting back on birth control.
We’ve gotta get an answer. They are recommending that get a D&C.
What in the hell is a D&C?!
“Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Doctors perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.” – Wiki
They are recommending that I do the procedure ASAP. I have a consultation with the surgeon next week.
Chapter 8: How am I you ask?
So. That’s where we are.
Where am I?
Scared. Annoyed. Over people in my vagina. Tired. Exhausted. Over all the bleeding. Over the unpredictability of my bleeding. The tampons. The fatigue. The copays. My thoughts. I’m over it.
But this is life. Unpredictable in it’s nature. I’m glad I got the courage to go to the doctor. Thanks to all the friends who encouraged me to go. Because to be honest I’d like to say I would have eventually gone BUT I just don’t know.
I’ve stopped crying for now. My anxious thoughts are less in the place of me potentially having cancer and more so in the place of I have to find out why. What is going on with my body and what’s the best way to treat it.
I did think a lot of negative things. Let me tell you if it was the worst I was thinking about it. I still have spouts of negativity and bad thoughts about it all. What would people think of me needing a D&C and not being pregnant or miscarrying? What if I did miscarry and they are just mistaken? What if I do have uterine cancer? What if I couldn’t have children with Aaron? (That thought gets me in the jugular every time. Like I’m starting to tear up now.) I never pictured having children but I know I want them (okay 1) with Aaron.
When my brain gets there it becomes too overwhelming. So I’ve been drawing. Creating. Shopping. Writing. Watching Tik Tok (SO GOOD. I’ve gotten so many full belly laughs from Tik Tok lately.
Chapter 9: YOU READ ALL OF THIS?! I’m hella impressed!
So. That’s it. I actually think that’s all of it. 2500 words later. This is where I am at with my health and how transparently I’m feeling about it all. I’m so thankful for all of you. My little community of friends on the internet. I love you ALL. So many of you have reached out to me sharing your stories or journeys with PCOS. And I want you to know that it has meant the world to not feel alone in my diagnosis.
Also thank you to those who reminded me of my own strength when I need to be reminded. ♥️♥️♥️
This blog has given me so much. I’m so thankful.
I’m ready to figure this s#it out! Taking it one day/appointment at a time. Treating myself to all the things that give me joy and help me relax.
On the chance that you got this far. I hope can take something away from what I’m going through. Please please, please. Listen to your body. Don’t ignore the symptoms. Go to the doctor. And don’t stop until you get the treatment and care that you deserve. You are worth it. You deserve the best. And how you are feeling is valid.
I’ll keep you all updated. All of my love ♥️