Friday, April 16, 2010

Cookies Under the Bed.

I struggle with my weight. You've read blog after blog after blog after blog about me whining about my weight. My biggest issue is not necessarily how much I weigh or how I look...it's more about how hard I have to work to look this way.

Looking the way I do shouldn't take much effort - an easy jog a couple of times a week and eating what I do should be more than enough to maintain my current figure, but it's not. I have seen nutritionists and complained to my friends but as a general rule, they shake their heads and look at me with a look that says "I know you have a box of Girl Scout cookies under your bed so stop your whining. Eat less, workout more."

I have been saying for awhile now that there is something else going on and after a trip to an endocrinologist, a lot of lab work, and a week of waiting, the results are in. I was right...there IS something wrong with me!

It's kind of bittersweet because having something wrong with me obviously isn't ideal, but it's nice to have the answers that I have been looking for for so long and to finally hear that it wasn't all in my head. There is no way I could lose weight...my body WAS rejecting me. Despite my diagnoses, I feel satisfied knowing that it wasn't all in my head...that I WAS doing the best I could possibly do...that I WAS doing the right and healthy thing...and that without some sort of intervention, nothing was going to change.

So, the verdict: I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In short, I have too much testosterone and I have numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary.

There are several symptoms of PCOS - excessive hair growth, acne, irregular periods (sorry guys)...and obesity. Generally (but not always) women with PCOS are excessively overweight. I have what they deem to be "Compensatory PCOS"...which basically means that the only reason I don't weigh 300lbs is because I work my butt off every single day...and if I were to stop working out and eating right, I would likely get to the point of seeing 300lbs on the scale.

There are 3 parts to PCOS:
1. Cosmetic - Acne
2. Reproductive - women with PCOS often have a hard time getting pregnant
3. Metabolic - Insulin resistance

We are treating these issues with a number of medications - one of which I am supposed to take "when I know I will be at home for a few days because I will likely have BODACIOUS diarrhea". And yes, the doctor used the word "bodacious" to describe my shit. Looks like we will definitely need to invest in the Turd Tape.

I am supposed to start a low carbohydrate diet (such as South Beach) to combat the insulin resistance. This will be especially hard, because those with insulin resistance tend to crave carbs (of course! Why would it be easy?!?). My biggest challenge will be balancing the low-carb requirements with my exercise - athletes can't easily go low-carb without doing serious damage, so I will be meeting with my nutritionist to discuss the possibilities there.

I also have a low thyroid and high red blood cells...my medicine cabinet now looks like an old lady lives there.

I am a little scared about the diagnoses and what it might mean for Tommy and I and potential little Blains, but my doctor feels confident that it won't create any issues (not that anyone can predict the future, so my best case scenerio is that I'm just not gonna worry about it now), so I am putting my trust in him for the time being.

I finally got the answers I have been searching for. And for that, I am thankful. I have a path forward and an action plan...and it's not all in my head.
All in all, I feel happy that I found someone to listen to me without the condescending look of knowing that I hide cookies under my bed.

4 comments:

Tommy said...

Not that I have much practice with it, but good luck trying to measure your diarrhea with Turd Tape...

Pam F. said...

Good for you for listening to your body and pressing the issue and getting the answers you deserve!

A good friend of mine was also recently diagnosed with PCOS, and her story is STRIKINGLY similar to yours.

Audrey said...

i am so proud of you for sticking up for yourself and finding answers. hopefully you will feel much better once you're being treated. good luck w/ all of the new interventions.

Kat said...

I have 2 good friends with PCOS - one of them an aggie our year - an another an L&D nurse. Let me know if you ever want to get in touch with either. Not exactly a "fun" diagnosis, but glad you have answers at least...and trust me, I know how that goes!