Chronic Illness, PCOS

PCOS and “The Internet is a Scary Place”

There is something unique about the day you decide that the symptoms you have been experiencing aren’t normal. That there is something that isn’t quite right. With subsequent new symptoms you get into the routine of what to do and who to talk to. But nothing will ever compare to the first time it dawns on you that you need the help of a doctor and life may change.

For me that day happened in early 2015. It had been an inkling of an idea in the back of my mind for much longer. That was the moment where it all suddenly became much more real and I knew I needed to talk to a doctor. I got my first and so far only dose of a doctor not believing me. I was told the internet is a scary place and that he would run blood work and we would see from there if it was PCOS. Mind you I had hirsutism, irregular periods, terrible acne, thin hair, and the classic fat distribution for PCOS. In addition my labs pointed even more towards PCOS but somehow I was told that I didn’t have PCOS and to come back in a year. I hope I never have to see that health care provider again. If I do (possibly this week) I will gladly fill him in on everything that he missed.

I went home that day feeling defeated that I didn’t get the answer I needed. I knew something wasn’t right, my experience matched those of so many others with PCOS and here I couldn’t get a diagnosis.

I went straight to the “very scary” internet and found the best of the best for PCOS in my area. I chose one after a long week of thinking and deciding and called the office to schedule an appointment. The closest appointment was in 4 months. That seemed like an eternity away but in the end it was so worth it. August 2015 came around, my doctor walked into the exam room and diagnosed me with PCOS within 5 minutes. She did a thorough exam and labs of her own and the diagnosis stuck along with shock from her that I hadn’t been diagnosed earlier. Beyond all of that I met a fantastic physician who would be extremely instrumental in the diagnosis of later conditions. I am very lucky to hit it out of the park with this choice. Good physicians make all the difference in the chronic illness journey. That day I got someone who believed in me. Someone that listens to me every time I get a new symptom that I know isn’t normal or right. She makes every experience of having a new symptom easier.

That first time is hard, as is every time after it. But that first one hits home the most because this is where I was introduced into the world of chronic medical conditions. Introduced into the world of taking prescription medication every day. Introduced into a community that would start to help me through the really hard days. It was here I became stronger and more resilient. At that point I had no clue where my body would take me and how much worse it would get, but at that point this was the day my life changed forever. I now can draw a distinction before pre August 3rd me and post August 3rd me. All because I decided something wasn’t right and that this was something that required attention. Life changed in a major way. My story was just beginning.

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