Ok, time to settle in for possibly the most embarrassing post I will make on this blog; listing all of my totally depressing PCOS symptoms. On the internet. For the world to cringe at. YAY me!
If you have PCOS you will probably relate to one or more of the symptoms I’ll list, oh god, I hope so – I can’t be the only one! Sadly, I know I am not. PCOS is often referred to as the thief of femininity, and that really does resonate soundly with me. Not only do I struggle with infertility, painful cramps, weight gain, but I also get to grow hair where a woman should never grow hair? FANTASTIC.
PCOS for me means;
Hair – lots of unwanted, soul crushing, confidence destroying hair. On my chin and above my lip. Sideburns. My chest (great cleavage but look, don’t touch!). My stomach. Lower back. Upper thighs. Toes. Fingers. Everywhere. Luckily, my hair is naturally light blonde, so most really isn’t noticeable, and whatever is gets removed to the point of obsession. But whether others notice or not is beside the point entirely; I can see it, I can feel it, and it really does make me feel like a monster some days. I cringe when my fiance runs hands over a spot I have neglected or experience a constant state of paranoia that he will think I am as ugly as I feel. He insists it doesn’t bother him, reassures me consistently that I am beautiful; which is great, but if you don’t feel it, you don’t believe it.
Weight gain – I swear, so many mornings I wake up and stare in shock at the mirror, grabbing some body part, and in a silent, frustrated discussion with the reflection ask “what?!! where the hell did this come from?!” Even when eating well and taking daily walks, this stubborn beast that goes by the name of “fat” insists on being close buddies, and smothers me. I can’t tell you what I currently weigh, as I have avoided the scales as a cat avoids water for months.
Painful cramps – during a period the cramps can get insane. But the ones that really hurt, are the ones that appear from nowhere, for no reason I know of, and are literally crippling. I mean the type that deny any relief whether you sit, stand, lay down, walk, swear incoherently or beg for mercy. They don’t happen regularly, but when they do happen, I feel like I have been smacked in the lower abdmonin with a sledge hammer, leaving a tender bruised feeling for a day or two after the episode. I have no idea what causes it.
Fatigue – and the word fatigue seems light and airy compared to the level of utter physical and mental exhaustion I feel often, even if I only woke up an hour ago. Some days are better than others, but the bad days; man, it is almost impossible to even form a thought properly. I usually end up laying down, where I can easily sleep right through for 10 hours solid. And still feel just as tired when I wake up. The opposite end is an ironic joke – I get insomnia episodes too, haha! If I am not exhausted and so tired I can’t function, I am wide awake, for days sometimes, and can’t settle down.
Hair loss (androgenic alopecia) – this is my most psychologically painful symptom. I always thought the hair in odd places was the worst that could happen to a woman; I was wrong. My previously thick, wavy, crazy hair has become so thin and lifeless that I have spent many nights crying quietly in the shower, watching more fall out. No bald spots yet, but some areas are dangerously thin.
So, now for the good side effects of PCOS…. (crickets chirping)…. I know, I laughed too.
And there you have it. My most embarrassing list ever written. It is a real struggle most of the time to feel remotely pretty or attractive in any way, and I resent what PCOS has done to my body. One of the most frustrating things on earth is the judgement a woman gets when she is overweight, so many people automatically assume it is from poor diet and zero exercise, when in reality, women with PCOS work hard in these areas with little success in too many cases. Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a woman by the size of her jeans.
Comment below and let me know what you experience, or if you relate to any of the above. Have you found any solutions? There is an idea for another post on another day perhaps.