My not so wonderful journey to womanhood…
I was 15 years old the first time I had a period. I remember it vividly, as a boy in my class loudly pointed out the splotchy, red stain on my pants in front of the entire cafeteria. My cheeks were bright red, just like the stain on my jeans. My science teacher, Mrs. Branch, quickly came to help me. She discreetly wrapped a jacket around my waist and escorted me to the Nurse’s Office. The rest of that week was a blur of sharp, pelvic pain and warm baths, coupled with old, Salvadorian remedies to keep the pain at bay.
My mom looked just as nervous as I felt, as we sat in the waiting room to be seen by my OBGYN. We were to discuss my recurring pain and what could be the cause. Now, as an adult, I am aware that the facility we were at didn’t care that I was having issues and that I just wanted the pain to go away. I was in the system, “Medicaid kids” (as I once heard a nurse say, mocking the clients, coming in not-so-quietly in the back with another nurse). Their job was to get us in and out as quickly as possible so they could be out in time for happy hour.
My first visit…
My OBGYN was male, in his late fifties, already one foot out the door to retirement. He looked at me, did the annual exam that every woman dreads, left the room and after what felt like an eternity, but probably was only 15 minutes, said he recommended the Depo-Provera shot. He said it would help with the cramps, be low maintenance and only required a follow up every 3 months.
Fast forward 6 years….
I was 21, newly married and so eager to start a family with the love of my life. We said if it happens, it happens and we would love every moment of it.
After a year of scattered periods and negative pregnancy tests, our concern grew, so we looked for a new OBGYN. I wanted someone who I could relate to (preferable Hispanic or African American) that would spend the time I desperately needed on my health concerns.
After countless doctors and endocrinologists, I finally found a doctor that gave it to me straight and told me what was going on. I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was lost, confused, frustrated at my body and just about ready to give up on myself.
Fast forward another 5 years…
I’m now 26 years old and learning my body all over again. I remind myself not to FIGHT my PCOS but to manage it and balance it, while still living the life I love. Sadly, I’ve had 2 miscarriages but I promised myself that I would do what is needed to not only better my life, but to better the lives of our future babies.
My story is told to help those struggling with understanding PCOS. Whether you were diagnosed at 15 or diagnosed at 50, I want to be here for you and grow on this journey together. I love spending time connecting with fellow Cysters (women with PCOS) embracing this change in our lives.
Won’t you please join me?