Friday, March 7, 2014

May I vent?

Silly question. It's my blog, so I think I'll just go ahead and vent with this little disclaimer: this isn't my normal writing-related or silly-just-because-that's-how-I-roll post. This is a rant, and will involve medical stuff that I would normally never talk about in public. You've been warned.

Gynecologists are great for delivering babies and not much else. They have such a misunderstanding of some things that it honestly blows my mind. One example: my renegade ovaries, and the reason for this rant. I have PCOS--polycystic ovary syndrome. This means I am incredibly healthy in every other possible way, but my ovaries are constantly in the process of recreating their own internal organ rendition of Mutiny on the Bounty. And The Terminator, too, probably, now that I think about it. I gain weight because estrogen likes fat levels to stay at a certain place to make more estrogen (fat produces hormones--something I didn't know for a long time!) My body makes more androgens to compensate for all the estrogen, and then the other hormones kick it up as well, because the body likes balance, so then the estrogen kicks it into gear some more, and there you have it: hormonal death spiral. I can count net calories and exercise an hour a day and work my butt off to lose 20 lbs in a healthy way, only to gain 11 back overnight (not kidding on that--really, overnight!) because my body doesn't like that I disrupted what it calls the natural order of things.

So I try to talk to my girly doctors about this. My family doctor diagnosed me and is amazing when it comes to managing it and making me feel like I'm a partner in my own health care. I've lived here for 6 years now, and I've seen three different gynecologists in that time. This is the response I get:

Doctor 1: here's a pamphlet on endometrial abaltion. Contact my office if you decide you want surgery.
Doctor 2: PCOS doesn't exist. You just have to deal with hormones.
Doctor 3: (my personal favorite) If you exercise you'll lose the weight, you won't be depressed, and you'll be a better mother.

So I go back to Doctor 1, five years later, hoping maybe we can discuss my options further since my family doc is great, but he's done all he can for me. What does she say? "Here's a pamphlet on endometrial ablation. Contact my office if you decide you want surgery. "

May I scream now?

Like I said, I'm very healthy and the lab numbers from my blood work probably kick your labs' trash. My symptoms are annoying, but not always painful...until one of those cysts decides to burst, and then HOLY MOTHER. It happens, and has been happening more lately, which is why I'm once again pursuing other options.

End rant. I'm not sure why I decided to write about that today, other than I'm fed up with my symptoms being marginalized. They're not in my head. The pain is very real, and the frustration I feel at working so hard to control my weight so I'm healthy is wiped away literally overnight despite my best efforts to be healthy.

I guess if you're reading this and you have PCOS or some other ailment the medical community doesn't take seriously, keep fighting. Find an ally and get the help you need. I'm here if you need to vent, and I'm a great listener.