Oh man. I ran 5 miles this morning. Well, jogged. I jogged 5 miles this morning. It took me 51 minutes .. which, being as I'm not a 'runner', is nothing too be proud of. Except me! I'm proud of it.
Here's a story. I'm not going to make it a sob story, please understand I don't share my 'stuff' for pity! But today, for some reason, I feel like sharing. It's about my female parts; just in case you needed a warning.
It's a known fact that I've got PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome). Don't look it up because it's awful & gross. But y'all know I was diagnosed at 15 with it and have learned to live with it ever since. More importantly in March I found out my endometreosis has grown back (don't look that up either, because it's gross, too). Through exploratory surgery, I found out I had it 'all over' when I was 16 ... along with a tumor, some cysts, and all that good stuff. Had it not been for my parents talking me out of it, I would have frozen my eggs and had a hysterectomy. At that time, I learned I needed to start educating myself on what it means to have PCOS. Turns out it's a newly diagnosed disease found in 10% of women. Endometreosis? Well ... that's never in 16 years olds. I've met one woman who had it was early as I did. After removing it, my doctor told me that I wouldn't have to worry about endometreosis for another 4-5 years ... well 16 + 5 = 21. In March, I went in with severe, severe pain near where my normal cysts would be.
I was expecting to have another cyst or two drained like normal and move on with my day (considering my wedding was approaching). Well ... they didn't find anything. Nothing. My doctor didn't have to say anything else. I started crying. She started crying for me. It was just a really sucky day. You see - the thing about endometreosis is that you can't see it through ultra-sound, yet. You've got to go in with a camera, basically a surgery, and find it and then zap it out. So when someone with PCOS goes in with history of endometreosis and you find nothing on the ultra sound ... in all honesty, it just pissed me off.
The pains that I was having were not going to go away. In fact, they were only going to get worse. Once it starts growing, it really doesn't stop. My doctor wrote me a prescription for this additional hormone that they give the ovarian cancer patients to stump any unwanted growth. The thing about THAT is that one of the symptoms of PCOS is many mood ups and downs, along with some spurts of depression here and there. It's nothing extreme, but it happens. So had I started taking those pills, Lord only knows how high my highs would have been, but mainly how low my lows would have been. A risk I wasn't willing to take with the pressures of being a bride so strong at the time.
Months passed and I think knowing the pain wasn't going away started to take it's toll on me. May & June were terrible. I actually woke up the morning of my wedding bloated and so swollen; yet another symptom of PCOS. GREAT for pictures! Thank goodness Jake could shove the ring on my finger & one of my bridesmaides had a larger shoe to fit my swollen feet! Ha! One day in July, it got the best of me. I went into work and got caught by my manager crying at my desk (which you know I HATED) and he sent me home. I went straight to the doctors office. She told me it was bad enough to where I needed to make a decision on whether I wanted to have surgery or not.
Another surgery would mean more scar tissue and more "looking around" near my baby-making parts. There's no doubt in the world that I want a baby. Even just one! I basically said absolutely not. Another heart breaking symptom of PCOS is difficulty getting pregnant. I'd rather take the pain and not fool around with my ovaries more than absolutely necessary, than have surgery for mere comfort.
Went to my doctor again at the end of July and spoke straight up. "What can I do?! Tell me what to do!" My doctor knows me. It's been 8 years. She's watched me grow up. She knows why I don't want to have surgery right now. My whole relationship with Jake, once it got serious, her & I have always talked through babies and keeping my body as healthy as possible so that I can me a mom and have my own kid.
So she said well, you can exercise? At that point simple walks from my car to my destination hurt SO bad. Bumps on the road while IN the car hurt SO bad. So I seriously laughed at her. NO WAY. She explained to me she knew it was hard to think about, but that I could do it.
So what the hell? I gave it a try! I started so very slow. I started with walking on the treadmill for about 1 mile, then moved it up to briskly walking. Then I started to jog. I'll never forget the morning I ran a full mile ... I seriously cried. Who cries over ONE STINKIN' mile?! This girl does. And I've kept it up ... against my own will at times. I noticed the pain being more and more durable. Yes, it's there & it will always be there, but it was manageable. I wake up with pains so severe in the mornings it's stupid, but mind over matter has never meant so much.
I've taught myself that through faith, determination, and want, pain is a mere NOTHING in my life. And guess what?! To top it all off - I've lost 14 pounds. Woo! Hahaha. I promise you when I say I didn't start this to lose weight ... but I'm not going to be the girls that tries to lie and say pants being a little looser isn't an amazing feeling!
My diet is also better than it's ever been. (Another symptom of PCOS is hypo/er-glycemia that can easily lead to diabetes in future years without your control; so eating right is going to delay that even longer. I'm so down for that!) I've always had a pretty good hold on it though. Yes, I'm the girl at the table eating a bowl of chicken noodle soup while everyone else has Cane's .. but it's just food. It's just a meal. The way I feel now compared to 7-8 months ago, is so worth the chicken noodle soup.
Every symptom of mine resulting from PCOS has subsided. Almost non-existent. The mood swings especially. I'm happier. I'm healthier. My stress levels at school are much easier to deal with when my hormones aren't out of whack crazy and my body is in shape. I can exercise. It is possible. (I went in for my 6-month blood work up in late September and my result were NORMAL. Do you know how long it's been since my bloodwork has been NORMAL?! Praise God!)
Long story short, I'm super duper proud of myself for going this far and lasting this long. I'm hoping that I will only get better and continue to feel better. PCOS is a nasty disease. Endometreosis is a nasty nuisance that needs a cure. It's not at all the end all though.
I'm thankful for my health. Really, I am. There are women with MUCH bigger problems than me. But still, it's me. It's my challenge. Everybody's got something.
Thanks for reading & letting me share.