When I originally made the thoughtful Thursday category on my blog my initial thought was that I wanted to speak about slightly more serious topics which I'm not actually used to, or necessarily good at!
The first post of this kind is about PCOS. If you don't have this condition you can bet that someone you know has it. This stands for poly cystic ovary syndrome and it's a total pain in my arse. Whenever I've seen posts about PCOS on Bloglovin they've been explaining how stressful it is as a condition and some have compared it to terminal illnesses. I think this post will be a bit different because I don't see it in quite the same way.
Last summer I was diagnosed with PCOS. I was pretty certain it was coming because it was clear that I hadn't been well for a while. My dermatologist suggested that I should be tested for it, which lead to an ultrasound and a blood test. PCOS is a metabolic disorder that disrupts your hormones. It means a higher level of insulin and hormones which triggers a LOVELY list of symptoms including irregular periods, acne, excess hair, stress and weight gain. My periods are pretty consistent because I've been put on the pill. I have had horrendous acne during my teens but I've taken Roaccutane which REALLY helped my skin (something I will be discussing at a later date I'm sure!). When the doctor was discussing which symptoms I had she mentioned excess hair and then looked at me. At this point my hair was so long and grew so fast that it was down to my hips which was a pretty hilarious moment. I've also had a difficult time with stress and weight gain. Each of these different symptoms will probably turn into separate blog posts and how to cope with them, probably not the excess hair, but the skin condition, stress and weight gain will come up again!
A lot of people who are diagnosed are immediately troubled because they believe this means they are infertile. Apparently it means there is an 85% chance of being unable to get pregnant and many young women dream of having children when older. I'm sure in the future I will want children but right now it just isn't a priority. I've never been someone who is determined to become pregnant myself and have always been open to IVF and adoption. I know a lot of people may think this is naive to say now, and maybe it is, maybe in 10 years time I'll say that I'm devastated to not be able to be pregnant but I haven't crossed it out as an option, I remain optimistic.
The thing that I found hardest (which seems ridiculous) is that I left the doctors with no additional information other than 'you have PCOS'. If you google PCOS you'll read horrifying stories from women who have had distressing experiences with the condition which is just not what I needed. However, I think if you speak up more about the subject you'll discover more and more people who have it. One of my close friends also has PCOS and started to tell me how she deals with the condition and the symptoms. Another friend found out I had the condition and sent me books and different ways to cope which have been SO helpful. So that is my biggest piece of advice which can be applied to ANY condition or feeling: talk to people about how you feel and you're BOUND to find someone who feels the same and can talk to you about it.
If any of you struggle with PCOS please feel free to email me any time to talk about it because it can seem overwhelming at first but there are many different ways to manage this condition!
This will be the first in a series of posts which are a bit more 'thoughtful' and personal to raise awareness and hopefully make people feel less alone :)
Love & Hugs,