Dear Diary… How I have missed you so! It’s been several moons since we had any quality time together and I’m starting to feel anxious and nervous about our relationship. My biggest fear is that in my absence, you have started reading other people. Please say it isn’t so!.. /gasp /swoon
But seriously, since I started this blog 3 years ago, I don’t think I’ve ever been as absent from posting as I have been these past few weeks. It isn’t that I haven’t had a lot to write about. In fact, it is the exact opposite. So much so, that when I do put fingers to keyboard, I don’t even know where to begin. Kinda like right now.
First of all, my right ovary feels like it’s gonna burst at its seams. If ovaries had seams that is. In the wide world of everything SugarCookie, that is not where I expected my mind to be, but, alas, there it is. I’ve had many, many years to get to know my body well and don’t need an app to tell me I’m ovulating (though the Fitbit app does that now!). It’s true.
Last night I was so uncomfortable, I could not wait to change out of street clothes and into my pajamas. For a hot minute I thought I might be on the verge of some flair-up of my PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Little cysts that form on the edges of the ovaries caused by hormonal issues. It’s a condition that I’ve lived with my entire adult life, starting with a fun little trip to the ER when I was about 18 when one of the cysts became so enlarged that it did burst. As far as I can remember anyway.
It could be I was just a wuss and couldn’t deal with the pain. I dunno, it was a long time ago. All I know is they prescribe birth control pills to squash the problem, which doesn’t really fix anything, it only masks whatever is causing the hormone imbalance by introducing more hormones at different times in the monthly cycle.
I don’t learn this until like 8 or 9 years later after I’ve been pumping estrogen and progesterone into my body for too long. This is one of the things that bothers me about medical treatment in the United States. The default is to prescribe a pill without really getting to the heart of whatever is the matter.
As an IT person who worked at a hospital for a long time, I’ve seen the registration and scheduling systems showing all those 5 / 10 minute time slots where the pcp is supposed to sweep into the room, learn what they need to learn, and provide answers and a solution. And people are generally conditioned to be ok with that. They just want to get that script and get on with their day.
Can’t sleep? We’ll give you ambien or Xanax.
Have aches and pains? Here’s a Muscle relaxer or prescription pain killer (though they are getting better about this one),
Have a hormonal imbalance? Here’s a birth control pill.
If I wasn’t just a kid and knew enough to do my own research I would certainly have refused that garbage. To be fair, at that time google had not been invented yet and it might even be that what I would learn years later was still in medical speculation and not widely accepted. It does take 20+ years for new information and treatments to filter down to standard practice.
The answer, for me, was working to take steps to rebalance my hormones. Believe it or not, it starts with eating healthy and getting more exercise. Everything is connected, you know and learning that part of my problem stemmed from my family history of diabetes was eye opening. It was through testing for fertility issues that certain facts were brought to light.
Once I had a diagnosis all I had to do was dive into research on that. I became obsessed with scrolling through chat boards and blog posts and medical articles. I found other people who were trying things and being offered alternative solutions with positive results.
One of the doctors I went to was an IVF specialist and that was the norm. I’m the one who suggested trying Metformin (glucophage) first. It’s a medication they give to diabetics. My dad takes it. He actually laughed when I told him I was taking it for infertility. He asked if he was at risk for getting pregnant. Ha!
Laugh all you want, but it worked. Of course I also started watching what I ate too. My diet had been crap up to that point and getting the fat and sugar and fast food in check, I am sure was also key. Between the Met and diet changes, my hormones started behaving properly again and I began ovulating again. Within about 6 months, I became pregnant. And I would never take birth control again!
As for this current discomfort, it’s probably just my bodies way of getting my attention, reminding me to get back on track with diet and exercise. I’ve recently been distracted with other priorities and strayed quite a ways away from my normal routine. That’s a good case for getting back on the daily treadmill/blog sessions. It’s a win-win-win.
Wow. That’s a huge tangent from where I thought this would go today. I guess that’s just where my mind wanted to go. 🤷♀️
Lots going on today. I’ve got my first official sesh with my MFA mentor this semester and I’m expecting a serious conversation that’s not very positive. I just have a lot of revision work to do and need to focus on details that I’ve been glossing over for too long.
In a way, this attention to detail and tightening my poems is exactly what I need (plus probably a kick in the butt to actually do the work), but it’s tough not to have high expectations for encouragement and support. Especially after my experience last semester which was so positive and productive and left me feeling fantastic about the direction of my writing.
I wonder how anyone can deliver a tough message and at the same time keep it from being discouraging. We’ll see.
Well, my friends, my hour here is more than over and I feel so much better than when I started. Like I said, it’s a win-win-win.
Cheers to Happy Hormones and Taking Control of your Health!