Real Talk: Cocooning + Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS

I thought long and hard before hitting the publish button on this one.

Previously I chose to focus only on positive topics, curated carefully and served up strategically on the appropriate channels.

But in the spirit of authenticity and my resolution to #LiveMyTruth in 2018, I’m going to incorporate more real talk on the blog. This is life and sometimes it’s not all, well, martinis and mascara.

You might have noticed that I haven’t been as active recently. I’ve been going through some some shit, both physical and emotional, which has resulted in me posting less and withdrawing from life in many aspects. So, I just wanted to take a minute to be real about why I’ve been MIA both on the blog and IRL.

For quite some time I’ve been feeling extremely depressed. Exhausted. Anxious. I get sick to my stomach after almost every meal. My periods are few and far between… and when I do get one, it’s not pleasant. I break out literally everywhere. I can’t sleep. I’m constantly gaining weight regardless of the amount I’m eating or exercising. Oh, and I grow a stupid amount of facial hair. If I didn’t remove it every day, I could very easily create a tutorial for Captain Jack Sparrow’s goatee braids. (I wish that was a joke.) It’s been a vicious cycle of feeling shitty and then feeling shitty about feeling shitty.

So after literal years of wondering what’s wrong with me?, visits to dozens of doctors (and counselors… and tarot card readers…) of all kinds, a Manhattan Endocrinologist named Olga finally solved the mystery. She diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a chronic hormonal disorder responsible for the multitude of crazy symptoms I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember.

This explains SO much about my life. I’ll spare you an attempt at a full scientific explanation, but essentially my body just isn’t equipped to process what I’ve been putting into it (for like, ever). I’m insulin resistant, so eating the wrong foods has been causing my body to create too much testosterone, throwing everything off kilter and making me feel (and consequently, act) whack AF. Continuing to eat the wrong things can exacerbate the symptoms and eventually lead to worse health problems.

Aside from the superficial symptoms and the mood swings and the bullshit, possibly the most devastating of all of the complications paired with PCOS is infertility. Even though I’ve admittedly been on the fence about having kids and as happily childless as I appear to be, being told that it may not be possible for me has affected me more deeply than I could have ever imagined. It’s one thing to choose not to have children, but another thing entirely to be told you can’t have them. (Here’s where cycle of sadness starts over.)

BUT! I am not about to lay down and let this defeat me. I’m on medication now and following doctor’s orders to try and get my system back to normal. Since my diagnosis, I’ve cut out sugar, gluten, grains, dairy, red meat, soy, and alcohol. (I KNOW.) Still slowly weaning myself off of caffeine, but I’ll get there. I cheated a little over the holidays (and seriously paid for it), so I’m ready to make this extreme lifestyle change official in 2018. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m hopeful that it’ll be worth it.

There is no cure for this and it’ll always be something I have to deal with… but if all goes according to plan, I’ll be a happier, healthier butterfly soon. Thank you all for sticking with me in the meantime. ❤️

P.S. If you are one of the one in ten women also affected by PCOS and you need someone to talk to, please feel free to message me. This is scary and confusing to go through and I’d be happy to chat with anyone who needs support!