I always knew there was something wrong with me. It took years for me to get actual proof, but I could just feel it. Call it woman’s intuition if you will.
I got my first period at the ripe old age of 10. Seriously. 10 years old. I don’t care how many programs you sit through in your elementary gym class, nothing truly prepares you for your first period at the age of 10. You know what else it didn’t prepare me for?
Mind- numbingly painful, want-to-rip-your-uterus-out, praying-for-death-because-anything-is-better-than-this-hell menstrual cramps. Thus, the love/hate relationship with my body was born.
As I got older, my menstrual cycle issues got worse. Uterine cramps, back cramps, heavy cycles, nausea and the occasional bout of vomiting have become commonplace. I took these concerns to my doctors at every annual appointment and they always got dismissed. There was no discussion about what could be at the root of all of these problems. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I even had a doctor mention Endometriosis or PCOS. That’s what pisses me off the most, I think. Had my concerns been validated in my teens or twenties, I might not feel as desperate as I do now.
It wasn’t confirmed until I was 33 years old that I had PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. By that time, my husband and I had been unsuccessfully attempting to start a family for close to a year. Before that, we hadn’t been trying, but hadn’t necessarily been preventing. I was secretly hoping for a happy accident, I suppose. Knowing deep down that this wasn’t going to be an easy road ahead for me, I kind of hoped that if I only half-tried but didn’t think about it, I would be rewarded. Well, years of trying and not trying didn’t produce a thing. Not even a scare.
I spent almost 22 years with a syndrome that went undiagnosed, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s going to take a while for me to fully come to terms with how much it’s fucked up my life. And yet, all of this anguish could have been avoided with a simple blood test. That’s the most fucked up part of all.