Reality: Checked Me HARD
Saturday, June 15, 2013
I have started and stopped SO many blog entries over the last two weeks. Now I'm ready to share, learn, grow, and change!
I've been at my new job for almost two months now, and I've been beyond pumped to have insurance! I started seeing a chiropractor for my chronic shoulder, back, and knee pain, and in two weeks I feel MARKEDLY better! It is absolutely astounding and wonderful! SO, hooray for that!
Now I'm not a fool. I've known that something was wrong within my body for a while now, but I didn't feel I had the time nor the money (sans insurance) to really start to tackle things. So I waited. Now, I'm reaping the "rewards" that come with putting off problems! My mother, sister, aunts, and grandma all have Thyroid problems, so when I started cooking for myself and exercising and STILL continued to gain weight, I immediately thought that was the problem. I set up a wellness exam and got some blood work done. The same day, I heard back that my thyroid levels are normal, and I was so confused. What was happening then? Why am I gaining weight? What am I doing wrong?
My glucose readings were through the roof. I had an idea what that meant, but I started to look up information anyways. Both my grandfathers and many people on my father's side of the family have or had diabetes. My own sister fights high blood sugar, which I didn't know until after I got these results back. I was told I needed to take another glucose test, this one the fasting variety. Again, the results were extreme. My doctor started asking me questions about my cycle among other things. I had heard the term PCOS (Polycyctic Ovarian Syndrome), but I didn't really know what it meant. I started researching again.
Holy cow. Could this be it?
I started mentally checking off symptoms:
*Weight Gain & Trouble Losing Weight (Um... totally.)
*Extra Fair on the Face (Haha... my students used to ask if I was growing a mustache when I didn't wax it!)
*Acne (I don't know.. I wouldn't say acne, but I don't know a lot of 30 year olds that have the pimple issues I still have!)
*Irregular Periods (Unbelievably heavy, often six weeks apart, sometimes "ghost" periods. I've felt like a slave to my cycle for a while now... it seems like I have PMS and hormonal issues for two to three weeks at a time. I'm constantly waiting for my period to START already, and then it feels like my body is trying to purge from the inside once it does start! Is this TMI? I'm sorry if it is!!!)
*Fertility problems (M and I have been not NOT trying for a while now. Infertility is usually diagnosed after 6-12 months of active trying. I can't say that we would be diagnosed, but it's been about six month and no babies yet!)
*Depression (Yes, yes, and yes. I am a naturally positive and upbeat person, and I feel like I've been dealing with depression in various forms for years. In college I was diagnosed with SADD, so of course I moved to a place the sun literally don't shine for months on end! Haha!)
Clearly, all these things have been happening over the last two years... some further back than that. It kills me that I might have caught this earlier. I've had insurance for 27 out of the 30 years I've been alive. Most of these symptoms have been around in some combo since puberty. When I think back to high school, I suspect I was tested for this then. I'm undergoing the same procedure now...
So now I have been referred to a diabetic educator because I am officially Insulin Resistant. My doctor has NOT said Type 2 to me, and believe me, I asked. However, all the paperwork has said Type 2, which worries me. She doesn't want to put me on medication until after my test results for PCOS come back conclusive. At this point, I don't know what to think if I DON'T have PCOS.
I found myself irrationally upset with my doctor as she spoke to me. I wanted to scream at her that I KNOW how to count carbs. I HAVE been avoiding added sugars and simple carbs. I wanted to tell her DON'T talk to me like I haven't been fighting this fight for years. I know that I am obese. I know that. Don't you think that I know that? Haven't I told you that I've been trying? Didn't I tell you that I've changed the way I eat? That I work out regularly? DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE I'M LYING TO YOU!
Instead, I started crying. And felt completely overwhelmed. Even though I have been preparing myself for weeks to hear this, once it was reality it hit me hard. I've cried over the fact that I should have done something earlier. I've cried over the fact that I did this to myself. I've cried over the fact that I am going to have to sever ties with my comfort zone. And I absolutely freaked out when I was told that I really need to try to calm down and relax because stress it not going to help (Did I mention that my blood pressure is also sky high?). Anyone else do that?
I've been researching and pinning new recipes on pinterest like a crazy person. I, like most, just want someone to tell me what to eat to control my blood sugar. I've been trying out a low amylose diet, recommended by ladies battling PCOS. So far, it seems positive! Every now and then, I am struck with the reality of what is happening. My legendary sweet tooth is going to need to be extracted, quickly, and without anesthesia! A lot of the foods I have grown to rely on are on the no-no list. I have to approach carbs in a whole new way, and gluten and I have to break up. I find myself getting PANIC STRICKEN and asking M absolutely INANE questions like "Oh my God. How will I live without crackers?!" or "What am I going to do to replace chocolate when I have my period?!" Like I said... inane. This isn't about cravings, it's about changing.
So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to change. I'm going to learn, and I'm going to CONTROL this. I'm going to finish getting tested for PCOS, and if that's what I have, I'm going to do what I need to do to CONTROL it. As upsetting as this has been, after the initial overwhelming feeling subsided, I think I felt relief. At least I KNOW that something is wrong, and the I wasn't crazy. If I have PCOS, at least I will KNOW that I wasn't slacking off, I really was working as hard as I thought I was. That, in some way, is a relief. I can stop beating myself up some. My scale can stop being scared that I'm going to smash it to pieces when it says THE WRONG THING to me, haha!
This wasn't the easiest blog to write, but I really do feel better now that I've said it! If anyone has dealt with/is dealing with PCOS, Insulin Resistance, or Type 2 Diabetes and have words of wisdom for me, please feel free to share! I'm like a sponge searching for information to soak up!