So my first few posts seemed to have mostly been about me airing my dirty little secrets. Quite frankly, as cathartic as that has been, I need an emotional break. Being that open and honest, for probably the first time in a really long time, has taken a bit of a toll on my psyche. So tonight I am going to take a little break from the emotional stuff and talk a little about what I have been dealing with the last couple of years and what the plan is going forward. A word of warning some of this content may be a little TMI (too much information), especially for any men that might be reading this.
The first sign that something was off was summer 2009. I had gone back to Weight Watchers for the how-don’t-know-h0w-manieth time. For six weeks I counted my points diligently, I started doing some mild exercising and went to the weekly meetings weigh-ins regligiously. At the end of those six weeks, I had lost a grand total of 2lbs! Now having been to WW so many times, I knew that this wasn’t normal, at least for me. I talked to the leader, emailed and had her review my food journals. We were both stumped. After another couple of weeks I stopped going, because really I
couldn’t wasn’t going to spend the money if I wasn’t getting any results.
Fast forward to summer 2010. At the beginning of August I got my period like normal, or at least that’s how it seemed at first. Two weeks later I realized that I STILL had my period. Weird, but I assumed that it would eventually stop. Two weeks later it was still going, so I decided it was time to go see the Doctor. He gave me prescription for birth control and sent me home, saying it would stop in a few days. To make a long story short, 9 weeks, 3 visits to the ER, 2 more visits to the GP, 3 more prescriptions and a visit to the Gynaecologist later, it did eventually stop. Their diagnosis? It might be PCOS, but were not sure and it seems to have straightened itself out so don’t worry about it (great advice, huh?) I was just so happy it was over that I accepted this diagnosis and went on my merry way.
For the next couple of years, the numbers on the scale slowly inched up. I found myself getting tired easily, often passing out for 3-4 hour naps on weekends. I also seemed to develop a really bad memory. I mean really bad. Like you could tell me something and, if I hadn’t written it down, I would forget less then 1/2 hour later. My periods, while not as bad as 2010, were still all over the place. My anxiety was getting worse and I found myself stopping doing things I enjoyed (going out with friends, travelling, exploring the city) out of fear.
Although all of this was going on, I just continued to ignore all the symptoms. I was under a lot of stress, both at work and emotionally. I knew I wasn’t really looking after myself in terms of diet and exercise. My dad is known for his really bad memory, so I assumed I was getting that from him. There was
explanation excuse for everything that was wrong with me. So I did what I have always done, I just kept pushing myself forward.
2012 started out well enough, but things went downhill quickly.
In March I had my first panic attack in almost 6 years. I was at a conference that I attend every year, surrounded by wonderful and supportive people, and I just freaked out. It was so bad, that I made my boyfriend (who I had only been seeing for 4 weeks) pack our bags and take me home the Saturday night. I passed this off as being under a lot of pressure and stress.
In April, the same boyfriend (surprisingly the panic attack hadn’t scared him off) and I began planning a vacation to the Isle of Palms in South Carolina. This is a place I have wanted to visit for quite a few years and I was very excited. We had booked a condo on the beach, and had done a ton of research on things we wanted to do while we were there. The plan was to drive down, which made me a little nervous since I am not fond of driving long distances (I will go into more on this later). We were going in August and it was suppose to very hot – anxiety raised another notch. The planning continued, and my anxiety kept rising and rising. I would burst into tears just thinking about the trip, but yet I kept forging ahead.
And then everything crashed down around me. About 2 weeks before we were suppose to leave, my neck completely spasmed and I started having daily anxiety attacks and dizziness. A trip to the doctor confirmed that I had cervical stenosis (fancy way of saying my neck was too straight) and I was sent to physio. The physiotherapist told me that I wouldn’t be able to make that long of a drive and, with the daily anxiety attacks, I didn’t think I could handle it emotionally. And so we cancelled out trip. Thus began my weekly trips to physio and massage therapy for the next 4 months. My neck got a bit better, but truthfully it still isn’t 100%.
In January of this year, I decided it was time to pull myself together and try and get healthy again. I stopped eating grains and sugar, I was going swimming 3 morning a week and I started yoga. Everyone around me kept telling me I was pushing myself too much, but I didn’t feel like I was. Emotionally I was feeling more stable then I had in a long time. Sure, I was exhausted all the time, and my period had become daily spotting, but that was just my body’s way of trying to adjust to all the changes. It would even itself out eventually, right? Wrong.
After 3 weeks of all of this, I was still spotting, I was still tired and I had GAINED 5 lbs!
And so, off to the doctor I went again. We have done a litany of tests and she still doesn’t really know what’s wrong. Hypothyroidism? No. Hormone imbalance? Not that the tests show. Fibroids? Cysts? No and no. I have had been poked with a needle more times then I can count, and I still continue to gain weight. All of my blood work keeps coming back normal, so I went to a Naturopath to see if she had any ideas/suggestions. After all this we are back to PCOS, although I only have 2 of the 3 markers, and Adrenal Fatigue. Nobody is entirely sure which, if either, it is. My doctor is sending me to a specialist on PCOS and my Naturopath has me on a series of homeopathic remedies. And me? I am blogging.
So that is where I’m at. Still unsure what is the matter, spending a small fortune on alternative medicine, but forging ahead (as usual). What’s the plan? Well that is a post for another day. Until then, I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, one word after the next, searching for an answer and, hopefully, a solution.