I had been at the gynecologist for about two hours that day going through ultrasounds and just waiting to see my doctor. My body had changed in the last few months, going from a weight I had been for a good part of the last few years to a heaviest I had ever weighed in my life. My mom and I cycled through several reasons why I may have gained so much weight in a short span of time before she suggested it might have been polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
When I heard it for the first time, I doubted it immediately. It sounded too weird for me to have, but I still spent the better half of a day looking up symptoms, causes, and treatments for PCOS.
The bottom line of the disorder is I have a hormonal disorder caused by cysts around my ovaries. This order causes an imbalance in my hormones and common symptoms of it are excessive hair growth, acne, weight gain, menstrual imbalances and possibly infertility. This disorder is incurable but treatable and the cause is linked to genetics overall.
I mentioned to my gynecologist that I wanted to check if I had PCOS and she agreed to run through some tests since I was describing symptoms that aligned with PCOS. A month later, I was in the waiting room for my doctor to confirm or deny my worries.
The words I was expecting that day were, "You're perfectly normal, you just need to lose some weight with more exercise." Instead, the words that echoed through my mind for the rest of the day was, "your ultrasound show PCOS symptoms." She proceeded to show me the ultrasound, pointing to all the cysts around my ovaries. To give you an idea, imagine an oval lined with various size circles around it.
I had never felt so disgusted with an image. My first thought was, this is a cool prank, but I'm ready to see my ultrasound. There was no way I had those inside of me, yet here they were being shown to me. I thanked my doctor for helping me, packed up my stuff and got in my car.
I cried for about 10 minutes before I started driving again. There was this inescapable feeling of frustration and disgust growing in my chest because of what I saw. The worst part was knowing that it wasn't my fault, but the fault of genetics. I was just dealt a bad hand.
What scared me the most was the possibility of not being able to have kids. Being someone who acts as a mother to a lot of my friends and has always been fond of children my whole life, the idea of not being able to have ones of my own terrified me. It made me feel less of a woman, but I know that I am not only defined by my capability of making a new life.
I'm learning to love my body one step at a time. PCOS occurs in about 5-10% of women in the United States alone. This means about 5 million women are suffering the same disorder I am, so I'm not alone in this. They may share the same feelings that I initially did, but I'm learning to be ok with it.
My body is my normal, and I will learn to love it even with my issues.