This is how PCOS affected me.

To The Woman Who Is At War With Her Hormones

Do you know what PCOS is?

208
views

As a kid, I knew I was different in many ways.

I marched to the beat of my own drum as I enjoyed being indoors and reading books, while many of my other friends enjoyed going outside and playing.

None of those things ever really bothered me until we grew up and it became the norm to look at what was on the outside rather than what was on the inside. We chose friends based on how "cool" they were and whether we "fit in" with them, rather than choosing someone because they were genuinely your friend.

It was around that time that I started really noticing how different I was. Not only was I different in my mental state and on how I perceived things, but my biology was different too.

I was fifteen years old when I was diagnosed with PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, but It wasn't until a few months later that I really understood what PCOS was and what it meant.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. There are many symptoms that include weight gaining, struggle with weight loss, menstruation irregularity, acne, and excess hair growth.

PCOS meant that I was going to have to really take care of myself, a bit more than other people my age.

PCOS meant that in the future, there was a chance I wasn't going to be able to have my own biological children.

PCOS meant that I was going to be different in ways that I wasn't comfortable with all the time - it meant that new insecurities would rise that unfortunately, not everyone would be able to relate to.

I wish I could say that with time, insecurities like these end up disappearing, but they really don't, they just get easier to understand and manage.

What doesn't get easier to understand or manage, is how at times, PCOS made me feel less of a woman.

How disgusting I felt with myself because there were certain things happening with my body that I just couldn't control.

I hated the fact that I had to depend on medication so that I could look and feel like a regular person.

I hated that I wasn't going to ever feel comfortable with dating because I was growing facial hair, to me, nobody was going to find that attractive, therefore I wasn't going to ever be attractive to anyone.

I hated that my sexual orientation would be questioned because I never had a boyfriend or one night stands.

In order to prove myself and regain my femininity, I would go above and beyond to dress as feminine as I could. I would wear makeup even when I didn't have to and curl my hair just to prove that I was a woman.

Anything to regain something that took a blow on the daily.

Even though I still struggle at times, I've grown to understand that PCOS isn't the end of the world.

My womanhood isn't gone just because of a disorder. On the contrary, It's making me stronger as a person. I'm more secure of who I am now and who I aspire to be.

In my life, I've met a total of two women who also have PCOS and it's those times that I realize that I'm not the only one going through this.

I'm not the only one who felt wrong and defected, who felt less than what she really is.

Other people share my pain too and understand what it's like to have PCOS, they understand that it often puts us in a mental block that's hard to bring us back from.

It's those women, however, that I will forever praise with all my heart and soul. We aren't any less than who we are, we are strong, kind and beautiful women.

Would you look at that?

Popular Right Now

These Are The Best Vaccination Alternatives Already On The Market

Because we know that sometimes, an essential oil is better than science.

1595886
views

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

What Having Type 1 Diabetes For 11 Years Has Taught Me

When I was diagnosed, the only thing that I could think about was that whatever this "diabetes thing" was — it must be really bad. Little did I know that, almost 11 years later, I could look back at this "diabetes thing" as something that has been really good for my life.

394
views

In the middle of July in 2008, I started drinking an average of two or three gallons of water a day, going to the bathroom two or three times per hour, and losing a ton of weight. On July 21, 2008, after my parents pretty much self-diagnosed me at home with extra ketone strips, my doctor came into the room with tears streaming down her face and the news that I had Type 1 Diabetes. Everyone in the room, including the doctors, was crying. The only thing that I could think was that whatever this "diabetes thing" was- it must be really bad. Little did I know that, almost 11 years later, I could look back at this "diabetes things" as something that has been really good for my life.

Over the next couple days, I experienced a lot of new things- learning how do to seven to eight injections a day in my stomach, eight to fourteen finger pricks a day, a lot of big medical words, a lot of tears, and thankfully the knowledge that this all was not my fault. I found so much comfort knowing that I had diabetes because my immune system that killed all my beta cells, and knowing that there was nothing that I could have done to prevent it.

At that point, I knew God wanted this for me for some reason.

In the week following the diagnosis, I loved having diabetes. I felt special because I was different and my friends wanted me to talk about it all the time because they were fascinated by all things diabetes related. However, as I continued to have injection after injection and count carb after carb, I began to question why this had to happen to me and began to question why I should even take care of myself because, after all, this taxing disease would follow me for the rest of my life.

My perspective completely changed as I sat down to watch the 2011 Indy 500 with my dad. Watching the Indy 500 had been a tradition for my dad and me since he first showed me the sport in when I was nine. I loved the history, the loud engines, and the high speeds of it all and became a big fan of Danica Patrick, before she went to NASCAR.

The 2011 Indy 500 seemed like any other race, but little did I know that it would be the last Indy 500 I would watch on the couch.

As they introduced the drivers, we watched as Charlie Kimball, a rookie, waived to the crowd. By the time he had finished waiving, my dad was in tears. This was because as Charlie was waiving to the crowd, they announced him as Charlie Kimball, the first IndyCar driver to drive with Type 1 Diabetes. This was absolutely unheard of and it seemed literally impossible that he could race at more than 220 miles per hour while having diabetes, an extremely unpredictable disease. With tears in his eyes, my dad turned to me and said words I will never forget.

"You're going to meet that guy, Mary Clare. I want you to know that you can do anything with diabetes."

Meeting Charlie for the first time in the pit of the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. June 2011. Photo Credit: Mary Clare Halpin

Later that year, at a race in Newton, Iowa, my dad's promise was fulfilled as I met "the first IndyCar driver to drive with Type 1 Diabetes"- Charlie Kimball. Charlie took my sister, my dad, and me into the pits on race day to show us his race car and how he manages his diabetes inside and outside of the car. He told me "the diagnosis of diabetes has been a speed bump, not a roadblock." I decided in that moment to make diabetes my speed bump and that I wasn't going to let it slow me down; after all, Charlie can go 220+ miles an hour with diabetes.

In the days following the race, I wrote Charlie a four-page thank you note explaining all that he done for me. I did not hear anything back from Charlie until the next May, when my dad got a call from ESPN. They were calling him to asking him if I could be a part of the piece that they were doing to show how Charlie inspires kids with diabetes for the pre-show of the Indy 500. We obviously said "yes" and a few weeks later an ESPN crew came to Kansas City to interview my mom, my dad, and I and to film me at lacrosse practice and dance class.

After they finished, the producer told my family that they wanted to finish the piece, which aired before the start of the race, by filming me live in the pits talking to Charlie before the Indy 500. We made the trip out to Indianapolis that Memorial Day weekend, a tradition that will always be extremely special to our family because what Charlie has done for my life. Charlie brought us to dinner with his family and friends on Friday night, brought me with him to ride in the race parade the day before the race, inspired me through the way he helps those with diabetes, and introduced me to the all the traditions and the magic of the Indy 500, something that means the world to me.

Talking in the pits with Charlie at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the 2012 Indy 500. May 2012. Photo Credit: Mary Clare Halpin

Because of Charlie's living example and light he brought to my struggle, my life has been changed forever. I no longer look at diabetes as something that hurts me, but rather has helped me. I feel lucky that God chose me to have diabetes because I wouldn't have met Charlie and I wouldn't be the person I am today. I have not only been able to experience incredible things and a positive outlook on something difficult I have to deal with every day due to Charlie's impact on my life, but I have learned two extremely valuable lessons at a young age — bring light to others and find your "why."

I try everyday day to bring light to each person I come in contact with because I know it can change lives, just as Charlie has done for me. I try to bring light because we all have something that affects us every day and it just takes one person to change our "_____ thing" into something really good.

When the injections get to be too much, or I do not want to get up in the middle of the night to treat my low blood sugar, I think of my "why." Finding the deepest desire of my heart, to be a good wife and mom someday, and using it to motivate me to do the simple and the big things has made my life so fulfilling. I know that, as I am enjoying my life with my own family someday, I will be thanking the nineteen-year-old me someday that I did the work to make my dream possible.

However large your "roadblock" or struggle may seem, know that I am rooting for you. If you just change your perspective and use it instead as a speed bump, you can slow down and use improve your life. And you'll win your race.

Related Content

Facebook Comments