Friday, October 11, 2013

What PCOS Means To Me: A Necessary Intro

I'm Danielle,

I have been thinking about starting a blog for awhile now. I wanted to do the real thing with a .com (is that even possible anymore?) and make it special before starting anything. I refrained, because I have difficulties finishing things I start. I guess that's part of my story. This will probably only be read by a few loved ones, and that's fine. I hope I can document my journey somewhere other than my dusty journal.

I could go into detail about what Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is, but any Google search can cover the basics. The crazy part is that one in ten women have PCOS. I believe the high occurrence is related to obesity and diet in the U.S. Nonetheless, that topic will have to wait for another day. PCOS is not limited to obese women. There is such a thing as thin PCOS and there are some people that are genetically prone. That is where I come in. I have a family history of women having ovary problems and diabetes. Only recently in my family tree was my mother diagnosed with PCOS, which led to my diagnosis.

I have not found much support for the problems I experience with this disease. Maybe because my symptoms are more trivial?? To explain, I guess I do have to tell you some of the symptoms most people complain about and seek help for: balding, unwanted hair growth (chest and face), mood swings, and the big one... infertility. I'm lucky enough to not experience those first three and am not currently worried about the last one. Many women struggle with their weight which is making all these symptoms worse. I'm not overweight, and never have been.

In other words, I have not found anyone that I can relate to regarding this condition.

You will often hear me say, “My body hates me”. It's honestly the easiest way I can explain it. My hormones are so out of whack, that I feel nauseous at the drop of a dime, have a general brain fog most of the day, get hypoglycemic if I eat the wrong thing, and acne that I never had in high school. I saved the worst for last: constant fatigue. When this first occurred I chalked it up to college stress. All these things started occurring my sophomore year and steadily worsened by my junior and senior year. How I received my degree still baffles me.

Have I complained enough yet? I'll save you from my medical journey involving doctor after doctor dismissing the young student. Long story short, most medical tests don't show much of anything for me. I even had all my essential screenings done yesterday at a health fair. One lady actually told me, “Keep doing what you're doing!”. What could I do, but politely smile through the light headed feeling and heart racing I was experiencing? I was just trying to figure out what I had done wrong already that day, perhaps nothing.

The point: it's difficult for doctors to help me when there's not a physiological basis for treatment. They have tried. I've taken Metformin (a drug to control insulin release), special types of birth control, progesterone cream, and even herbal supplements. I still feel sick but my brain fog is now sometimes limited to afternoons and evenings. I'm still fatigued from the moment I wake up in the morning which is why I'm writing and possibly why it is taking me so long to feel better. It's hard to make changes in your life with no energy to do so. I'm always amazed by people that fight through their health issues. I'm sorry to say that hasn't been me yet.

Because I've been working on this for awhile, I realize nothing is as simple as taking a magic pill or getting on a treadmill. Healing is a journey. So far mine has seemed long and non-productive. There's no other option but to march on. My hope is to reach the big pot of healthy gold at the end of the rainbow. If I'm lucky, maybe I can share with you how I get there.


  1. I think this blog is a great idea, Danielle! You inspire me every day to live a healthier life so hopefully you can reach out to other people too. I love you sister! ~Katie (who is not actually your sister :P)

  2. You're brave, inspiring, and I think you'll be that exceptional story that triumphs the norm. Just keep working hard :)

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  4. Hi Danielle, I myself have PCOS and have never read about someone elses stuggle that i can relate to until now. I felt like I was literally reading out of my own diary I struggle with the same symptons as you do (overly fagituged, brain fog, and skinny) I would seriously love to talk. I am plant based too which is how i found your blog :) If you are interested in talking email me at Its nice to have read about someones battle that I can actually relate with!