Pain and Persistence

Oh my I haven’t been in so much pain this consistently since my pre-root canal tooth ache in college! This past weekend was my family’s annual ‘MFV’ or mandatory family vacation. From Thursday to Sunday we rented a house through Air B&B in Sioux Falls, SD which is about a halfway meeting point from Crookston, Kearney, and Minneapolis. We were all really excited because the house we rented was super cool with a hot tub, in home theater room with recliners, a bar/lounge, workout room, and a big back yard and patio that included a hammock (my favorite part of the house). So naturally as it seems to go for me I woke up Thursday morning in horrible ear pain. I popped some Advil and hoped I could make it until Monday when I had a doctors appointment already scheduled. We all arrived midday Thursday excited about our time together and shortly after we settled in I realized the ear pain wasn’t getting better it was rapidly getting worse. Long story short I ended having to go the doctor twice while in Sioux Falls because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t go swimming at the big water park with the rest of the family (that was a big bummer for me) and most of my time was spent trying to hide how much pain I was in. I managed to make some good memories despite all that and had I not been in pain it would have been such a great weekend! Today, the pain has been better and the swelling has gone done a bit too. I’m hoping I will be able to sleep through the night tonight!

Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD
Very beautiful place
Sweet Alice who never wanted to stay asleep for very long
Leighton standing next to the dogs’ water dish hoping they come by so she can pet them
The little ones just didn’t get enough sleep
All my beautiful nieces
Now that I am home I’ve had my doctors appointment today that I’ve been waiting two months for. Does anyone else feel overwhelmed with information when they go to the doctor? Or that they seem to jump from subject to subject? I feel like that both at my appointments and when I go to M’s and today was no exception. I got a lot of information and a lot of potential avenues we will be exploring in terms of TTC (trying to conceive). The first step actually happened in June when we started testing to see what all we were dealing with. I’ve had PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) since I was about 18. It has made me lose a lot of the hair on my head and completely changed the kind of hair I have. I used to have super thick curly hair; I now have thin straight hair. I developed dark patches of skin in places where skin creases (armpits, knees, inner thighs). The facial hair is by far the worst symptom as it is so embarrassing.  Waxing it doesn’t work the roots are too strong, bleaching it only works on about 20% of the hairs, laser hair removal does work but is not a long term solution as there are millions and millions of hair follicles and it only kills a few hundred-thousand at a time. Plus it’s $50 each treatment. So shaving is my last resort. Let me tell you there is nothing quite so mortifying as forgetting to shave and then leaving the house. Of course it also makes losing weight more difficult and makes gaining weight easier. I have about 3 periods a year which I used to be cool with as a teenager because having to deal with periods suck. Now I realize what that actually means for TTC.

My mom had it and both my sisters have varying degrees of it. Since I was diagnosed I’ve always known the potential for fertility problems was there. My ultra sound showed textbook like pictures of poly-cystic ovaries. I also had one large cyst that measured 3.2cm and the doctor wasn’t too concerned about that at this time. She said those can come and go on their own and we can check back later to see what’s happening with it. Now as many of you TTC women out there know the doctors always tell you that your chances of getting pregnant are improved if you can lose even 5-10% of your current body weight (for those of us that carry some extra). I already knew this from talking to my sisters and friends that were told the same thing. Which is why I started this year with the determination to lose that weight and hopefully conceive naturally. In those first three months I had lost fifteen pounds which should have been enough to jump start my body (according to the 5-10% theory). I did not get pregnant and we suffered a loss in the spring that has been hard for a lot of people in the family to heal from. After that diet and exercise were left to simmer at the back of my mind. June was the 30 for 30 and I was very excited and dedicated to that until about mid-month when our bdays came and M left. July was a complete blur to me with being in NE and M coming back home.  And now here we are in August and I’ve realized that I’ve gained 7 pounds back already. Which blows and is discouraging. But I haven’t given up. We will finally have AC again this weekend (a month without it has been hell…I’ll always be impressed with the civilizations before us that wore long heavy clothes with no AC) and I won’t be so freaking hot to actually cook healthy meals. The doctor also put me on metformin which is approved by FDA as a diabetic medicine but also used to help treat PCOS as they are both insulin diseases. I’ll keep you updated as we move along but August is another busy month as I will be prepping to do a long-term substitute position at the start of the school year.

View from the 6th floor doctor’s visit
Picture on the left is a couple years after being diagnosed with PCOS and my full thick hair (tear) and picture on the right is two years ago with my thin scraggly hair haha.