Thursday was a rough day.
I was all excited about all the lovely progress that I felt like I'd made, and I had my Fatty Liver checkup appointment with my doctor. I was all ready to be like, "LOOK! Look at how great I'm doing at this losing weight thing!"
The scale had other plans.
I took off my sweater, my booties (I am now the sort of person who wears booties, which is weird), and I waited for the slidey thing to go LEFT. But it kept going RIGHT.
According to the evil doctor scale, I'd only lost ONE pound. ONE.
Now, I know it was afternoon and I typically weigh myself in my skivvies in the bathroom when I get up, after peeing. So that could account for something. Also, to get all TMI on you, I had to use the bathroom and I've been having issues with regularity, and so I could not vacate my colon before the appointment and so that had to account for some poundage, right? (Sorry, that's gross. But also I was like, COLON, why can't you be ON MY SIDE, just this once?)
It was beyond frustrating.
I let my doctor know that my scale told a different story (although truth be told I weighed myself the day before in my skivvies in the morning after peeing and it was up a couple pounds, making the number more like 4 pounds of success). Thankfully he is not a weight shamer. He was like, "This must be really frustrating."
Which is when I went into a bit of a tirade about PCOS. I said, "I've been doing some research and it appears that PCOS and Fatty Liver are buddies. They go together. And PCOS makes it really hard for me to lose weight, so I'm not really sure how this is going to work..."
He agreed. He said, "Yes. PCOS and Fatty Liver are definitely related, and it is a difficult thing because the thing that is making you in need of losing weight is the thing that makes that hard. Maybe we should shift the target, maybe 20 pounds is too much to aim for. Maybe 10-15 would be better."
And then he told me a whole bunch of information about how my body hates me and conspires against me that I REALLY COULD HAVE USED WHEN I WAS FIRST DIAGNOSED WITH PCOS.
Did you know:
- Women with PCOS tend to carry their weight in their middle (knew that one).
- When you carry your weight in your middle, it's not just under the skin. You can also store it IN YOUR ORGANS, notably the liver, and around the intestines, causing all kinds of mayhem.
- PCOS in general makes you more prone to diabetes (knew that) but Fatty Liver is sort of the precursor there.
- I always thought I wasn't insulin resistant, but apparently I am.
- My PCOS plagued body takes carbs and converts them into harmful things for my body, exacerbating my Fatty Liver situation.
- Because I have celiac, I don't eat a lot of carbs, but when I do they are REALLY carb-y (gluten free bread products are notoriously high in carbs and low in fiber).
- If I was a woman of the same weight or even much higher who carried my fat in my hips, thighs, and ass, I would not have these issues. It's the middle fat that is the problem.
- If I can't get my weight under control, I will need to go on a diabetes management drug like Metformin to help me out with the insulin resistance piece.
- So many women I know who have PCOS were put on Metformin as part of their IVF protocols. I WAS NOT. IT WAS ALWAYS POOH-POOHed.
I started to feel both sadness and rage building up inside me.
And then, he said, "Well, one thing we could do to help you out is take you off your anxiety medication if you are feeling better and think you could regulate better on your own. People on SSRIs typically have a very, very difficult time losing weight. If anything, I see people who put on about 10 pounds each time I see them and then they've gained as much as 100 pounds in not much time at all."
This is about where my eyes started leaking and I couldn't stop my lip from trembling.
"I don't think that's a very good idea," I managed to get out without totally bawling. "This time of year is the worst. Because, you know, March-April-May last year were sort of a shitstorm of awfulness and I'm feeling all that pretty hard right now." And then more feelings ran down my face and he passed me tissues.
I mean, WHAT THE HELL? I would love to not be on meds, but I sort of think that anxiety medication is my friend. Bryce said "It is SHOCKING to me that you weren't on anxiety medication before last year. SHOCKING." Which I had conflicting feelings about, but it's true.
This is when I detailed all the things in my Plan that I've been doing, and how frustrating it is to make so many changes and not see the change in the doctor's office, and how PCOS is just sucky and evil.
And then he said, "Your genetics are really working against you here. PCOS is going to impact you your whole life. You will need to be very conscious about losing weight and maintaining a lower weight, because you are at a higher risk not only for diabetes but for cardiovascular disease, particularly blocked arteries. But it also makes it so much harder for you to do what you need to to be healthy. I mean, I'd call you pretty healthy -- your vitals are good [although my blood pressure was up, probably from the moment I saw the disappointing scale report] and you have healthy habits. Keep going and see me in 3 months, when the weather is nice you'll probably have better results."
That was when I couldn't stop crying. I mean, PCOS is one of many pieces that robbed me of having children, but it couldn't stop there, apparently. And I received very little counseling about how it would affect me longterm. Only how it affected my reproductive life. And when that ended, I didn't think much about it other than the face fur and the pudgy middle and the thinning hair. I wasn't like, "hmmmm, gotta watch for the diabetes and blocked arteries!" Because I didn't think that I was heavy enough to worry about that. I guess I was wrong. And I feel just a tad failed by traditional medicine. I mean, my doctor is great and he was very compassionate and gave me a bunch of information, but it's irritating to me that it took me developing a complication related to my PCOS for it to come up as an issue.
Also, in doing all my PCOS research, I wonder why I didn't do more of that when we were TTC, and wonder if some of the things I'm trying might have made a difference. The answer is no, because it's totally unproductive to think that way, and we had WAYYYY more than PCOS against us. BUT. It is interesting to find out so much about how my body works NOW.
It sucks to find that your infertility diagnosis is sort of trying to kill you. That you've known for sure about it since 2009, but not known just how awful it could be to the rest of your body until now. That looking back it was totally obvious that you had this from the time you had your period, and it was totally missed. That going on the Pill helped with the irregularity, but masked what was truly an endocrine disorder that is so much more than weird periods and infertility.
Grrrr. I went home and did my school work and started to cry. I was listening to sappy instrumental music while I worked, which didn't help, but the crying just wouldn't stop. It was gut-wrenching, grief-stricken crying that I haven't done in a very, very long time. My eyes were puffy and my voice was raw. I talked to Bryce on his layover as he was coming back from his business trip, and he was lovely, but I was just SO SAD. I did buck up and get myself off to the first half of the high school's production of "Hello, Dolly" before picking Bryce up at the airport, but in the morning I had to do creative eye makeup because I totally had frog eyes.
It is so frustrating to find that things totally not within my control or doing are influencing my life in such pervasive ways. I didn't ask for freaking PCOS. Are there worse things you could have? Sure. But right now I definitely feel like I'm losing the genetic lottery, and everything is just going to continue to be more difficult than it has to be.
PS - weighed myself this morning in my skivvies after peeing and my scale was back down... SEVEN pounds down from the starting point. So WTF? Is it just the morning versus the afternoon? I don't get it. And I don't fully trust it.