PCOS Journal: one woman's story
by Kara L.C. Jones

So I'm thinking that to raise awareness about PCOS, it might be great to do a personal journal here at KotaPress about my discoveries and process with this syndrome. To that end, I'll present monthly entries here to chart what's happening with my own PCOS diagnosis and care. Maybe it will help someone else, too. This is presented chronologically with the most current entry on top.

July 2002
Good news and bad.

So July brought yet another cycle only 30 days after the last! That is two days later than the first two, but I believe that may have happened because we were away the weekend prior, and it turned into a high carby weekend. Think it may have taken those extra couple days for my body to process and deal with the consequences of that weekend away. But other than that, it was a "normal" cycle. Seven days total; first two really heavy with *bad* cramps -- thank goodness for nuclear doses of nuproxin; last two days really really light. Freaks me out to be having "normal"-ish things happening to me!

Bad news. Some of the contract work I thought would be steady has turned out to be a disappointment. Have yet to even get paid for the first 8 weeks of work I did there. So I don't think I can count on that contract to make the ends meet. Am back to having to rely on my part-time, steady, on-island gig to pay rent, utility, food basics. Sooooooo, I can't afford to have anything taken out of that paycheck for health insurance. I'm going to try and hold out one more month, to have the new insurance and try to get some things going on the medical front before cancelling -- maybe some other steady contract work will come up in the meantime, too??? But if it's the same picture next month, I have to cancel the insurance. And then there is just no way to pursue the medical care I should be getting for this whole PCOS thing. One possibility: there is rumor of a family planning clinic coming soon. Maybe they would take my case on a sliding scale fee since this is gynecological in its base, you know? Who knows?

Okay, but I am confident that the nutrition changes to address the insulin resistance are having *major* effects on my health and lifestyle. And I'm still working through Thatcher's book which really seems to be the definitive book on PCOS. One thing he suggests is to stay away from the stuff of "eating disorder" land and focus on just a healthier way of life. And as a note, he does suggest in terms of numbers to break 200 lbs and stay there if possible. And then to watch cholestorol, etc. So, I don't know. It's hard to know given that there is no base line for me because of the insurance and all. I guess maybe when I can finally get some serious, on-going care, they could use the tests taken during our pregnancy as a base line??? If nothing else, the huge base line is that fact that our baby was born dead, right? Yeah, I know, sarcasm and bad attitude doesn't help anything. But it's the truth, isn't it?

Arg. Anyway, more next month...here's hoping we can actually pull off 4 "normal" cycles in a row!

June 2002
Freaky. So since I stopped the sugar and carbs, I've had two cycles 28 days apart and each lasting only 5 days each. I cannot tell you how WEIRD that is. I go months and months with nothing or I get cycles that last 3 months at a time. NEVER do it get "normal-ish" looking cycles like these.

One was extremely heavy, so much so that it scared me. Baaaaad cramps. But rashes on my body -- those brown velvety skin ones -- all gone! Can I tell you how many things I've tried to get ride of those d*mn spots?! arg. Who freaking knew it would be so simple as cutting out sugar and carbs! Hello, Kara!

Anyway, I did end up going to a random doc on the island because that cycle freaked me. He was totally condescending and uneducated about PCOS. He said the timing on my cycles and rash's disappearance were "coincidence" and probably had nothing to do with my nutrition changes. Then he proceeded to tell me that the best way to deal with PCOS is to go on the pill. HELLOOOO!? Anyone in this room actually go to medical school? GAWD! So I told him "no way" and that he should read Sam Thatcher's book and should understand up front that I want answers, not masks. He was like "yeah, yeah, whatever." I will never see him again.

Good news. The girls at the front desk of the clinic told me that my insurance will let me see a nurse practitioner instead and still cover. They recommended a woman there and said she's great. I see her July 15. Another woman in the community told me she also sees this same nurse practitioner and that this n.p. is great, very thorough, and interested in patients as a whole. There's hope.

May 2002
I discovered something called PCOS from a KotaPress reader who wrote to share her website with us. As I read more and more about PCOS I started thinking that it all sounded too familiar. Although it seems that no diagnosis has been made of PCOS for me, there is every indication that this is what I've been dealing with all along. Discovered the link between PCOS and insulin resistance for some women. Figure it can't hurt to stop sugar and carbs for a while and see what happens. Hope to have time this summer to investigate health care providers who can understand this. We'll see.

Kara lives on Vashon Island which is a much more awesome place than she ever imagined it would be. She is a poet, bookmaker, wife, teacher, bereaved mom, facilitator, receptionist, founder, struggling p.t.barnum, turtle faithful, editor, artist, and a million other things that will prevent you from putting her in any one particular label box! Kara teaches through local art centers, artists in the schools programs, KotaPress and independently. To find out more about her, see:


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