So as I said in part one, I was about to go into year 13, a big, important year. If that wasn’t stressful enough, I had to contend with trips backwards and forwards to my GP and the community hospital – and various other hospitals across Essex, for ultrasounds and MRI scans. Having been referred to the endocrinologist at the community hospital, I was told I’d need to have a number of blood tests over a period of eight months or so. If that wasn’t bad enough, I’d have to check in with the specialist to monitor how everything was going. It involved: being weighed, having my blood pressure taken, my blood sugar measures and heart rate checked – and that was even before I spoke to the specialist. It then took a further six months to book my MRI scan, another thankless task. By then it was November 2008 – well over a year since I had been diagnosed.
The MRI itself wasn’t too bad really – they basically made me lie on a table in nothing but one of those horrific blue gowns you see in hospitals. I was then wheeled into a tunnel where I was for half an hour, having to contend with a constant clicking noise. I’m not too sure what they found from the images, to be honest, but to cut a long story short, I was prescribed cabergoline. I ended up being on cabergoline for two years. I was told to take half a tablet once a week, making sure it was at a similar time and with or after food. I started taking them on Sunday evenings as that was the only time I seemed to remember, but towards the end of the course, it ended up being Monday lunchtimes – as Monday was a day I got my prescription. They refused to put it on a repeat prescription, so it was a nightmare having to go to mp GP and the chemist before 16 weeks was up. And the side effects were awful...
It was bad enough the symptoms of PCOS were being overweight or an inability to lose weight, but the tablets caused weight gain, so it was a vicious circle. I wasn’t on the pill at the time, but I had been, I would have had to come off it – as it is recommended you’re not on both pills. Then there were the constant migraines and overall drowsiness – and to top it off, an awful shooting pain in the lower abdomen. It was so bad one time; I spent three days in hospital – without food or drink! They thought it could have been a mild form of appendicitis – I blame my rubbish insides!
With my weight being a never-ending battle, I had to seriously watch what I ate. I used to have a sandwich everyday for lunch, this soon turned into half a sandwich and then half a sandwich twice a week – it used to make me feel too bloated. I also had to constantly take note of my weight, and have figures ready for the endocrinologist – just in case my dosage needed to be decreased, or upped.
Being at Uni certainly didn’t help this, especially considering the amount that was drunk some days/nights and the times I forgot to take my tablet – when this was the case, I was told not to have double next time as complications could occur.
I was told to come off the cabergoline in December 2010, after it seemed my condition had improved – everything was starting to add up. I was then given the sign off from the endocrinologist in March 2011. Obviously the symptoms are still there and haven’t gone away completely, but I knew that would always be the case. I feel so much better about myself than I used to though. And I managed to get through it with the support of my family – that’s always the best way!
Oh, and the reason I used to hate talking about it – a comment from a silly boy. Being ‘late’ is commonplace with PCOS sufferers, sometimes it’s a matter of days, other times it could be weeks. In severe cases, they’re skipped. Obviously being so ignorant, he didn’t know this and instead jumped to conclusions and made up a fairly sick rumour. Ignorance is a horrible thing and I’m a firm believer in, ‘if you don’t know or understand, just ask’. I’m more than happy to talk about it to people that genuinely want to know. After all, 10% is a pretty big number and there needs to be some kind of awareness!