One of the things they don’t tell you about when they diagnose you with PCOS (or any difficult health condition really) is that they basically just told you that you will never have a good doctors appointment AGAIN. I have spent years going to the doctor’s just to walk out in tears. Literally tears. I have had my blood drawn every 6 months since I was a teen. They are always testing my sugar levels, thyroid (family history) and how my anemia is doing. I now just automatically fast when I go to the doctor’s because I know they are going to want to take my blood.
Two years ago I found a really great physician who was willing to listen. That was a big deal to me because for years I had doctors that dismissed me and just told me to lose weight. That was the cure all for PCOS. Now I agree with them, controlling your weight is important but I didn’t know how. I tried eating the low fat diet and it DIDN’T work for me at all. So when I found a doctor who listened, I became more motivated to work with her on finding solutions. She allows me to be involved in my treatment. She placed me on a low dosage of Metformin. She worked with me on finding an eating style that works and an exercise program.
Last year when I was diagnosed with severe anxiety, again, she worked with me. She knew I didn’t want to be placed on an anti-depressant or anxiety medication. So she gave me a blood pressure pill to treat my hypertension that also helped with heart palpitations and delayed the flight or fight system a bit. There are so many different things that people don’t think about when it comes to PCOS. Is it mainly a hormonal thing that messes up your fertility/reproductive area, hell yes, but those hormones being off is like a domino effect. It starts to leak into other parts of the body, blood pressure issues, heart problems, anxiety, anemia, diabetes, sleeping, weight gain, etc. These are the things the other doctors never talked to me about. These are the things my doctor now talks to me about. I am more then my reproductive organs to her.
But even though I love my doctor, I still hadn’t had a good doctor’s appointment in years. My blood pressure always made her frown. My anemia always made her very concerned. She really wanted me to work on my weight. She wanted me to work on my anxiety. She needed me to quit smoking. I still always left with a list of things to work on. She was always very positive with me but I always felt like a failure. Like I was failing at having one good check-up. One time I didn’t walk into the doctors office with a list of weird symptoms to go through with her. One time she didn’t need to prescribe me more medication to deal with more crappy stuff.
So this morning I was nervous. Probably about as nervous as a girl heading towards a first date. I wanted to show my doctor that I had been working out consistently. That I had lowered my blood pressure. That I had quit smoking. That I was doing everything we discussed and making small leaps towards my ultimate goal of being healthy.
The first step was getting my blood pressure checked. It has dropped finally! It still has some more to go but it was the lowest it had been in over a year, hell a few years. I felt like doing a little victory dance. I didn’t have a list of complaints to go in with. I wanted to talk to her about my wrist issues a bit (I type for a living and I sleep too curled up). I mentioned that it seemed like the scale was staying the same but my clothes were fitting better. She said that muscle weighs more than fat and that I needed to judge things more from how I feel/how my clothes are fitting. She also talked to me about getting stricter with my low carb eating because weight loss happens mostly in the kitchen. She ordered my blood work and I am waiting to see how my anemia is doing. But all in all, I walked out of there high as a kite. First good doctor’s appointment in literally YEARS.
Am I exactly where I want to be, NO. Am I getting further away from the girl who was constantly complaining about her ankles? The girl who didn’t want to get out of bed? The girl who was afraid of doing anything that meant she had to walk for any length of time? Hell YES I AM. I feel better than I have in a long time. I had to let go of the stress, drama and ideas of how my weight loss was going to go in order to get to a place that I could start making forward progress. I had to do it my way. I had to work slowly through the issues. This is my journey. I am proud of this journey. I don’t wake up with sore ankles anymore. I don’t fight through insomnia on almost a nightly basis. I don’t have crazy mood swings as often. I can spend all day walking around and not limping or falling behind everyone. I have energy. I have endurance. I am getting strong. I don’t fight crippling panic attacks on a daily basis. I am happy with my progress. I am excited to see what else I can accomplish.
With the help of a really great doctor and a whole lot of determination, I am taking this journey one step at a time. AND days like this, day’s where I walk out of the doctor’s office smiling for all I am worth, feeling great, I know that even though the scale has only dropped 26 pounds, I am making a whole bunch of progress that has nothing to do with that scale.
So when is the last time you had a great doctors appointment?