Dear PCOS: Thank You For The Lessons

Dear PCOS: Thank You For The LessonsDear Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS),

I hope you know me by now. After all, you’ve been in my life for about 20 years so far. I feel like we know each other pretty well. It’s due to this closeness that I feel like I need to say a few things to you. I need to tell you about the horrible things you have created in my life and how you wreak havoc on so many things.

You made puberty super hard.

The heavy, painful periods.

The fact that one month I would have a cycle and then the next two I wouldn’t- awesome for a teenager just trying to live her life. And if that wasn’t bad enough, you made ovulation extremely painful.

Once I was ready for babies, you made it difficult to conceive and to carry.

You took far too many babies from me. Yes, you eventually allowed me to have and carry my two rainbow babies, but I’m angry about the ones that you stole from me. You took away the joy of pregnancy, replacing it with anxiety and fear that these babies would also slip from my womb, leaving me broken and sad.

But you didn’t stop there, did you?

Oh no, you caused me to be insulin resistant and to put on large amounts of weight, Stripping me of the ability to be comfortable in my own body. And if the pounds weren’t enough, you started to rob me of my thick hair, causing my hair to thin and thin. That then gave way to unsightly hair on my chin, which only amplified my depression and my anxiety. I felt like a stranger in my own body, like I couldn’t even have control over the one thing that is supposed to be wholly mine.

Oh PCOS, I’m sure you don’t think you are all bad.

You probably don’t really mean to do any of this; you just come along with my apparently junky ovaries. The truth is- you really aren’t all bad. You’ve given me a lot of bad things, but you have also given me a lot of good.

You’ve taught me to stand up for my medical care more.

To not accept that things are just “normal” when they are not. I suffered for far too long without asking for help because I thought all women experienced this. Now I know how to advocate for myself in ways I never would have thought of 10 years ago.

You’ve made me brave.

I’m taking risks and challenges to be more than what you want me to be. I try new exercises and medical regiments to try to help. I’m getting a surgery to drastically alter my body to try to get you to not have such a foothold in my life.

Thanks to you, I have learned to be thankful and grateful for the children I have and get to hold in my arms.

Not a day goes by that I don’t mourn my angel babies, but I am so incredibly lucky to have the two beautiful boys that I have. I know that you are far more unkind to some of my fellow sisters with PCOS; some will never get to have children biologically, because you have stripped that from them. I, at least, did.

So, PCOS, thank you.

I wouldn’t be who I am without you. Can I kindly ask you to leave me alone now?



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Courtney likes to describe herself as a lover of lists and post-its, all things nerdy, and as an all-around pretty awesome person. She lives in Marion with her husband, Jon, their two sons, and their two crazy cats. Both of her boys are rainbow babies, with Everett arriving in December 2013, and Hendrix in March 2016. Courtney is a Penn State graduate, and currently works as a team lead for a state agency. Aside from attempting to be successful at this parenting thing, she likes to go on adventures with her family that includes trying out all the local parks and ice cream stops. Courtney also likes to binge watch Netflix, attempt all things from Pinterest, and can be occasionally be found on her couch doing both