My PCOS Journey: The Dark Days

The other day we got into how I was diagnosed and the start of my journey with PCOS and today we will get into the darker side of PCOS. Unfortunately, if you suffer from this you have probably had your share of bad days, weeks, months, or even years. This is to share my journey with others to help realize that there are other people out there who are struggling and there are people who have triumphed in their journey. Bringing us together folks!

We left off last time at the end of a dieting rant. This week we get into a little bit more of a personal story, but if PCOS has taught me anything, it is that everyone has a story and there is something to help everyone. The doctor had told me to lose more weight, I had done my colonoscopy (large polyp- no cancer!), and I was feeling discouraged. This part gets a little fuzzy and I might have to have Fish fill in a little bit. Unbeknownst to me, my body was fighting heavy metal poisoning due to the use of Metformin.

I want it known I wouldn’t normally talk about bodily functions in such a public way, but if I can save one person from going through what I went through, then it’s worth it to talk about. The heavy metal poisoning onset was slow and steady. I steadily grew more lethargic, every muscle in my body hurt, and I was constantly in the bathroom with diarrhea (like colonoscopy prep style). It was terrible. I went to the doctor over 7 times in a month. I had to do stool and urine samples. I was tested for Celiac’s disease. I gave blood so many times that I was sent to Acute Care for blood draws.

All my symptoms that had been slowly building for months were all crashing down on me at once. Not to mention I am a full-time student, I do a work-study job, and I have my wonderful wife and all our hobbies. I don’t know how I was managing all these tasks. I was down to doing the bare minimum in life to get by. Then my wife had a breakthrough, what if it was my Metformin? Many of my symptoms were listed under the warning label to stop taking immediately if any of them occured. So I stopped taking the medication that my doctor not only prescribed me, but disagreed when I asked months earlier if it could be the problem.

I am overweight, I have ovarian issues, but I am not diabetic and I am not pre-diabetic either. In fact my blood sugar runs on the low side. I was still given this medication because it “should” help. I stopped taking it and within one day I felt better. It has taken a couple of weeks to fully recover, but in those dark months I never thought that I would feel this clear headed again. I will be forever grateful to my wife for figuring out that it was my medication.

My advice is don’t be afraid to get a second opinion and trust your gut. If something is wrong and you know it, push. Push for yourself, you deserve better than being told that you are fine. You deserve better than being told that the solution that works for other people will work for you. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is not an understood thing by any means. It is equal parts gynecology and endocrinology.

Do your research. No one knows everything, but there are a lot of people that know a little bit. I have learned so much from reading PCOS message boards and blogs.

Dr. Fish’s Note: yes, I just called myself DOCTOR Fish, because I figured out what was wrong with my wife. I damn near refused to pay the “doctors” that kept telling Crab that she was fine. I’m distrustful of doctors and prescription pharmaceuticals, and feel that everyone should be active in not only their own healthcare, but their whole families.

Crab was very lethargic, generally irritable, mentally fuzzy (brain foggy), and just not herself. Let’s not even mention suffering through the bathroom stuff..we have 1 bathroom in our home, and I had to debate peeing in our un-fenced yard way too many times for comfort.

Had we not figured out the Metformin issues, our trip to Ireland would have been spent finding the nearest bathroom everywhere we went.

If you do not feel well, read the side effects of the drugs you are taking, and eliminate that. If it makes you feel better, tell your doctor you have discontinued use. They’ll be upset, because they were probably getting a kickback for your prescription, but your health is more important than their pharmaceutical sponsorships.

I’ll get off my soap box now. I should also note that I am not really a doctor, nor do I play one on TV (or the Internet).

Up next week sometime will be my blog on PCOS vitamins, what has and hasn’t worked for me and why. So get in your vitamin suggestions, bad and good, before next week!!

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