Cancelling my next appointment with Dr.B for “ovulation induction” was like unloading an invisible burden off my shoulders.
It was completely irrational, completely unjustified and yet fully aligned with what my core was telling me.
I felt so relieved and yet I felt so stupid.
Could you imagine?
Me…….sitting on the light purple bench in the doctors office, stating my rationale as to why I have declined further treatments. “I….just have a gut feeling!”
I can imagine the doctors eyebrows raised in confusion. He’ll probably think to himself that he’d rather deal with the “I’ve been researching the internet” response.
Oh, Dr. Google….you frustrate health professionals, you convince people they have cancer, and yet you have answered a few of my questions.
So instead of sitting in the doctors office, trying to justify my “gut feeling” I decided that I wouldn’t return until I had a NEW plan.
I guess that was current my new strategy.
In the meantime I went home to America for a month to visit my family and to recoup. I was surrounded by love and support and I swallowed back a painful lump of emotion as I realised how hard it was going through this difficult journey with such limited support in Australia. This was a consequence of my decision to live so far away, but it was difficult none-the-less.
On a cool autumn evening, I sat relaxing at my grandmother’s feet. She patted my head lovingly and smoothed back my hair.
“Why are you doing this crazy diet?” She asked gently.
“Well, I found out I have polycystic ovaries…” I explained sadly
When I first got my diagnosis I thought that I was the ONLY one in my family with PCOS. As far as I had known, no one else suffered with this predicament and all my aunts, sisters and cousins appeared to reproduce with moderate ease.
“I’ve got PCOS too,” my grandmother said. I looked up at her in shock. I don’t know why I had never known this.
“So does your Auntie.” She continued. “Right before I got married I bled for almost a whole year. They did things differently back then you know, but they took me in for surgery, removed my left ovary and took most of my right. They left me with a quarter of an ovary…….and I still had 4 kids!” She laughed. “So I think you should just eat whatever you want, make sure to relax and enjoy life and then you WILL get pregnant honey.”
Oh what simple, beautiful advice.
I am sure it is VERY valid. But the food she ate back in the 40’s and 50’s was VERY different to what we have available to us now. Sugar, preservatives and toxins seem to be hidden and infused into most foods….and we all know how extremely detrimental that is for those of us with PCOS (well……for everyone if truth be told).
I tucked her advice under my arm and decided to carry it with me always (even if I didn’t always use it).
A couple days later I found myself around the kitchen table, sipping on brewed coffee flavoured with my favourite Pumpkin Spice creamer. My uncle (an Obsteric/Gynecologist) sat down to have breakfast with me. I timidly gathered the courage to ask him for fertility advice. I explained that I had started on clomid, but that I was having severe migraines, suicidal thoughts and that I was having lots of pain and heavy periods and that in general I felt “VERY sick.” I told him sincerely that I wasn’t coping and asked for his advice on my next step.
He listened quietly, took a sip of his coffee and then did something that sent me reeling in shock.
HE GENERALIZED ME.
He’s know me since I was baby. He’s known the happy “Trina” that ran around full of energy, always happy and always smiling. He knows ME.
So for ME to tell HIM that I have pain, lethargy, migraines, depressive and suicidal thoughts and that I feel VERY sick, well……I honestly thought he would listen and take me seriously as this is so OUT OF CHARACTER for me.
Instead he shrugged his shoulders and casually said “All patients with infertility struggle with depression and anxiety.”
My eyes blinked with incredulosness.
“So what you need to do,” he said nonchalantly “is get on some anti-depressants.”
I could hardly move at this point.
“Then,” he continued “you need to see a neurologist and get on some stronger migraine medication. And then you need to keep pushing on with the Clomid.”
My voice was faltering and my aunt interjected on my behalf “Yes, but what she is saying is that she is feeling VERY unwell and is NOT coping. Are there any other options?”
My uncle shook his head. “You just need to persevere and continue the Clomid.”
“Well,” I finally got some words out “I was thinking of asking for surgery….just to see if anything else is wrong with me.”
My uncle shook his head again. “No, that is TOO invasive. Clomid is cheap and safe. You need to keep going with the clomid. The anti-depressants should help.”
I nodded and secretly threw his advice out the window.
It was a moment of shocking clarity.
If my OWN uncle, my own flesh and blood, would NOT listen to me……….then what made me think a random doctor would?
In that moment of shock and emotion, I staunchly decided that I wanted surgery.
And if Dr.B in Australia wouldn’t do it, then I would find someone else who would!