Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

I seriously want to know. Yes, it's about women issues, but men can respond too, if you so choose.

Let's say that you had a fairly regular cycle. Then when things start to get super stressful in your life (the last year of a masters program, for example), you skip a period here & there (let's say 2-4 skipped periods in approx 1 year-14 months). You know it's not normal, so you try to follow up with doctors, and they basically blow you off, saying it's probably stress related and not to worry, blah, blah, blah.

Then let's say that you think things are starting to get normal again and stress levels should be coming down. In fact, it feels like they're coming down, so you are starting to get confident that cycle would be returning to normal. But it doesn't. In fact, you seem to be skipping every other period now. Worried?

You go to the doctor more, get more blood tests and fun stuff like that run. You take pregnancy test after pregnancy test and they all come up negative, so it's not that. You are told you have PCOS and need to lose weight. You TRY to lose weight-- you try HARD. Nothing is happening. You continue to seek for answers and find none, but you take the pill the doctor prescribed, trusting in his confidence that it will make everything better.

You take the pill for over a month. No results. In fact, instead of it making things better, you start to wonder if it's making things worse. You notice occasional spotting (they say that's normal, apparently), and you notice some signs that indicate your period should be coming in a certain time frame, but it doesn't.

Two and a half months have now gone by and still nothing. You were starting to wonder if the 60-day cycle was becoming normal, but it's well past that 60 days now. You took another pregnancy test, but it's negative.

Do you go to the doctor for more tests? Do you wait until the 90 day without a period mark and see if one comes then (like you skipped 2 periods instead of just skipping one)? Do you assume you're just going through menopause early or something like that? Do you self-diagnose? Do you eat a bunch of chocolate, gain a bunch of weight, and say, "screw it all!" in hopes that there will at least be some relief with that? Or do you do something else?

Of course, part of me says I'm just overreacting and to wait it out. After all, my doctors haven't been worried. And I've been to a LOT of them since this started. Do I really want to go through more tests and spend that extra time & money trying to figure out what's wrong only to hear the equivalent of, "Nothing is wrong" or "The cause for your misery is still unknown" or something like that?

My husband says it's a case for Dr. House. I WISH I were so lucky to get help like that. Then again, I might have to practically die before a solution is found, and I don't know if i want to go through that.


Erin said...

Don't let the doctors blow you off. You need to have a pad of paper and a pen at your appointments. You should have a list of all your symptoms and a calendar of your past couple years of periods (if you have it) or a rough estimation.

You should be seeing a OB/Gyn, not a family practice doctor. Try to find one who specializes in problems such as fibroids, endometriosis, ptsd, etc. Call up the offices and ask if they have someone who is a specialist. SPECIALIST not just someone who "has those kinds of patients".

I have endometriosis and you need to see someone who knows what they're talking about. Have you had an ultrasound? I don't remember.

Don't give up. You need to have an answer.

Richard and McKenna said...

I would honestly, do what your friend said to do above and switch doctors!! If your current doctor is blowing you off, it is time to find someone who will be proactive to find you an answer. I had to do that. My previous doctor just told me to just keep getting pregnant and one of them would work out. Decided that was not what I wanted to do, so I switched to someone who specializes in miscarriage and he is actively trying to find a solution. I think that if your doctor still says that nothing is wrong, find someone who will do tests and find out what is going on. Also, I went to my 1st doc appointment with the new doc and had a list of my reproductive history (history of periods, symptoms, problems, in my case pregnancies etc.) so he could see all of it. That really helped him in our search to find out what is wrong and make diagnoses. Good luck!

BeatlesDiva said...

I feel like your in my head. This blog is exactly what I'm going through now (minus the pregnancy part).

I've too have PCOS and have been to about 5 "specialists" and none of them have proven that they actually care or truly want to help. But I havn't given up hope yet. I know there has to be a doctor out there that knows how to deal with this.

I agree with the previous posts, you just have to keep trying, but if I come across someone that can honestly help I'll let you know what advice they've given me.

Debra said...

It's not like I have tons & tons of options of doctors. I picked the doctor I did because he was the only doctor I could pick at my clinic. I may switch to someone else, but I've only met with this doctor once (yes, he's an OBGYN, he was referred to me by my regular doctor when I expressed concerns about skipped periods. He did a lot of blood work, and I don't think he would just tell me that it's stress and not to worry).

At least a couple people think I'm trying to get pregnant from my post (I emailed some family members and their responses led me to that conclusion), and I want to clarify that I'm not trying. I got frustrated with the pills I was on not working and quit using them, so there is always that possibility, but it's not something we're actively trying for at this time.

McKnights said...

My thoughts would to be slow down and take one thing at a time. I know you are like me and we are worriers, so I wont try and tell you not to worry so much. You have been to the doctors and now let them do their jobs. Keep working with them and sharing your concerns and asking your questions, but if it was bad enought I have the faith that they would tell you so.

I have recently learned with my husband that weight has a lot to do with a lot of things. He has been told by his doctor that if you would be serious and lost some weight he would be and feel so much better. Not having a weight issue myself, I can't possible know how hard it is to lose weight, but I can encourage you both to keep trying and say I am here to help any way I can.

I understand you might not be trying to get pregnant right now but if by some chance it happened would it be the end of your world? I don't think it would be. It would be like everything else, you do what you need to do on yoru side and you put the rest into God's hands to take care of.

Remember Christ himself said "I never said it would be easy ...". Also we are not tried more than we are able to handle.

Stay strong and keep trying. I love you too much to see you so down.