Those of you who saw my Facebook status today know that I had two doctor's appointments today. The first was with my endocrinologist, Dr. Maturlo, and the second was with my new OB/GYN (not so much OB, since I'm not preggers), Dr. Young. If you need an endocrinologist or an OB/GYN, I highly recommend these doctors. Today they figured out more than my last five doctors combined have over the past two years.
In the morning, Dr. Maturlo addressed my hormone issues head-on by prescribing Metformin. She also noticed the subclinical hypothyroidism evidenced on the labs another doctor had called normal! She also noticed a teeny bit of swelling in my thyroid, so in two months, I'll have a thyroid ultrasound.
I was at Dr. Young's office for about two hours this afternoon. That may seem like a long appointment, but he was so efficient and smart that by the time I left, I really felt like we'd taken five steps forward. He looked at my charts and decided to do an ultrasound—right there and then! I told him that I'd had one done in the summer, and they said it had come back normal. His response: "I bet this one won't!"
Here's what he saw:
Okay, okay, I know it's blurry! But you probably wouldn't be able to identify anything anyway. I'll take you on a little tour through my insides.
The top left is a picture of . . . drum roll please . . . a 4 cm cyst on my right ovary! (And the crowd goes wild!) I know that's not something to be happy about, but hey, it explains the ovary pain!
The other pictures are different angles of my uterus, the lining of which is massively thick! So ta-dah! That explains the two-month-long, non-stop bleeding marathon.
He ascertained from the his real-time view of my internal organs that (a) I do indeed have PCOS, and (b) my uterus tilts backward. The whole tilting thing actually makes no medical difference, and isn't even an abnormality—it's just a fun fact about my body that most women can't claim.
Okay, rewind—I have PCOS! Now, that's not something to cheer about either. At all. But it's a diagnosis. I had time this summer to come to grips with the possibility of PCOS, so when Dr. Young decided to make it official, the words came with a flood of relief instead of worry and dread. This is treatable. I have options. I have a community. What is wrong with me has a name. I am filled with gratitude for these things, and for the friends, family, and Father in Heaven who have offered constant support to help me get here. If it weren't for you guys, I probably would have assumed I was suffering from some psychosomatic garbage and given up. So many of you awesome people have pushed me to find better doctors and get better care. I can't thank you enough.
I still have more tests to take, more appointments to make, (and more rhymes to fake), but at least for the moment I have somewhere to go! Dr. Young had a good solution for me to regulate my bleeding that involves neither birth control nor fertility pills. He also prescribed pills for my other symptoms. The metformin my endocrinologist prescribed will help to treat the PCOS, and I have more appointments in February and March to figure everything out. I have lab results on the way, and Dr. Young has promised another round of tests once he sees Dr. Maturlo's lab results.
In the meantime, I have a fun little tour for you of my own personal pharmacy. My doctors sent me home with a total of five new prescriptions. On top of the three I already take and my vitamins, I have a total of TEN current Rx bottles sitting on the shelf. Now, one of those pills is an "as needed" that's expensive, so I don't always have it every day. Two of the others are the same drug in different doses that I'll switch between and occasionally forgo altogether. Once I do all the math, on any given day I will take between thirteen and fifteen pills.
Here's my weekly regimen:
Colorful, huh? All these pills make me feel like an AIDS patient. I'll average 98 pills each week. If I get the side effects of all of them, I think it'll add up to one huge popping sound as my body turns into an overripe mango.