Health – PCOS

No more pain, please!

Last night and all through this morning, I had a very bad headache. This is the third month it’s been like that. I’ll swing by my doctor’s office tomorrow because I don’t want that again next month. The pill has got to be changed.

I started feeling the headache coming up while I was singing along to the videoke at my aunt and cousin’s birthday bash yesterday, probably at around 4pm. I blamed it on the fact that I hadn’t had a wink of sleep since getting up for work the previous night. I went back and took a dip in the pool and had my little nephews massage my head a bit. The shower after seem to have given me some comfort – but not for long.

The pain became a little stronger on the trip home, specially when I had to sleep at an uncomfortable position, having to share the backseat with three other sleeping boys – AJ 3, Esban 6, and Adam 7.

I had a temporary reprieve from pain when we stopped for a light dinner at McDonald’s and I bought a cooling Starbucks frappuccino next door. I didn’t sleep the rest of the way home, my nephews wanted to sing. It was straight to bed as soon as we arrived home at around
9pm. I didn’t even bother to download the few pictures I managed to take. I woke up several times through the night with the pain really giving me a hard time, and the heat making matters worse. Medication wasn’t something I wanted to resort to at that point, I was determined that sleep was all I needed. But at 6 in the morning – it was just unbearable. My mom said I should just take the meds, or go to the hospital. I took the pain medication and my dad used this massaging contraption on me. There was temporary relief with that, but the pain came back as soon as it stopped. I waited about 15 minutes but the nagging pain was still there. I felt like throwing up and remembered what the ER doctor told me last time: if I threw up, I had to go back and see them. No. So I went back to sleep.

At 10AM, I woke up and the headache was gone. I was still feeling heavy. When I went to the john, I saw a small brownish spot. All that pain for that!

I swear I feel it coming back right now. It’s like it’s lurking. Like the medicine temporarily numbed me to it but it’s still there. It’s not supposed to come back though, the doctor said the medicine has a 24-hour effect. I’ve only had it in my body for a little more than 12 hours.

Please, I don’t want anymore of it.

Still on the pill

So I went to see my doctor before coming to work today. As it turned out, I need three cycles of Althea so I started on my second cycle today. I complained about the pain in my breasts which I suspected were side effects of the pill, and she confirmed it. I also told her about the terrible headaches I had the first two days of my menses. As is turns out, though she didn’t directly say it, the headaches may actually be another side effect of the pill.

She gave me tips to avoid the headaches before my next cycle. If the headaches persist, I am to see her again to discontinue the pill. My guess is she’ll have to change it then. I am not looking forward to the boob and head pains 🙁

In fairness, the bleeding isn’t as bad as the last two months’. It still flows heavily, but only during the first 2 days really. Yesterday’s and today’s flow seem to be just normal. That really is the main concern.

I also happily reported to her that I’ve lost about 5 pounds since she last saw me. She says she’s looking forward to another 5 off next time I go back. We’ll see.

Which reminds me, I’m not even sure if I’ve managed to keep the 5 off, if they’ve come back, or if I’ve lost a couple more. I have not seen Marie for awhile.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

I spent about 4 hours in and around the hospital this afternoon. It is yet another episode in the long drama that concerns my reproductive health.

Back in Junior year at college, I had unforgettable bloody experience while taking an exam for my Humanities I (literature) class. I stood up, or was about to, so I could turn in my blue book, when I realized that I was soaked in my own blood. It was my first class for the day and I had about 3 more to go. I waited until the room was almost empty before I stood up to leave. I used the backpack (which was conveniently red) to cover myself as much as possible, and then hurried off to the ladies’ room where I changed into a red shirt that helped cover me up a bit.

My dad took me to the campus that morning (1.5 hours earlier) and I had to ask him to skip work so he can pick me up and bring me back home again. At that time, his office was very near the University. I couldn’t possibly commute home, there was just so much blood.

That afternoon, at the doctor’s, I learned that I needed to take some form of hormone therapy and that I had to take my condition seriously if I wanted to have kids someday.

In 2002, barely a year after that episode, I had to see the doctor again. I think it was after bleeding for a long time. By that time, I was about to start my job at Asia ACTs. I saw a differnt OB-GYN (a much nicer one, I must add), and learned that I probably had PCOS. To accurately diagnose me, I had an ultrasound that left me a bit traumatized by the experience. Hehe.

I took contraceptive pills for three months, along with Metformin, and also tried my best to shed off some weight. All of that to address the PCOS.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity, though it can affect women in a variety of ways.

The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown, but the condition stems from a disruption in the monthly reproductive cycle. The name polycystic ovary syndrome comes from the appearance of the ovaries in some women with the disorder — large and studded with numerous cysts (polycystic).

Polycystic ovary syndrome affects about one in 10 women in the United States and is the leading cause of infertility in women. Early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome can help reduce the risk of long-term complications, which include diabetes and heart disease.

– from the Mayo Clinic website (

After three cycles of the pills, and mats of Metformin (which happens to be for pre-diabetics, I think, and helps lower the blood sugar), I had another ultrasound that showed that the polycysts were still there. Unfortunately, I didn’t go back to see the doctor again.

Since then, I’ve been on and off various efforts to lose weight.

Today, 5.5 years later, I still have the same old problems.

Anyway, writing about this condition and my journey to ridding myself of it, is something that I intend to regularly post about from here on. Perhaps doing so will remind me more of how I should regularly consult with my doctor to be sure that I am getting better. It should also serve as motivation to take weight loss seriously.

As for why I was at the hospital today, that’s for another blog post. On the other hand, here’s photos of my very own ovaries. These are from the ultrasound I had just three weeks ago.

Ok, I don’t know what’s in there, but they said there are stll multiple cysts around both ovaries.

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