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I’ve had PCOS all of my life. Way back in the day, doctors didn’t know why I didn’t get my monthly visit. I went to doctor to doctor to endocrinologist with no answers. My mother was told I’d grow out of it at some point.
Hi, I’m 42 now and I’ve not grown out of it.
I finally got my diagnosis in 2002 when I lived in DC. I found a fertility clinic who knew what they were talking about. A 10 minute visit with the usual exams confirmed my thought - PCOS.
PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disease affects a lot of women in different ways from what I’ve learned. I carry the majority of my weight in my stomach and waist area. My cholesterol is up but not into alarming numbers. I have ovarian cysts that pop and hurt. The worst part about it? We are usually infertile and, in my case, could beat an Italian man in a mustache growing contest.
I used to be embarrassed about all the hair and the fact that I had to shave not just my legs but my face, neck and arms as well. It’s sometimes hard to write that but I’m among friends here. I have to shave just about every day depending on what I’m doing. If I don’t have to go anywhere, I can usually get away with an electric razor. If I’m going out somewhere, the timing has to be right. I have to plan out the shaving schedule. I can only get a couple of hours out of an electric shave and about a day with a razor shave. If I have events 2 days in a row, it can get hairy - no pun intended (or is it?)
I did laser treatments last year for my lip, chin and neck. I was expensive and kind of worth it. My chin is much better and my neck as well but I’ll need at least 5 more sessions for my lip.
About a week ago, I took a long look in the mirror. I just turned 42 and had been told earlier that day that I didn’t look a day over 35. That made my day. But, as I stood there staring at myself, I started asking the “Why Me?” questions again. Why do I have to put up with this disgusting hair on my face? I’d shaved that morning but there was my 5 o‘clock shadow.
I get really self-conscious sometimes when I’m talking to someone. I can see their eyes flitting between my eyes and my upper lip. It’s a quick glance but I’m used to watching for it. That makes me really nervous - OMG is my hair growing that fast? Did my make up melt? Did I use enough make up? Can they see the black hair against my pale skin?
It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to either. My parents do it, too and they should be used to it by now.
I try to have the attitude of “It’s not my fault that I’m this way.” Being this way doesn’t affect the way I carry on with my life, how I relate to my friends or acquaintances, or how I perform my job(s). And yet, it seems the rest of the world just doesn’t get it. Because I’m not a ‘normal female’ (a doctor’s description of me) society seems to label me and others like as a freak of sorts. Why is that?
So - I’ve put it out there for Fab40 to see. I know there are more of me out there in Fab40 land. I know I’m more than this stupid hair but its hard to see past it sometimes. How do you deal with it?