Mamapedia City Voices highlights the inside scoop on your city by selected writers, from up-and-coming mom bloggers to well-known mom experts.
The last couple of weeks have been frustrating and overwhelming. I haven’t felt “right” for a while and I finally decided I had enough and went to the doctor who did a complete blood workup… twice. (She didn’t like the first round’s results and she wanted to verify them.)
My family is the collector of rare medical labels. From kids born without the sucking reflex, to failure to thrive, to infantile acid reflux, to renal reflux, to foot bone abnormalities, to pediatric cataracts. We can now add a new one: Premature Ovarian Failure (POF).
For those of you who have not followed my weight loss story, I successfully lost 140 pounds in 14 months with calorie counting and exercise. It was off for an additional eight months, but then-with no changes in my consumption or lifestyle-it started slowly creeping back.
I even went on a hardcore ‘nothing but protein shake’ diet for a week to see if I could jumpstart my body back on track. It didn’t happen.
Knowing that I have always been hormonally imbalanced, I finally went to the doctor for a full workup. She told me she suspected diabetes or thyroid problems, but ran the other hormone numbers to appease me since I mentioned a few other concerning symptoms.
Blood sugar is fine. Thyroid is fine. Kidneys, liver, and all the organs are fine and working. My metabolism, however, is completely shut down and, strangely enough, my hormone levels are typical of a 60-year-old woman.
My ovaries have shut down. At 35, I am in full-blown menopause.
The news has been pretty depressing to me. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get my body where I wanted it to be, and now I feel all the work being ripped away. I feel robbed. And worst of all, there’s not a whole lot that I can do about it alone. Now I get to do more testing and figure out what hormone therapies I can take that will help me feel better while not increasing my risk of cancer (which runs in my family). Suddenly the pharmacy looks like a Vegas casino and I am picking which table boasts the best odds.
As I was venting and griping to a couple of my friends, one common theme kept coming back…everything that has happened has been for a reason. This will be, too.
When I went through my miscarriage I was then able to help others go through it themselves.
My daughter’s dyslexia diagnosis has allowed me to help other parents going through it.
My weight loss journey has inspired others, and I have helped lots of women begin their own journey towards health.
POF is just another chapter in my life’s book. Every second I waste feeling sorry for myself, hating my body, and despising the scale, allows my hormones to drive me crazy. I don’t want to resign my life to hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. As much as my current fatigue wants nothing more than a BBQ chicken pizza delivered as I lay in bed and watch The Biggest Loser as I feel sorry for myself, the truth is that I am not designed to be a quitter. So, instead, I will go back in for even more blood work this week so we can lay some chips on the Texas Hold ‘em table and see if it pays. If not…I’ll just have to gather up my chips and head over to Blackjack. Sometimes being a woman really, really stinks.
If you feel like weight loss has become an uphill battle, your hormones may be to blame. As easy as it is to say, “I’m too young for this,” I’m living proof that you’re not. POF can strike as early as the teen years. Although not curable, lifestyle changes can make it tolerable. When was the last time you had your hormones checked?
Jamie Anne RIchardson is raising her three kids in a small town outside of Dallas,and splits her days between wearing a Super Mom cape and writer’s bifocals. She has completed her first women’s fiction novel and has started her second. Read more of her work at Jamie Anne Richarson.