I Have PCOS, But It Will Not Define Who I Am

I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), but it will not define who I am.

Growing up, I was always given the best home I could be given under the circumstances. My mom has always been my number one person, besides my older brother. When my dad left, all we had were each other and we made it work. Around the age of 11, I really chunked up even though I was very active in school with sports and such. At the age 12, I started getting my periods and the school nurse sent home a note saying I was “extremely overweight”. My mom always made me feel better about myself because I was made fun of a lot by my peers. Every time somebody made fun of my weight, she called the principal on them which made them stop for a while. However, that didn’t help my heart that was slowly breaking. I felt disgusting, ugly, and unwanted all of the time which NOBODY, especially a 12-year-old girl should feel.

As I started getting older, school progressively went from my favorite thing to least. As the days went on, it didn’t matter how much sleep I got, I was always exhausted. It got to the point that I missed so much school the school sent as letter home saying if I missed anymore it would become illegal. This was hard on my mom because she thought she was letting me down but she had no idea how I felt inside all of the time. I always had my best friend Emily to relate to because she was diagnosed before me. I also have my current boyfriend Anthony as my biggest support system now, always reminding me to take meds, that I’m beautiful, and being there for me.

About 2 months ago, I finally went to an endocrinologist about it. My mom has Hashimoto’s Disease and I thought maybe I did, too. Prior to this I hadn’t had my period for more than 5 months and I knew something was really wrong. So, I went in, we talked and she said, “I believe you have PCOS but we'll do some blood work”. After the blood work was done, I waited for her to call me and let me know. She finally called and said it was PCOS. This gave me grief and relief. I was relieved because I knew what was making me exhausted all of the time but then she started talking about the extras that come with this disease.

She told me if I didn’t get it treated then I could end up with cancer due to the buildup of uterine tissue. She told me I would have to change my lifestyle because I’m eating too much. What really got me was the infertility part. Most women that have PCOS have a hard time having children and I’ve always dreamed of having 3. What was I supposed to do? I’m 19 years old and all I can think about is the fact I might not be able to have children. Or the fact that I might have to stand multiple miscarriages before I can keep an angel. People my age are drinking and partying and I’m thinking about how I’m going to have to pay for fertility treatments to have a family.

Even though I have PCOS and I know the risks, I will not let it consume me. I will never hate myself again for being overweight. I will never hate myself again for having facial hair. I will never hate myself again for having excessive arm hair. I will never hate myself again for being who I am. Because this is who I am now. Alicia. Not PCOS, just Alicia. The same Alicia that will have her 3 kids in the future. The same Alicia who knows the struggles of being overweight and will not let anybody bring her down again. But most importantly, the same happy, comedic, and fun Alicia that I’ve always been.