In dealing with my struggles with PCOS and high blood pressure, I procrastinated long enough and finally went to the doctor’s office to get my prescription refills, including the dreaded Metformin.
One of the sucky things about PCOS is that in addition to cysts, messed up girl stuff, manly hair, and oh yeah, wonderful weight gain, many woman with PCOS are also insulin resistant. I am one of those lucky gals. In fact, this was one of the conversations I had with the doctor who had just met me that day:
Me: In addition to the ultrasound and other testing, I had a glucose tolerance test that involved poking me with a needle nine times. I went back to work the next day looking as if I spent my day off shooting up heroin.
Doctor: (weird look)
Me: I promise, I don’t do Heroin. It’s too expensive. Anyway, it came up not bad but not good… or better said I guess, not normal but not threatening. Kind of like me!
Doctor: (gives awkward chuckle) Okay, have you had any other types of testing?
Me: Yes. Luckily, I had a great OB/GYN who took that information and ran an insulin resistance test…which was only ONE needle poke instead of nine. My friends did not try to stage an intervention after that test.
Doctor: With your family background and your history with PCOS, you really should be eating as if you ARE diabetic.
Me: I have actually lost 20 pounds. I know it’s hard to see that considering you don’t know me, but I really have.
Doctor: That’s great! However, it would be in your best interest to follow a diabetic diet.
Me: Diabetic chocolate is basically a fancy name for laxative.
Before the doctor could say that they really weren’t excepting new patients, the topic of conversation moved to my Metformin prescription. For those of you who don’t know what Met is, it is a drug used in treating both PCOS and Type II diabetes. In my non-chemist understanding of the drug, it is suppose to help regulate your hormones to stop your pancreas from shooting out excess insulin that your body ignores as well as helping to stop those fat cells in your stomach from absorbing that excess insulin and cortisone that gives one the look of a baby bulge. With that in mind, it is also supposed to help woman with PCOS lose that excess weight and promote the ovaries into ovulating again. After several discussions with doctors, I know that if I ever want to spawn my own kids I need to take these pills. I also know that if I want help in fighting the PCOS weight battle, Met will help. I also know that taking it now may prevent me from becoming a full blown diabetic in the future.
Apparently it is a “wonder drug.”
If this drug is so great, why do I have to force myself to stay on it? The side effects are horrendous. The first time I tried taking Met, I didn’t last a week. The sickness that accompanied it was debilitating. Eventually, once your body is used to the drug, the side effects are suppose to stop, but I wasn’t willing to give it a chance.
The second time I attempted Met, my doctor gave me a prescription for the extended release tablets. The extended release was supposed to be much easier on the stomach. I could get myself to take 500mgs, but still found it difficult to increase the dosage.
After my discussion with the new doctor, and another discussion about the pros overpowering the cons, and my hope of looking spectacular on my wedding day, I have managed to empower myself into taking the entire 1500mg prescription.
And it sucks.
Okay, to be fair… I am actually getting used to the medication. I am no longer retching or knocking over sixth graders as I race to the bathroom. I still get hit with waves of nausea, but those are becoming few and far between. I’ve lost five pounds in two weeks, but I’ve also had a hard time keeping down what I’ve eaten the last two weeks… so I don’t think that is the pro we were looking for. Also lucky is that even though I wake up nauseous in the morning, it does eventually fade away. However… that has started a new problem.
Let’s review my current side effect symptoms:
1.) Waves of nausea hit me when I first wake up in the morning and do not fade until after I get to school.
2.) I am fatigued from not sleeping well thanks to stomach cramps and other yucky feelings.
3.) Drinking alcoholic beverages worsens the side effects, so I’ve been avoiding drinks until I can handle myself better.
Yesterday at my job (which I JUST started this school year), four woman asked me if I might be pregnant.
Ugh. If four women have actually ASKED me the most taboo question of all, how many people are thinking it?
Therefore, similar to those pins that say, “I’m not fat, I’m pregnant”, I have created a new slogan that states: “I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat!”
Hopefully wearing it as a pin on my shirt will end all confusion. ;)