Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wake-Up Call

I have PCOS. I am insulin resistant. I'm still obese. (BMI of 33.9) All of those things add up to the one thing about it that honestly drives me the most crazy.

I have hair on my face like a fifteen year old boy.

In April of 2007, with a just born M. I look like I could use a shave. Also, damn I didn't realize how bad the edema was from the pre eclampsia. Look at my hands!

For the last year I've been taking a medication that blocks some of the DHT that causes the hair growth. DHT is dihydrotestosterone. Too much if you're a woman, and you grow facial hair. Too much if you're a guy, and you lose your hair. Fun stuff. The medication, spironolactone is actually a diuretic used to treat high blood pressure. I've just been abusing it for its side effect. I don't take the full allowed dose, so the plan was for me to up the dose, if everything checked out.

This last Saturday I went in to my Dr. office for some routine bloodwork. Spironolactone can cause high potassium, which can cause heart problems, so one of the tests that I have done with some regularity is to check for high potassium. I'm not an easy blood draw, but I have never had it go so badly they couldn't get enough blood to do my tests. Until Saturday. I ran in to what has to be the worst and most obnoxious phlebotomist ever. She absolutely destroyed my one good vein, and made another four holes in the process of trying to get something out of me. The good news, she got enough of a dribble for them to do my fasting tests. Bad news, my potassium was high enough for the Dr. to call me somewhat panicked about it.

Since a stressful blood draw can cause your potassium to get out of whack (endorphins and adreneline FTW!), I requested a retest. I specifically tried to make sure that someone else would do my blood draw. I took time off from work so that I could get in as soon as possible (today), and I drove the 45 minutes from my house to their office.

Only to be greeted by the same vein mangler again. Guess who was the only tech available.

I lost it. I screamed and cried all the way home. I called in sick to work because I could not stop crying. If I can't get that test redone, which would now require missing more work just to possibly have the same result, my only option is to stop the medication, and watch the hair come back.

I have spent most of today trying to find information about options. I have IM'd my husband trying to talk myself down off of this ledge. I joke about the hair, but the reality is that it bothers me. Bothers me like I don't feel like a real woman with all of this hair. If I laser it off, it will grow new follicles. The other medication choices I have are out of reach financially. I'm doomed to have to grow it out to a length that can be plucked or waxed regularly, and I'm telling you, those mothereffers grow fast.

There is another choice however. One that I think scares me almost as much as a life spent both overly hairy and fat.

Diet and exercise. Like, lots of it. No sugar, no bad carbs, no junk food, no fast food. Just an hour or more of intense exercise five times a week and an immaculate diet. On the plus side, I would be able to eat all of those potassium rich foods I have had to avoid because of the drugs. On the down side, it would seem that now is the time to confront my demons regarding self worth, and food addiction. Sweet! I've been maintaining my weight, which is great. I've also been able to exercise more than I have since I was in high school. The real story however is that I have yet to completely deal with my bad relationship with food.

At least there would be shopping still, because the idea is that I would get myself down to a healthy weight, and quickly. Now if the Dr. would just call me back so I could run this all by her, I would go out for a run. That would be better than trying to forget there is chocolate sorbet in the freezer.

Side note: If by chance, my German heritage is also partly to blame for the hair, then once I am much much thinner, I could get zapped in the face for a nice sum of money. Awesome huh? Also, this site, though pushing supplements (that I might look in to, with the help from a naturopath), has a lot of good information.


GirlMeetsGeek said...

I feel lucky. The reason is- every once in a while the HONESTY of someone comes through and makes me feel not so alone, or troubled or perturbed that we all hide the things deep down that make us different. (Because we're fed that different is bad, or wrong, or LESS, somehow.)

I looked at the photo of you holding your new, gorgeous child. I saw of what you were speaking of, but my eyes couldn't be taken away from the awe in each face. It was a hello moment, and one that I can understand you wouldn't want overshadowed by anything but beauty and grace.

You're beautiful. Stunning. Amazing, and incredible- for writing this- OUT LOUD and being willing to say, "I'm struggling with this, and I'm scared."

I'm proud of you, for being REAL. So happy I've met you. :)

legendswife said...

I was struck by the pic too. I can relate to the preclampsia. My placenta erupted at 35 weeks and I had preclampsia. Fun stuff huh? But amazing enough I can look at a pic similar to yours and the only thing I can think of is how happy I was to hold such a precious little one. Just through your words here I can tell that you are a REAL fun loving person.

God Bless

andreaberg said...

You are amazing for putting this out there. I know how hard it is for you to do it. But since I have gotten to know you, you are so kind, interesting, funny, and compassionate and that is what I see when I look at you, and I am positive I am not alone.

But with that said, for different reasons, I also have those inner demons that don't allow me to see myself as others see me.

Just know, you have friends who will support you with whatever road you choose. You don't have to do any of this alone.

I love that we are doing C25k "together" and I am proud of what you have accomplished. I am also proud to call you a friend! -Now we need to get together again! soon.

Birdie said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this. That picture is amazing though. YOU are amazing!!

The Marketing Mama said...

I can't claim to understand the whole hair thing. But I do know what it's like to daily battle with food. I'm an addict in other areas of my life, and I know that my addiction tendencies also transfer to food. Like last night when I scarfed down Chipotle AND chips - even though I had already eaten dinner. WTF? I was upset and emotional and totally used it to deal with my feelings. ugh.

I wonder - and these are just thoughts for you to ponder, not to respond publicly -but if you've considered Overeaters Anonymous? I haven't tried it, but I do know how very helpful programs like that can be.

I also wonder if a program like Weight Watchers might help you set goals and keep that immaculate diet you speak of?

The times in my life when I try to do things my own, on my own sheer will, are usually the times I fail. But those times when I lean on others and let them help hold me up? Those are the times I am victorious. :)