What it’s Like to be Diagnosed with PCOS

Dear Future Katy,

Let’s talk about bodies. Your body. Wombs and vaginas in particular. You probably shouldn’t show this letter to the faint hearted, it’s about to get real up in here.


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In October 2015,  I took what I have vowed to be my last overdose, (like seriously you’ve tried in eight times, time to give up trying to kill yourself, I’d say? Just wait till it’s your time okay? Okay.) Anyway, that particular attempt wasn’t exactly what you would call planned, it was more of a feeble attempt to get the voices to be quiet. Due to the ‘rushed’ situation, it was pretty much a case of grab all the pills and alcohol you can find and hope for the best. I can’t remember exactly what I took, but at least 50 per cent of the pills I had amassed was the contraceptive pills. I was psychotic, a pill was a pill whilst I was in that state.

My point is, since then my periods have been totally out of whack, by that I mean nonexistent. That was until two months ago when my uterus decided it was going to expel its lining again. (woohoo, hormonal roller coaster time!). I went to the doctors last year, as I was feeling abnormally tired, (I couldn’t really blame it on depression anymore?) after months of trying to get blood tests booked, and then trying to chase up my results,  my bloodwork came back with having to high levels of testosterone(?), so an ultrasound was booked.

Today was not my idea of fun. After swigging nearly two litres of water, I entered the darkened room for my scan, busting for the loo. The technician directed me to the paper topped bed hidden by the clinical blue curtain. (KEEP COOL KATY. KEEP COOL). I laid on the bed and she asked me to pull down my leggings, sucking in my flab, I proceeded, wishing I had had the insight to trim my fluffy bikini line. She finishes glooping the jelly onto my pelvis, then begins to probe my flesh with her wandything, while I try to hold the floodgates closed(this is already awkward enough without pissing myself, thank you very much). Turning the screen in my direction she explained to me that all she could see was half an ovary and the white cotton stick I had shoved up my fanny an hour ago. Apparently, my bladder was only half full (how big was this thing?) and I was going to either have to reschedule for when my bladder was at full capacity or have a transvaginal scan (nice.). Thanks to the powers of Google, I knew what that entailed, and 13/15 year old I, made a joyously brief visit into my brain, holding a large neon sign with the words ‘you’ve been raped, don’t do it’  flashing in capitals. Knowing that; my not so wonderful pelvic floor muscles wouldn’t be able to withstand another drowning, not wanting to play the victim card, and with our mother exclaiming ‘get it done !’ from the other side of the curtain, I hesitantly agreed.

Returning from the most relieving wee ever, I was this time told to take off the lower half of clothing and then lay on the bed with a little sheet to cover my fanny. (PISS OF ANXIETY. KEEP COOL. KEEP COOL.) The technician returns to her seat and asked me if I’ve been sexually active, (Someone, please tell me why they need to know this? Are they worried about breaking your hymen or something?) trying not to chuckle, I nodded my head whilst she readjusted the knees I had just propped up for her. (awkward)  and then I kid you, not Future Me, out comes this huge pre-condom-ed white medical dildo, and she goes, it’s just like inserting a tampon. (Bullshit). She’s lubing it up and I’m just trying to (lie back and think of England?) focus on the pictures of the little baby elephants in their pine frame hanging crookedly on the wall in front. (That feels a little bit mean? I know they’re a different species, but babies on the wall? In an ultrasound clinic with the women possibly there for fertility issues? Talk about rub in it.)

I kept my shit together,  this time last year I would have needed a dose of diazepam to get me through the appointment. The tiger on the wall was giving me the ‘Are enjoying this?’ look whilst the funky looking ape was staring at me all like ‘Don’t have a flashback, this would not be great timing’, but the main thing on my mind was, ‘Shit, what if she finds remnants of the miscarriage I had 5 years ago?’ (Yes, I do realise, that wouldn’t happen…)

If I’m being honest having the ultrasound was hard. I had imagined my first time having a scan would be to see the tiny life growing inside of me, not to check if I had lumpy ovaries. It still hurts thinking about it, not just the situation in which the tiny life was created, but the agonising loss of it. I had a baby growing in my stomach for a whole summer, a secret, a lie, an innocent being that I loved. I had taken a test when I first suspected I could be pregnant. Having lied to my friend about it being positive, I felt as though I couldn’t tell anyone. I didn’t feel alone at the time, it was going to be me and my little ray of happiness in my belly.

Thankfully I don’t remember the pain anymore. I do remember sitting on the floor of the toilet cubicle at school, wondering how I supposed to go back to classes. Whether I should show someone the bloody toilet, or just flush and pretend it never happened. I remember the loneliest I felt and then the nothingness. Just numb.

At some point I told my school nurse what had happened, this could have been the same day or sometime later? I’m not sure, she told Mum, though. I was probably thankful for that, we’ve told our Mum enough bad news to last a lifetime. I do remember the appointment with the GP though. Let’s just say, there was no compassion and no checks. Needless to say, I’ve never made a Dr’s appointment with her again.

At the time, my baby seemed like this burning light, one that would help me through the darkness, but as much I detest people telling me this, it wasn’t meant to be. I could barely raise a child now, let alone back then when I barely struggled to keep myself alive.

When I think of all the things that have happened to us, my miscarriage is still one of the hardest things I have had to accept and whilst I can (sometimes) be blase about the other major occurrences in my life (that’s definitely one of the handier PTSD symptoms) I still struggle to talk about this. On October 11th, I still light a candle in her/his honour. Even seeing mothers with babies and small children now, happy,  it can still get me down. I still have that pang of resentment, however much I try to push it aside. I hope Future Katy, that you have become stronger, it’s going to get better with time. (And your friends with children are going to begin to think you’re just arsehole…)

Anyway, back to my reasonably humiliating experience, turns out yes, I have cysts on my ovaries. which of course I had already concluded after punching in ‘ why is my testosterone levels high, am I going to die’ into google. (health anxiety is a real thing okay. hypochondria #endthestigma). And what’s does that mean for us now you ask, Future me? (Well you know, already, because unless they find a cure, you have it too and you’re clever so you know stuff about the reproductive system – you’ve wised up.)

My initial reaction was ‘Shit, I’m never going to have kids’, But as Mum says, we’ll deal with that bridge when we come to it. (Who knows, you could have 3 little shits running circles around you right now, whilst you’re thinking what was all the fuss about?)

But it’s nice to have an explanation behind my gross, acne-covered, borderline-beardy face; the snail trail on my belly which seems to get thicker by the hour and the fact that the one place I actually want hair, it falls out. Oh and also an explanation to my messed up periods. I guess that’s pretty helpful too. Just waiting for a follow-up appointment now, but let’s see how long that takes, shall we?

So yeah, that was my day, Future Katy. Sorry, wasn’t the cheeriest of letters, but hey, that’s life.  I really hope our body doesn’t let us down too much. I know I’ve treated it like shit, I’m working on it okay.? I’ll try and leave you something decent. Stay positive, (I’ll try my end too) it’s going to all work out okay in the end. It (pretty much) always does.

Wishing you the best,

lots of love,

Current Katy xx

P.S – Todays Tunes,

  • Just all of Miranda Lambert’s songs.
  • Pink Sunglasses and Highway Vagabond were replayed a lot.



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