04. crash course ☁️
i didn’t take any Science subjects in high school. i don’t regret it, but i never once thought that i’d get a crash course in Biology later on in life.
last Thursday, i was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). i’ve been acting like i have it since April, when i first found out about the hormonal disorder and matched all my pre-existing symptoms to it (fatigue, headaches, inflammation, acne, etc) — but the bloodwork and consultation i did with a specialist clinic confirmed it. i have never been more grateful, or more scared.
i’ve been living with irregular periods and imbalanced hormones since i hit puberty at 12 years old. my body is incapable of producing progesterone — one of the hormones that regulates ovulation — which sends all the other hormones into whack. my moods fluctuate like the weather. i am hungry all the time. i wake up every day feeling like a truck ran over me, no matter how much sleep i get. i can get headaches from being indoors on a hot day, and when i eat the wrong food, i need to puke it all out to feel better. there’s a lot more pain that i live with, but i’ll save that for another day.
PCOS is the most unforgiving teacher. your body is so broken, so overwhelmed, so filled with pain and confusion that you have no choice but to take action. to spend thousands on diagnostics and tests, searching for answers, the right doctors, the right perspectives. to keep a health journal, spending hours each day logging your every meal and movement. to follow dozens of Instagram ‘dietitians’, save 100’s of posts, sit through hours of IG Lives and podcasts and workshops to figure out what this “PCOS” thing was all about, and to begin the process of healing.
i woke up at 9:30am today — a record. it’s been a while since i’d risen this late… then again, it’s been a while since i stayed up till 2 in the morning processing my diagnosis. i did a self check-in — “what does my mind want? what does my body want? what does my soul want?” the mind’s screams were the loudest: “i want to get started on my research” — so that is what i spent the rest of the day on:
hunched over my laptop, a fever warming my neck and breasts, filling my mind and search engine with facts. progesterone. magnesium. omega-3. vitamin d3. all the things my doctor told me i needed — but i refused to believe i needed to get them through synthetic or international means. how to get zinc naturally, i typed into my computer. after hours and hours of research, my initial hunch was confirmed: you do not need supplements and hormone therapy to reverse your PCOS. it’s a lifelong condition, yes, but there are better ways of managing it so that it doesn’t overrun your life. getting it through food, exercise and stress reduction — things i’d known all along, but am now able to confirm, understand, or dive deeper into, thanks to my diagnosis — so i am hopeful i can get things going by myself. 🌻
i am grateful for this day, this time, this place. i feel safe, at ease. i am taken care of and loved so fiercely by Shawn. he has reminded me, again and again, through his actions and his words, that we are on this journey TOGETHER. he was dead tired from running errands today, but still he followed me out for dinner and groceries.
we’ve always loved walking around like this, and especially now that my foot is healed, i’m excited to explore more places with him. as we walked out of Jaya Grocer with a RM23.90 carton of Oat milk — no gluten, no dairy, no filler gums or oils or nasties we see in other brands — i told Shawn that i would reimburse that amount into the shared pool. “don’t worry about it,” he insisted. “i told you, we’re in this together. i’ve come to terms with spending on your necessities from the shared pool. i want to support you.” i felt like crying. Life is hard, but sometimes, bad things happen to good people to show them just how loved they are. 💛 i don’t know if i’m a good person, but i know that i care deeply, i love fully, and i never, ever give up.
now that i know i have PCOS, i know that i’m going to do things my way. i am going to spend all my time understanding, exploring and experimenting with my condition — and i am going to heal it as naturally as possible. i will surround myself with healers and practitioners and a support team who SHARE these beliefs — who care too deeply, love fully, and never f*cking give up.
because when i dive in, i go ALL the way.
i don’t think it’s too much to hope for the same in return. ☁️