PCOS: An invisible illness

It’s been about 8 years now since I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.) Now, it didn’t just appear one day out of no where. I most likely have always had it but the symptoms just started surfacing once I got married. It took me years to figure out what this meant for me. Even till this day, I still have a hard time explaining it. Why? Because I’ve lived with it for so long that it just became a part of me. I never really had a chance to allow myself to examine and accept the affects of this disorder.

It’s hard to talk about our flaws isn’t it? Who goes around talking about what makes them broken and imperfect?

in pain

September is PCOS Awareness Month and I’ve decided to share somethings about PCOS that you may not be aware of:

  1. Infertility. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder women can have and its also the one of the most common cause of female infertility. 1 in 10 women will most likely have PCOS.

  2. Beyond the Ovaries. Even though its named Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, the ovaries aren’t the only thing affected by this condition. It is a condition that affects the health across the board and it affects each person differently.

  3. The Symptoms are Endless. Irregular menstrual cycles, male pattern baldness, weight gain, infertility, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, acne, struggle with weight loss (insulin resistance) , obesity, a higher potential to have Type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar, and more. You don’t have to have all the symptoms to have PCOS. It is a chronic and invisible illness.

  4. There is No Cure. As of current, it’s quite unclear what causes it and treatment for this disorder can only keep symptoms in check. Studies are still on the rise. A theory is that genetics play a role; however, this is not proven. The effects are not just physical but they take a huge toll on a person’s mental health.

  5. Lifestyle Transformation. Studies have shown that the best way to improve symptoms is a change in lifestyle such as diet and exercise. Which is quite typical for any diagnosis right? What you consume, you become. Your body reflects what you put in/on it.

  6. Lack of Self-esteem. It’s not a surprise that women struggle with self-esteem already. But women with PCOS are affected even more so this way. Because of anxiety and depression they feel this intensely. It’s an emotional effect.

    “In a study in women with PCOS, it has been shown that low self-worth and body image perception in women causes increasing of the anxiety level. Physical attractiveness and sexual response changes affect the Self-confidence in these women. Self-confidence is the most important determinants of mental health that play an important role in promoting mental health. In other words, cognitive processes, emotion, motivation, decision making and choice, is the result of Self-confidence. Since low Self-confidence has a negative effect on feeling, thought and relationships between people, it requires further attention. So this study was done for ascertaining Self-confidence in patients suffered from PCOS in comparison to women without PCOS.”

Quite honestly prior to getting diagnosed, I thought that all these things were normal about me. My doctors couldn’t see it. It took me 4-5 years just to get diagnosed and it was finally by an infertility specialist. Believe me when I say this, it took me a LONG time to be able to share my diagnosis with people. Especially those closest to me. I didn’t want the judgement or the pity. I didn’t know how I’d handle it. I don’t quite recall when, but some time after, I was able to start talking more about it. I know that this disorder does not define who I am. But in a season of healing and trust, I’m learning to embrace my body and to love it as my Creator intended me to.

This has taken me a long time to get to. It is a practice. To be intentional with what I’m consuming. To be conscious of what I surround myself with. To treat this body as a beautiful temple for the Holy Spirit. This body does not belong to me and when the time comes, I want to look to the Lord and say that I did my best to care for it. Grant it, there are days where PCOS overtakes me and I’m literally fighting with every ounce in me to not allow it to throw me in the backseat. You see PCOS is an invisible illness. It’s affects are daily. Some days, I feel like a normal human being. Most days, I’m pulling myself out of bed and praying that I have the energy to survive another day. This is my reality. It’s a mental and spiritual battle just to live with PCOS.

If you or someone you know has PCOS or a chronic illness, please don’t hesitate to share your story.

I see you and love you.



Sources:

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/8-things-you-didnt-know-about-pcos?slide=10

https://www.babygaga.com/12-serious-facts-about-pcos-women-dont-know-but-should/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4275552/

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

Are You in a Season of Waiting?

Good Morning, you may have found yourself in a season of waiting. Whether it be for a new job, new opportunity, a long awaited child, or the return of a loved one. Maybe not by choice nor by plan. But by God's plan. I know how hard that may be. To completely have full trust in Him. It's easier said than done. It seems impossible right? Trust me, there are days where infertility leaves me feeling so lost & confused. Thankfully the Holy Spirit works in us & around us daily. Boy oh boy, do I need His daily reminders. 

Trust in the Lord

If you find yourself in a season of complete stillness & you're having to learn to wait on the Lord, I hope some of these truths encourage you today.

 

Prayer is important.

But most times, we're so desperate for quick answers from the Lord, that our prayers become desperate demands. Often times, it even seems as if our prayers aren't being heard nor answered and this results in feeling like our faith is fading away. We have to be careful not to force God's name under our "genius" thoughts & ideas. A lot of times, we somehow think of things and assume that maybe God himself has never thought of yet. This is where our human nature kicks in. We roll on out with every possibility of a solution for our situations. But have we ever thought that maybe, just maybe, this might just be a Divine Delay? That maybe there is a purpose in our waiting? 

It doesn't take faith to help God, it takes faith to believe in His promises.

We so often think that we somehow have a say in what God is doing in our lives. We can believe in Him as much as we claim we do, but faith comes in the seasons of trials & tribulations. When you've lost all control or hope for what's to come. I mean, faith would not exist if everything went perfectly the way we wanted it to be. It's when we're at our wits end that we see God most glorified. In the midst of confusion & pain, what does it look like to believe that there is hope? We have hope. His name is Jesus. Our faith grows when we remember to cling on to His promises. Remember, its not about our performance that matters, its His promise. And if you don't know what His promises are for you in this season, then I encourage you to pray & ask God to reveal a Bible sibling that you can resonate with to help you better understand what God can also do for you. 

Remember, He is the same Yesterday, Today, & Forever!

 

Divine Plan.

This season of barrenness in any area of your life could just very well be a divine plan for you to find some time of solitude with Him. When your plans don't work out, God wants to use your disappointment as an opportunity to transform you according to His divine plan.

 He wants us to experience complete dependency on Him, away from all the noise & chaos of the world. Therefore at times, we feel like we're in a barren land. All we see is complete wilderness and at times we see it as if it were a curse of some sort. But the thought that maybe God has something beautiful planned out never crosses our mind. It is a true testing of the heart when we're in a barren land. We can never be fully prepared for where God wants to take us until we are at peace with where God has us currently. Embrace where you're at. Rest in the assurance of knowing that your God has more power than anything else you may face in the wilderness. 

"In order for you to pursue the plans that I have for you, I have to break you down to the core element and the understanding that you are nothing without me. Because my grace is sufficient & my power will be perfected in your weakness." - GOD

I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].- Philippians 1:6

What is something you are waiting for? What are you learning in this season of waiting? I'd love to know & pray for you. 

Fashion Rev: How to Shop Like a Fashion Revolutionist

Alright! We've looked at many way to start a Fashion Revolution. Now, there is really no need to wait until you have a bigger following in social media or be of great influence. If one thing you do is share to just one other person about this movement, you have already brought awareness to your own corner of the world. You see? It doesn't take much right? And I'm not asking for much either. You can either read my posts & ignore them afterwards, but you'll no longer be the same. Why? Because you now have knowledge of what is really going on in the world. 

Today, lets look into how we can tweak our ways of purchasing & using clothes. Some ways of shopping ethically is to always be curious. Always wonder how your clothes are made, where they're made, & what exactly are you supporting? When you shop with awareness, you are shopping intentionally. Slowly but surely, lives will be freed when the need for more production & distribution slows down. 

Thrift/ Vintage Shopping

clothingexchange.co.nz

Now, you might be wondering how thrift/vintage shopping could even help this revolution. First of all, most thrift shops donate either a portion, if not all, of their sales to charity. Second, I've really grown to love thrift shopping. And if you follow or subscribe to any fashion trendsetter, you know that thrift shopping is making a comeback. And most importantly, at the speed at which we consume right now, last season's collections are in the thrift shops in a matter of months. That means you can recreate you favorite looks, personalize them, and do your bit to stop perfectly good garments from going to landfill & becoming waste. Thrift & vintage pieces are ways of recycling & bringing life back into something that was never really used at all. Why waste the time & effort that another person worked so hard for? I say, if it suits your personality & its washable, you could work it into your wardrobe without adding more harm to enslaved shop workers. Look into local thrift/vintage shops make it a goal to visit one the next time you feel the urge to get a new dress for an event. It's a chic & sustainable way to buy yet it also extends the life of beautiful clothing 

Swap 'Till You Drop

http://paperdressvintage.co.uk/

If you ever get tired of your wardrobe and are in need of a fashion fix, then you could host or arrange a clothes swapping party. Invite all your friends to bring some clothes that they've been wanting to let go of, & you might just find something new to freshen up your look without breaking the bank or becoming a victim of consumerism. You can even create a swishing party online and pick clothes virtually! It may sound cliche but there's the saying," One persons trash can very well be another person treasure."

glamradar.com/diy-t-shirt-art-ideas/

Mend, Make, & Customize

Now here is the most creative way yet to be sustainably chic. Have a plain t-shirt that needs a major 

uplift? Or what about the extra skirts that needs a makeover? From head to toe, you can basically find any tutorial or DIY how to on Youtube & Pinterest. Turn that t-shirt into a handbag. Or that skirt into pants! You'll be amazed at how much you can do to transform & revitalize your clothes. Change it up & turn it into something completely new! The upside is that no one will ever have the same exact pieces as you when you choose to recycle & refashion things to your personality. If you don't know how to sew, don't worry my friends. There are even tutorials on how to sew. Whats even better is that there are even tutorials out there that don't even require sewing. Now you can recycle, repurpose, or refashion & personalize your clothing. But if you're creative with a sewing machine, you could even make your very own clothes. Think of all the possibilities! 

I hope you are feeling empowered to be more creative in shopping & staying fashionable, but in a more ethical way. Have you done any of these things? If you have, thank you. You are making a difference whether you know it or not. If you haven't I encourage you to do so. Get together with some friends & start a revolution together. 

Tomorrow, I'll share some ways we can donate our clothes responsibly.  Thanks for reading!