I am going to start this post with a real-time update (writing this on Tuesday) of how I’m feeling, and I’ll be honest – today is rough.
I had planned to write this post Monday night and publish it the following morning, but I ended up going to bed early instead with a headache and foggy thoughts. I didn’t sleep well that night and woke up ten and a half hours later, head still pounding and feeling like I got hit by a train. It’s been a while since I’ve had a day like this, but they happen out of the blue and part of this journey is figuring out why and how to deal with them. I’m especially frustrated by the timing because I actually drove home from school last night to visit my grandmother who is sick, but I could barely make it through a visit with my grandparents today before going back to the house to pass out on the couch for a couple of hours. It was still a few hours until my thoughts became clearer and my headache went away (mostly).
Yes, this blog is here to serve as a positive advocate for healing from PCOS, but it’s also here to be realistic. It wouldn’t be fair to any of you reading this or to myself if I wasn’t honest. So, while I have seen improvements in my health and hope to continue seeing improvements, it comes in waves and I do have bad days. I’m human, just like everyone else.
Now, back to the original story of how I got here. I left off as I was heading back to school and had mentioned the appointment I scheduled with a well-recommended endocrinologist for a few weeks out. I went back to school excited about my classes (yes, really) and looking forward to reconnecting with the triathlon team and other friends. Training resumed a couple of days after I got there and I jumped back into it with renewed vigor, determined to get myself ready for the first race of the semester which was to take place just two weeks after classes began! Practices went pretty well for the most part, but I did notice a difference in my endurance and ability to wake up for 6:30 am swims twice a week; because of this, I ended up missing a couple swim workouts.
When it came time for the race, I was nervous but thought “it’s only a sprint, I’ve done these before, no problem!” (For reference, a sprint triathlon is the shortest distance you can race at a half mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3.1 mile run.) I felt pretty good during the start of the race and actually had an excellent bike time, but when it came time to run, I felt like I was dragging around a lead anchor. It was a struggle to finish the race and I felt poorly afterwards, but I figured a good night of rest would cure me. Being the stubborn person I am (I’m sure this comes as a huge surprise to my family), I continued to attend workouts throughout the week, but with decreasing regularity. I felt sick after swim practices and runs. Four days after the race, I failed to complete a group run and had to bail at the end because I was physically unable to keep going, but I was so embarrassed about this that I lied to my teammates and told them I simply needed a bathroom break and would catch up with them.
By the time the weekend came around, I was miserable. Every night that week, I had slept 9-11 hours yet woken up tired and stayed tired. I drove to my hometown on Saturday to attend a going-away party for my brother and his fiancee, who were to move to across the country. I should have been able to enjoy the evening with friends and family, but instead I was irritable and downcast – when my sister finally pulled me aside, I broke down in tears and told her how unhappy and utterly exhausted I was. Why was my body failing me and why couldn’t I get ahold of my emotions??
I hope you don’t think I’ve bogged down my story with too many details about triathlon and practices. The fact of the matter is, they are an important part of the story for me, and it took a meltdown for me to understand that neither my body nor my mind were in a healthy place. It was a completely new feeling to see that I couldn’t command my body to do what I wanted it to do, and it made me understand that something was seriously wrong and needed to change. If you are reading this and your body has been giving you signs that something is up, however small, please listen to it! It will thank you later on, I promise (more on that later on)!
The next part of the story: doctor’s appointments and the search for answers (it’s more interesting than it sounds).
I thought I would throw this high-quality picture in the mix to lighten up the post and show me doing something I love that has nothing to do with triathlon: baking! I made a wedding cake last October and wanted to get the flavor just right, so I baked several practice cakes…and I may have forced my housemates to eat some (they didn’t complain too much).
Read more about my hobbies here.