*major mood swings (my doctor called them violent)
*acne on my face (which is so annoying, since I really didn't have much of it as a teen)
*areas of excess weight that are nigh on impossible to get rid of
*other unfortunate visible effects that I'm too embarrassed to admit even to the 2 or 3 readers of this blog
And those are just the outward effects that people can easily see and observe. One of those is the higher risk of cancer, and an extremely high risk of diabetes. But the main one is my ability to have children, which I can't know the full extent of the difficulty until I'm married. Within a year of my diagnosis, I was in college and dating someone with whom I was beginning to contemplate marriage. Obviously, we did not go that route. But from that time on I have always felt like a walking false advertisement. I want children, and I want to marry a man who wants children. But I've gone years not knowing if I'll be able to have them. And then as years keep going by, my chances grow less because of time as well as capability.
It has been a trial of many, many years that brings pain, emotions, visible defects (again), and sorrow and disappointment. So what is my gratitude in all of that?
I am grateful that I was diagnosed so young. Most women are misdiagnosed because of the symptoms mirroring other diseases. Some don't even know to get tested to receive a diagnosis. Because we caught it young, my being medicated may make children easier than it otherwise would have been.
I am grateful that I was able to start considering adoption and welcoming it much sooner than many people in life. It is a difficult thing to face the fact that adoption may be your only answer, because it is a different way to achieve a dream. It isn't a bad way, but it takes some time to wrap one's head and especially one's heart around it. I've had 15 years to face it. To learn from others who have walked that road. I have gained such great knowledge and feelings from that.
I am grateful that I have had time to get to know myself over these years. And by that, I mean I have gotten to know my emotions. I don't know why or when the roller coaster will takes its plunges, but I have been able to recognize them when they come on. And I know to remove myself from others and to do what I need to in order to assist the highs in coming back.
I am grateful I know. I see many women who exhibit symptoms of PCOS and do not know. Most have never even heard of the disease. 1 in 10 women is affected by it, and most do not know. I can't imagine going about life not knowing and being able to treat things.
I am grateful that my medication has helped with some of the more visible aspects and made life for me (and my family and my roommates and anyone else who comes in to contact with me!) so much more pleasant.
I am grateful it's not something worse.
I am grateful that I know what to beware of so I can go about prevention.
I am grateful I have a challenge. I don't always love to have challenges, but wouldn't life be so boring without them? So, this one is mine.
I am grateful that one day my best friend will be with me to support me through having this trial, especially when the worst part of it will finally be able to be faced. I won't ever have to physically face it alone.