I consider myself pretty healthy. I exercise regularly, eat healthy for the most part, and do what I can to keep stress levels down. Running helps tremendously with that, as does Buster the Boston Terrier. :)
However, I’ve always had issues with acid reflux (severe when I was a baby and came back my senior year of college) and low blood sugar (I've passed out more times than I can remember and was diagnosed as being borderline hypoglycemic). Other than that, I haven’t had many issues.
In May of 2010, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Since then, it's been one thing after another. I got off birth control in the fall of 2009; for one because I was getting cysts and you shouldn’t being on the pill, and two because I had been on it for over 11 years and I knew we eventually wanted to start a family.
Brent and I briefly "tried" to have kids early last year, but obviously nothing happened. I promise you, I could buy stock in home pregnancy tests. My cycle was either late or nonexistent every month, complete with what I thought were pregnancy symptoms. One of the last tests I took messed with me big time, as the second (or "You're pregnant!") line showed up, but quickly went away a minute later. I finally had enough and made an appointment with my OB-GYN. I explained to her about some irregularities and minor pain I was experiencing, so she scheduled an ultrasound. Bad news...not only was I not pregnant, but I had a severe case of PCOS.
One of my ovaries from the ultrasound...the other looked just like it.
All the black circles are cysts.
All the black circles are cysts.
Basically, I wasn't ovulating, making it impossible to get pregnant. I was devastated. Spending so much time and money wondering if (wishing) I was pregnant, only to find out that might not be in the cards for me. I was put on Metformin, one of the top drugs to treat PCOS and get me to start ovulating. It took quite a while for my body to get used to, as Metformin is also a diabetic drug which lowers your blood sugar (just what I needed since mine is already low). Dealing with painful cysts, night sweats, and at times what felt like mild depression has been very trying on me and just about every relationship from my marriage to friends. But I've done my best to recognize the symptoms and to not let them affect me.
Then, just before Christmas last year, I started having terrible pains and discomfort in my lower back on the right side. After experiencing numerous symptoms and becoming an expert Google searcher, I realized it was kidney-related. Blood in urine, extreme pressure when I had to use the bathroom, etc. After a few very expensive trips to the urologist and the most excruciating kidney-stone-trying-to-pass experience (imagine what's in the image below going through something the size of a straw), I thought that mess was behind me. Ha!
This is what my lovely 4mm stone looked like...
Just this weekend, I started feeling that awful, all-to-familiar pressure in the lower right side of my back. Every day it got a little worse, and then came blood in the urine again. I finally got in to see my urologist yesterday morning. Just as I suspected...two kidney stones. Thankfully, these are smaller and I have been assured they will pass without pain. I was so upset, as I've been following a low oxalate diet since February. That obviously didn't matter...I'm just one of the "lucky few who's prone to them." Super. So far, no severe pain, but there's still a good bit of pressure. I have pain meds to take when needed, as well as a Flomax-type medication to speed up the passing process (I just love feeling like a 70-year-old man). Fingers crossed that it works soon. This morning was not pleasant...and while I enjoy being able to work from home in my pjs, I'd much rather be at the office.
All that said, it's safe to say Brent and I decided it was best to wait on the baby talk. We're both crazy busy with work, and we're having a blast traveling when we can. Every time I feel like we might be ready to start trying again, my body goes through something else, and then I want to give it time to get back to normal. Not that I believe "the right time" will be on our schedule anyway...it's ultimately not up to us.
Through all this, I still have to thank God for my health and so many other blessings. Things could be so much worse, and I know that. There's still hope that Metformin will work as it should when we are "ready." It's already done its job getting my cyst count down tremendously, as well as helping to regulate my cycle for the most part. SO thankful for that! Should it not work, I'll switch to Clomid for 3-4 months, fertility drugs after that, and if nothing happens by that point, we'll reevaluate what we want to do. Oh yeah...and every doctor I've been to says that all the running I do is excellent for me. So again, things could be a lot worse...I can't imagine not running!
Growing up, I always thought I'd simply decide when I wanted to get pregnant, and it would happen just like that. Having talked to so many friends and other women and read about how common this and problems like it are, I've remained hopeful. I also never thought kidney stones would be something I'd have to worry about either. Life is all about dealing with what you're given and making the best of it. So that's what I'm trying to do. :)
As usual, sorry for the long post.