I was 17 years old. A fragile, timid, young girl. The wind howled and rain poured as I dragged myself off the stone, cold floor.
I was 17. It was the fifth day in the row where I had to go to see the school nurse. To be honest, I kind of loved having to leave class or skip assembly. Plus, the look on my classmates’ faces as I was walking out was always priceless. It was a combination of concern, jealousy and excitement as this caused for a sero gossip sesh at lunchtime: "Can you believe it? Victoria left second period AGAIN to go to the Nurse. She’s sooooo preggas omg.”
But as time went on, the pain got worse and the rush of leaving class dwindled. Ladies, most of you will feel me – Period Pains. Never has alliteration been so cruel.
Fellas: Imagine someone getting your insides; squeezing and churning them around and around. Well gentlemen, I am pretty sure that would feel the exact same as those monthly cramps we women endure time and time again. Sounds nice, right?
Back at school, I’d trudge over to the Nurse; my face white, my body heaved over, asking the Gods why I was being punished in this way. Why me? What did I do in a past life? Have mercy!
“Victoria, again with the period pains?” the nurse would say, barely looking up from the computer.
A mere nod was all I could manage. Before I knew it, I was back at home lying on the couch - wallowing amongst hot water bottles, fairly certain that death was looming.
Now, as someone whose mother is a nurse you have to be literally dying in my house to get any sort of medical attention.
“Have a glass of water” is usually her remedy for anything. Flu? Have a glass of water? Stomach bug? Have a glass of water? AIDS? Have a glass of water.
But after the tenth time of leaving school in a row from a measly period she knew something was up. And so, the tests began.
I was off to the Doctors – ultrasound here, injections there and then, three months later, it was verdict day.
VERDICT: “Victoria, darling. You’ve been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.”
Okay, so some of you may be thinking what the fuck is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (also known as it’s cute little acronym, PCOS) and hey, I was once like you too.
According to, Healthline.com (seems reliable enough) PCOS is:
“Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition in which a woman's levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries). PCOS can cause problems with a women's menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance.”
How fun does that sound!!!!!
So what’s it like living with PCOS?
Is that what you’re asking me through the screen?
Well, to be honest, it varies.
Some days I don’t even notice it. I don’t even care. I take my medication (which thankfully has reduced the amount of pain I suffered in the original days) and get on with it.
But some days it sucks and will get me down. I’ll find hair in funny places. I’ll have exercised and eaten well and have gained a kilo or two. There will be days (in my case, pretty much all the time) where I’ll want white bread and pasta and chocolate and lollies and chips and coke and everythingthatisbadintheworld and can’t have it. Simply because I have PCOS. (Although there have been a few days where I’ve thought, bugger it – I’m eating what I want today).
But, it’s also taught me a lot; I know – what a cliché. But it has. With PCOS, it takes perseverance (and a fuck load of discipline). But with those two, women have the ultimate power to reverse the situation they’ve been put in.
In a nutshell, with PCOS it’s all about giving your body some loving. So, if you’re part of the PCOS Sisterhood, I salute you, because I know that this road is really tough.
Now, get outside; have a walk, do a downward dog and eat something nourishing.
Because, as they say in L’Oréal you my friend, are worth it.