For the longest time, I believed that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If you had not heard of it, it meant that watery cysts were recovering my ovaries. It resulted from hormonal imbalance most of the time; however, it could also be because of excessive weight, stress, and other factors.
The first time I learned about it was when I did not get my period for seven months. Mind you, I was not sexually active at the time. I was only 19 years old and busy studying in college. The only thing that changed was that I had too many projects and assignments around that time, and I could not get at least five hours of sleep every night.
The first couple of months that I did not menstruate, I was like, “Okay, this is fine. Some people used to say that it is normal.” But when the fourth month came, I asked my mom to take me to her OB-GYN to see what’s up with my reproductive system.
Since I was still pretty young, the doctor ordered an abdominal ultrasound. It was just like those ultrasounds that expecting women get when they want to see their babies or hear their heartbeats. That’s when she said she saw tiny cysts around my ovaries and got me started on short-term medication to jumpstart my menstruation. However, it took three more months before the treatment worked.
My periods had never been regular ever since. I had also been told that I might have issues losing weight because of it, so she even prescribed a drug called metformin, which was more commonly known as a pill for diabetics. She said that it could help my weight loss get started and hopefully fix my issues.
Six years later, though, it was still the same, so I decided to look for another doctor, who then asked me to get a trans-rectal ultrasound. In truth, she was surprised that the other doctor only asked for an abdominal ultrasound since you cannot really see much through the abdomen. She added, “A vaginal ultrasound would have been the best choice, but you are not sexually active, so a trans-rectal ultrasound would be the next best thing for you.”
I did that and found out that I do not have PCOS. The doctor said that my ovaries were clean, and everything was normal. More importantly, I might not have even had it at all, contrary to what the other doctor told me. I was happy to know that, of course, but my new doctor pulled me off my high too soon when she then said, “Now, we need to look into other possible reasons why your menses are irregular. I would like you to take thyroid and fasting blood sugar tests.”
Neither sounded good to me. My family had a history of diabetes, after all. My grandfather died because of it. Then, one of my aunts had Hashimoto’s disease, which was another thyroid problem. Both illnesses meant a lifetime of medication, and I did not want that.
Luckily, the test results came early, and it turned out everything was normal. I wanted to be happy about it, but I also felt baffled because I still did not know what’s wrong with me. The doctor asked me about my stress level, and I said it was as high as a skyscraper. She advised me to see a psychologist or counselor, believing that stress could be really good for correcting my hormonal imbalance.
Seeing A Counselor For My Health
The counseling sessions were everything that I expected and more. The counselor was also a psychologist, and she ruled out the possibility of me having depression. However, as I mentioned above, I was dealing with an incredible amount of stress, which could be affecting my well-being.
So, the counselor tasked me to learn how to manage my time better. For instance, instead of working at night, I should recalibrate my sleep pattern so that I could do my job in the morning. If I ever went out, the latest time I should be on the streets was midnight so that I could still get enough rest.
It genuinely worked, but my weight issues were still there. The counselor said, “I am not a physical trainer or nutritionist, but you may find walking beneficial in more ways than one. Aside from helping you sweat out the toxins in your body, it can also be an excellent de-stressing activity.”
I tried it on that day. Since the counselor’s office was only two blocks away from my apartment, I decided to walk home after our session instead of calling an Uber. Over the weekend, I walked up a mountain and on the shoreline. The sights, the fresh air, and the exercise made me feel good, so I made a promise to do it as often as possible.
Hands down, getting counseling was the best decision I ever made.