Let us start at the beginning….
What do I know or care at twelve years old? I’m certainly not determined to start a family any time soon and okay, according to the doctor I should have started my period by now, so start me on the pill so I can be done with this!
Yep, twelve years old was when I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). Back then it meant absolutely nothing to me. I didn’t understand it and could have cared less. I knew what puberty was and that it had started early for me (far too early in my opinion) and I knew that with puberty there would come a time I’d start my period…but it didn’t happen on its own.
Aside from not starting my period, I had gained weight suddenly which was what tipped off my doctors twenty years ago. Tests were performed and sure enough…I remember the discussion about being put on birth control pills in order for me to have a normal monthly period. I can do that. Take a pill every day and once a month I bleed for a week and that’s that.
I also remember the doctor pointing out the fine hairs on my upper lip and telling me that the PCOS causes a hormone imbalance and the extra testosterone my body produces is what has caused it. He said he could get rid of it for me so that other kids wouldn’t tease me about it but as soon as I heard ‘laser removal’, I was out! First off, my insurance at the time wouldn’t cover it but even if it had…the word ‘laser’ alone scared the crap out of me.
The pills did their job. I took it every day and had a period every month. It didn’t do much for my weight until I reached high school when it finally helped me maintain my weight at 215 pounds. Diets never worked and all I kept hearing was “exercise!”, but how much more exercise where they expecting when I did martial arts five days a week for an hour and a half each day, never mind the time I spent out with friends doing God knows what. Between the excess hair and my weight, I was relentlessly teased by my peers and my depression hit an all time low.
Then at the age of eighteen, stubborn and blindly in love, I married. I wanted a family and so I took myself off of my birth control. It was then that the hair on my upper lip wasn’t the only hair I had to worry about. My chin created a stubble and it was then that I decided to start shaving. I knew I was all woman but at times I felt less than so. Women don’t shave their faces….