Monday, April 23, 2007

My Journey - Part I

I’m 40. Divorced. Childless. And this is my story.

It was just another student party in March of ‘87, but one dark-haired, blue-eyed man caught my attention almost from the moment I walked through the door. We started chatting, and before I knew it we were married. Wait! It didn’t really happen so fast, but looking back, those days were so happy and carefree – a lifetime ago.

J and I got married in September of ’92. I didn’t like the wedding. Ok, I said it. It’s out. My dress was beautiful – I spent hours sewing on the thousands of pearls, and I loved it. Everything else was extra special: the flowers, the food, everything you could think about were made and presented with so much love by my mom and sisters and all involved. So why didn’t I like it?

Being the centre of attention made me incredibly uncomfortable. I hate cameras. People fussing over me, other people’s expectations – it was really difficult to get through that day. (If you ever read this mom – please don’t take it personally. I appreciate everything you did for my wedding so very much!)

After the honeymoon we moved to Cape Town. J was the manager at a golf course and I was housewife most of the time. During May ’93 we moved to a very small town in the Free State, somewhere in the middle of South Africa. Those were the happiest times of our marriage, but also the saddest.

January ’94 marks the beginning of our TTC journey.

Nothing happened. But we weren’t worried too much. My period had never been regular, only every 2nd month. Be patient, relax, everything in good time. Ring any bells? Those shuttupandleavemealoneyoudon’tknowwhatyou’resaying-bells? At the time I was still too well-behaved stupid to say straight out how those comments made me feel.

Going back a bit. During my first year of teaching, 1989, my face crusted up with the worst case of acne you could imagine. My teenage years were pimple and blackhead free – I was the luckiest teenager ever! You can just think how upsetting the ugly, itchy crusts on my face were. I went to my GP who sent me for an ultrasound, and whoa! Two super large cysts. One on each ovary. OK, not THAT big, but 3cm each are quite something if you’ve never even heard the word “cyst” before!

Diagnosis: PCOS

Treatment: 3 months’ of Diane-35

Result: Clear skin, no cysts, 25 kg extra weight on my body.

GP’s report back after 3 months: You’re cured Miss, healthy as can be!

Famous last words. Back then, nobody had enough knowledge about PCOS. Maybe some doctors in the US or UK knew about it, but there definitely wasn't enough known about it in South Africa at the time. But I believed him. Stupid, stupid girl.

Back to ’94. I picked up even more weight by then. The scale slowly but steadily climbed without me trying very hard. No diet worked for very long. And everybody blamed my struggle to get pregnant on my weight. It was just the start. The conditioning was done so thoroughly through the following years that I even find it difficult to believe the truth today.

During September of ‘94, a friend of mine convinced me to join her in visiting an acupuncturist who helped people loose weight. By that time I was pretty desperate.

1 comment:

Mands said...

Hi Karen, thank you for tagging me! I'm flattered - I feel a bit amateur amongst some of these other amazing people. Your story is one of bravery and sadness. We sound very much alike. I will be visiting back here again!