It was after I was recommended to a reproductive endocrinologist by a perfectly pregnant doctor that I began to feel depressed. There was something wrong with me.
It was after I learned our insurance didn't cover any part of pregnancy that I began to feel panicked. There is something wrong with Florida.
It took David and I about 2 months to get an insurance plan that would help with ANY part of this journey we were about to embark upon. And when we finally learned our insurance would go into effect, I got an appointment with the new doctor 5 days later! I trotted in, all prepared with my calendars, my lists, and my research. We sat down in a beautiful little room called "Teluride". Pictures lines the walls of the doctor and his family vacationing in Colorado. Beautiful books sat on the table. David chose the "Basics to a Woman's Uterus" book and I chose "Good Calories, Bad Calories". We sat reading and nervously awaiting the doctor when a jolly, middle-aged woman flounced in.
I looked around, wondering if someone else in the room might have my name.
"Erin? You're Erin, right?!"
"Um, yes ma'am?"
"OH GREAT! HI! I'm Pam!"
It turns out Pam didn't know me. She was just really energetic and had discovered we live 2 blocks apart when she read my chart. We talked about that for fifteen minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES. HELLO, PAM?! CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?
"So, anyway, you probably want to know what's going on."
"Yeah, Pam, that'd be great."
"Ok, well, let's just get to it. You're pre-diabetic."
Yeah. Let's pause. Let's take that in. Let's just taaaake thaaaat in. A woman who was just giving me times and dates for the next German-American Club get-together announced I was pre-diabetic in the next breath. First of all, we're Jewish, and second of all, I'm what?!
I started crying. It wasn't a hysterical cry. It was the cry you cry when your dog starts pooping out string or stuffing and you start to panic, wondering if the dog is OK, and which stuffed animal has been destroyed in the house.
"Pre-diabetic. I know. Crazy right?"
"Yeah, Pam. That's pretty crazy."
"Well, it's get's crazier. You have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome."
No pause after that one. Just a scream. I was so relieved but so freaked out at the same time. Here's the answer to my question on a silver platter, and I kind of wanted to send it back and order the soup.
David and I spent 2 hours in that room with the doctor and Pam, learning about PCOS and the hormones related to sugar in the blood (glucose) that cause it. (Ironrically, Pam let me keep "Good Calories, Bad Calories", since it was all about sugar. David had to leave "Basics to a Woman's Uterus" behind.) In essence, we were told that potato chips and fruity drinks made me infertile and I would have to cut it ALL out if I wanted to have a family. I'm not going to lie: I considered sticking with adopting Boxers when given that ultimatum. But eventually, David convinced me that we should give the sugar-free thing a shot.
Alongside cutting out all sugar, I began taking a medicine that made me feel like puking for most of the day, which was awesome. That side effect subsided after about 3 weeks, but let me tell you how pleasant I was to be around...
I went on the suffocatingly restrictive diet and adjusted to my medicine for about a month before my next appointment. In that time, I earned my PhD in Google Doctor School and learned, ultimately, that there is very little information available about PCOS and insulin resistance (pre-diabetes).
At my next appointment, I came prepared with a lot of questions. How did I get this syndrome? How long have I had it? Do women ever have children with PCOS? My doctor knew more than Google, which was reassuring. He told me we could begin treatment very soon, but first I would need to have an hysterosalpingogram test (HSG). Basically, they look to see if your all your tubes are open and everything works properly. No sense spending a bunch of money to get the eggs crackin' if the plumbing's all blocked up (I think that's a line in one of Aesop's Fables). So, I made the next appointment at an outpatient surgery center. HSG, here I come. If only someone had warned me...