I realized recently that I hadn’t posted about my visit with my specialist. It was certainly a defining moment in my infertility battle, and for those who are also struggling, I think it’s important to share what our doctors are saying, and what we’re saying right back.
The drive down to south Nashville seemed short, since I had my sweet husband in tow, and as always, he was excellent company. When we arrived, we were told by our registrar that is was *very* rare that insurance companies covered such things, but that we were extremely lucky, and my copay was only $10, and that my insurance covered virtually all of the services they provided. (WHAT?!?! Jump for joy!)
The receptionist at his actual office across the hall was very friendly, and took my history almost immediately when I came in. She let me know that she’d made calls to both my primary physician, and my OB/GYN, and had gotten faxes of all of my tests that I’d had performed, as well as all blood work, so the Doc would know my history before we even sat down together.
(For those of you who have been working with MD’s for a long time, you probably know how phenomenal this is.)
Then….. there was Dr. L.
He’s a little old man with a warm handshake, a friendly smile, and a “let’s get down to business” attitude.
He let me know that he agreed with my OB’s initial assessment and diagnosis of PCOS. He let me know that there was one more medication option before going to injectable meds, and that it was a medication frequently given to breast cancer patients which blocked the over-production of Estrogen.
I nodded, but my main questions were regarding the findings I’d come across in the last few months about Paleo/Primal, and its affects in combating PCOS.
This Moi: “So, Dr. L, if it’s okay, I’d like to talk to you a little bit about diet and exercise for a moment.”
Dr. L: “Whoa whoa whoa.”
This Moi: “…………”
Dr. L: “This is the most important thing we can possibly talk about right now.”
He’d won me over.
I proceeded to talk to him a bit about how sugar is said to affect those with PCOS, and if he’d heard anything about the Paleo/Primal diet, and whether he’d recommend it or not. He listened intently while I described the video I watched by the Doc in FL, who put all of his PCOS patients on a low-carb diets, and he had an 80% success rate. I asked his opinion on this, and what he thought about both my husband and I going on such a diet, as the Hubs has had high cholesterol in the past.
After considering for a moment, he said that the basic ideas I’d come across are essentially proven to be true. The insulin receptors on peeps with PCOS are messed up for some reason, and cutting out carbs from your diet essentially makes that a non-issue. If your bod doesn’t have sugars to process, it will start using fat as energy instead of sugars. He recommended a couple authors whose concepts would help; Mark Hyman (Blood Sugar Solution), Francine R. Kaufman (Diabesity) and then he also recommended the Anti-Inflammatory Diet as something I should look into.
He also refused to hold the government party line of 6-11 “whole grains” a day. He said that this type of mindset is making people sick, which is the essence of what “Diabesity” was trying to get across.
So, with Dr. L’s blessing, I decided to march onward with my Paleo/Primal diet!
Except I didn’t.
I had every intention of doing so. I went to the store, and stocked up on gorgeous leafy greens, pounds and pounds of grass-fed bison, Omega-3 enriched free-range eggs, and berries out the wazoo. I was bound and determined to start getting my body in the shape it deserved to be in, and I was ready for my hormones to finally get themselves back to normal.
Except…. I was scared.
My cupboard was filled with pasta, rice, Hawaiian bread, cereal, and all the ingredients needed for a plethora of baked goods.
I told myself that it was only responsible for me to cook using what I had left in the cupboard. After all, there were starving kids in Africa who would kill for some Chicken Cordon Bleu pasta! I needed to make Cheesecake for my neighbor bachelor for his birthday, because I’m a good friend! I need to eat SUGAR CEREAL BECAUSE I’M ADDICTED TO SUGAR!!!!!!!
So here I stand, knowing what needs to be done, and desperately afraid of failure.
This is not me, friends. I am a go-getter. I love to succeed. I love going to work and kicking ass, and knowing that I did the best I could. There’s nothing in this world like seeing that number go down on the scale. And most of all, there’s nothing like beating someone at Gin Rummy.
But there’s something about sugar….
I love to bake. I love sugary confections, whether they be chocolate cupcakes, peanut brittle, cheesecake, or just plain chocolate chip cookies. I love the challenge of mixing the different elements, and getting that perfect product.
Baking and cooking have become part of my identity. I feel almost lost without delicious meals to plan, using sumptuous ingredients that would make even Paula Deen and The Pioneer Woman blush. But why is this the case? Why is my identity wrapped up in food?
When I finally started to contemplate this question, I felt this heavy sadness come over me.
Because food is my comfort.
Then I started to think about what, besides food, has offered me this comfort in the past.
My piano had been my best friend since I was probably 14. My parents bought me a piano when I “graduated” 8th grade, and whenever I was sad, frustrated, elated, or unsure, I would retreat to my piano to mull things over, and would leave energized and refreshed. When I went to college, I was a vocal performance major, and enjoyed my piano assignments even more than my vocal ones. I always retreated to a practice room or a friend’s piano whenever I felt lost, and needed to be found again.
I haven’t had a piano at my fingertips for almost two years.
There’s this super cheesy country song called “Take a Back Road”. It came on the radio, and my sister said, “This song always reminds me of you!”
My retort? “Yeah, it always reminds me of me, too.”
I need to get out of the city sometimes. The “city”, of course, is a loose term, as I live in Kentucky, and it’s very grassy and green, even in the middle of town. But whenever I have an hour or so to kill between work and an appointment, or my heart is heavy and confused, I always drive out to the country. The beautiful, rolling hills of Kentucky have stolen my heart, and if I had my way, I’d snag 3 acres of those hills out in the country with only cows as my neighbors.
I’ve lived out in the country before, and let me tell you, it was probably my favorite time in my life. I had a country drive on my way to and from work every day, anytime I had to run to the grocery store, and anytime I felt like going anywhere…. there was always a beautiful drive ahead of me.
I know what gives me comfort.
I guess my post today has taught me something valuable. I need to stop relying on food as my comfort. While food is such an integral part of life, and ultimately sustains it, it can also make you sick, fat, and infertile. I need to start looking as food as sustenance, and not as a comfort.
Music is a comfort. Nature is a comfort. My beloved is a comfort, as is my wonderful, gorgeous, and supportive sister. These are things that have historically restored my soul when it’s felt broken, and food has never done anything but numb those pains; it never helps me cure them. In fact, it’s proven to have broken more than it’s fixed.
Friends? Will you help to remind me, when I need it, to look to remember where my comfort lies?