Cooter Talk

Well, really, more some PCOS talk.  I read yesterday over at Jezebel about this study in Sweden that links exercise and electro-acupuncture to a fixing of PCOS.

And, y’all, it made me very angry.

Not the good self-righteous anger where you know you’re right and the world is wrong and god damn it, folks had better start listening to you–you know the kind of anger that drives good blog posts.  But just a kind of ill-defined anger.

I thought at first that it was like the anger I sometimes still feel when I think about how sick I was that Fall of 2000 and no one could figure out what was wrong with me and I had to endure the lecture from that nutjub gyneocologist about how God does not like to give children to fat women.

I thought at first maybe it was like the anger I feel when I think about how, my whole life, I have been told I need to lose weight if I want to find a man or have any kind of life, over and over, by family and doctors, some who saw what I ate and how it wasn’t any more than what anyone else in my family ate (and was, for a while, much much less), and others who just assumed I was lying.

I thought it was like that anger, but now I think it is that same anger.

I know it’s not what the study says, but I feel like it’s more of this “if only you had tried harder, exercised more, stuck pins in the right places, you wouldn’t be in this position and you wouldn’t need medication.”  In other words, I still read that as “this is not something you have, but evidence of how you have fundimentally fucked up running your life.”

Like being on medication is somehow an indication that I have failed to handle it myself.

And again, I know that’s not what it’s saying, but just how I feel.

I don’t know. I know I don’t talk about it much, but basically because, for me, there’s not that much to say.  I mean, it goes without saying that I’m tickled to not have debilitating cramps or three week long periods after three months of nothing. I’m really kind of enjoying how I feel, how exercise now just makes me tired and sore and doesn’t make me feel like I want to throw up and then die and then throw up again.  I like that, if I’m late eating, I just feel a little woozy, but not grouchy and sick.

It’s hard to explain, but I feel like my body just works differently.

But the thing I’m struggling with the most is still that old fairytale of “If only I tried hard enough and did all the right things, I’d be rewarded with a thin body.”  That’s not happening. And I have really kind of enjoyed the last year, since the diganosis and the medication, of feeling like “eh, well, there never was/is going to be any ‘trying hard enough’ because there’s something wrong with me.”

It’s been kind of nice, like this truce with my body.

But I read stuff like this and it just makes me feel like it’s wrong for me to declare a truce.

It’s funny, you know. I can’t breathe.  I never have been able to, from the time I was very little.  I’ve had pneumonia six times. I can hear a little unhappiness now when I breathe from all the smoke this weekend.

But I never feel like my shitty lungs are a reflection on my worth as a human being.

It just is what it is. Maybe there just wasn’t enough time between bouts when I was little to ever let them heal properly. Maybe I was breathing something in my environment that aggrevated them.  Who knows?  Who cares?  You know?  Having shitty lungs does not make you a shitty person.

And I know that having this body does not make me a shitty person, but frankly, I feel really angry that I have to remind myself of that as often as I do.


10 thoughts on “Cooter Talk

  1. I hear you.

    I was thinking this morning how great it is that more studies are coming out that back up what I think you and I know in our bones: Some of us just ain’t thin and are never going to be, in the same way that some of us are never going to be tall, and that’s not only ok but it’s The Way it Ought to Be. But it feels to me like it’s going to be so long before this truth is seen clearly by the medical profession and by members of the general public, that it makes me feel kind of hopeless.

    But things are getting better. They may not get there in time for you or me to see them really get good, but they are getting better.

    I give you the PCOS salute: a drumming slap across the belly followed by a V-for-victory sign.

  2. “But I read stuff like this and it just makes me feel like it’s wrong for me to declare a truce.” – I wouldn’t decide that based on this study. It only included 20 women, and those women were split into 3 groups (control, exercise, and acupuncture). This is a “hey, maybe we could get funding to expand on this nugget of an idea in a bigger, longer study” study at best.

  3. Profoundly disappointing. One sees “Cooter Talk” and expects some good stuff. Instead we get this. A little consideration for your readership please!

    (Just occurred to me that if there was a doctor named William who specialized in this area he could be known in the trade as “PCOS Bill.”

    Just saying.)

  4. Why, no, I’m not usually invited to my wife’s doctor’s appointments. In fact, I’m usually specifically asked to stay far away. Why do you ask?

  5. PS-Although the study is intended to ask questions potentially about mitigating cardiovascular complications of PCOS, not menstrual irregularities – and again, it is very small – you should note that the exercise group experienced no improvement in their menstrual pattern.

  6. “And I know that having this body does not make me a shitty person, but frankly, I feel really angry that I have to remind myself of that as often as I do.”

    Yes…and this made me well up a bit.

  7. Roger, I laughed so hard at PCOS Bill, I can’t even tell you. I might be the only woman in Nashville who would, but I would so go to PCOS Bill.

    Thanks, y’all for talking me down.

  8. I know no one will believe this–and that’s okay–but several other women in my family have PCOS.

    Their gynocologist was until a just a few years ago Dr. William Snyder. I called him PCOS Bill. (He retired or died. Can’t remember which.)

    Roger, once again we think too much along the same lines for me to be comfortable for the well-being of your children.

  9. I also have PCOS, and I think that a study designed to reduce the need for medications is not necessarily saying “you fail if you need medications”. I take a fairly high-dose contraceptive pill to control my bizarre and extremely painful periods, which puts me at higher risk of breast cancer and stroke. Another common PCOS drug, metformin, has the common side-effect of chronic diarrhea. I don’t need metformin (yet) but I would love to have some alternatives when and if I get there.

    I exercise, and eat good food, and I’m still fat, and that’s fine with me.

  10. I’m on metformin, and while I haven’t had that side effect, I will say that I doubt constipation will ever be a problem for me as long as I’m on it. To me, that has been a real life-changer of a drug. I feel tremendously different in my body in ways that have been interesting. One nice side effect has been a substantial lessening of my panic attacks and weirdness about heights.

    Don’t get me wrong. I still have a huge phobia about heights, but the physical dizziness and feeling like I couldn’t quite tell where I am in relation to other things is much, much less.

    I’m on a tangent. But yeah, I just feel like I mostly feel fine with being fat and I would like to to be as ordinary FOR ME as anything else about my body.

    And I hate that I still struggle with that.

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