Me Before You

I had dived into the book ‘Me Before You’ without reading the synopsis. And am so glad I didn’t because it turned out to be the best reads. It was lying on my to-be-read books for long time  and randomly started reading and couldn’t put it down. This was last year. I wanted to keep reading what happens in the end and yet at the same time didn’t want to finish because it would be over.

The movie came much after the release of the book and there was no doubt I could miss it. Book had set high expectations and I am so impressed the movie fulfilled it (which most of the adapted movies lack).

Don’t Forget About Me – CLOVES

The oh so gorgeous Will Traynor and the chatty Louisa Clark ignites sparks in the darkness of my mind. Last night I rewatched the movie, not the whole but my favorite scenes.

Life is been more or less like Will Traynor – paraplegic (not literally) but infertility is snatching away every bit of peace within me. No matter how hard I try to be cheerful, the ‘when’ slaps me. I wish there was a ‘Dignitas’ for me too – To live with dignity, To die with dignity.

I have started craving solitude more than often because there would be no one to ask those questions. There is no one I could share my feelings with, not even H. In fact I keep wanting to stay away from him (ridiculous I know).

I have stopped all kind of medicines and treatment. Too tiring – physically and mentally. I am waiting for it to happen ‘naturally’ or let me rest in peace as Will Traynor did at the end!

My Premature Ovarian Failure Story

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Disclaimer:

This post is in no way to pity me or to scare you but more of my experience with Premature Ovarian Failure and infertility. How and when did I come to know of diagnosis, the signs and symptoms of it? Remember not every case of any disease presents itself ditto as in medical books or medical websites (I know you must have googled many). I being a doctor, myself, not in my deadliest of dreams thought I would have it.

Read this post as an awareness of Premature Ovarian Failure through the mouth of the one living with it. Don’t worry I won’t bombard you with heavy medical lingo but only the chronological series of my signs and symptoms.

Let’s get started! (It is going to be a long read. Grab your tea, coffee or water :D)

premature ovarian failure

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Premature Ovarian Failure

Doesn’t scare you after reading it, right? How about I say Premature menopause or early menopause in your 20s and 30s? Now this sounds scary, isn’t it?

Statistics say Premature Ovarian Failure occurs in 0.1% (1 in a 1000) women between the ages of 15 and 29, and 1% (1 in 100) women between the ages of 30 and 39. (DAMN!!! Why am I the unluckiest ‘1’ in 1000? But I would love to be the ‘1’ to conceive despite this ovaries-eating disease. Oh and btw I am 29 and going to be 30 soon)

Puberty

Normal. I had my first menses at age of 12 with 4-5 days of bleeding. Normal breast development, appearance of hair besides scalp (its normal location). Menses were regular but always on earlier side on Days 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 but never late.

End of my teens

Till age of 17 everything seemed to be normal. Then I think my master gland (pituitary) decided to live on its own terms without taking me into consideration.

Twice a year my menses shifted from its regularity gradually (REMEMBER- GRADUALLY holds the importance). I shoved it off by saying it might be due to stress of academics. I did underwent screening to rule out PCOS and yes I was elated I did not have it because I was not overweight, I did not have dark pigmentation anywhere. (Lesser I had known I was going to have worse than PCOS)

Did not spare my skin and hair

My skin! Why, Why, WHY? It is already eating up my follicles and above all attacking my skin. Hirsuitism (facial hair growth) even before I touched 20.  My parents had spent thousands for my laser treatment for hair removal. I had my blood screened for all the hormones before the treatment. Apart from DHEAS and testosterone, everything was normal (Another proof of NO PCOS). I still have excess hair growth but less worse than before. 

Acne! I hate you even now you crop on my face every now and then even The Body Shop products cannot rescue my skin from your peril.

My hair! What can I say, let it be!

Came the age of 25 (when I got married)

MY MENSES WENT BERSERK SO QUICKLY IT FREAKED ME OUT. 3 months no sign of PMS or spotting. I was sure I wasn’t pregnant, nevertheless I took pregnancy test which was negative (I was sure about). End of 3 months, comes the use of sanitary napkins without using any pills. ( I saved many bucks during those 3 months. LOL)

I darted the delay due to post-marriage stress 😛 . On a serious note, my menses were almost regular for 2 years.

Age of 27

Hormones. Checked. Follicular study. Done.  Only one follicle enlarged in one ovary and ruptured by 18th day of my cycle (which should have rang the bell of something ‘serious’, but we never anticipate for the worse, do we?) Nah-nah.

Age of 28

BANG! No menses for 5 months. No pregnancy. With WORSE PMS as if now, now the bleeding would start but nothing. My skin became so dull and the unhealthy look made me mad and angry (I didn’t have anyone or anything to blame on) despite of healthy eating habits. Trust me I had cut down junk foods drastically, restricted to once a week.

This time I had to take pills because it was enough.

Recheck of all the hormones. Done. Normal. Again except for FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone).

FSH to Ovaries: “RELEASE THE FOLLICLES, YOU! I AM TRYING SO HARD”

Ovaries: “DO NOT PUSH ME. I AM ALREADY TIRED.”

Uterus: “HELLO, YOU TWO! I AM WAITING SINCE SO LONG TO GROW A TINY HUMAN BEING WITHIN ME. Your fight is doing no good. I weep every month, well, not every month as you do not allow me to even weep.”

Me: “I am tired you guys. I am tired.”

Age of 29

We were labelled with ‘Primary infertility’ (Biggest impact) couples since second year of marriage. We had started planning by the end of first year but never conceived.

Hysterosalpingography. Done. Patent tubes.

Follicular study. 1 follicle. No growth. Ruptured prematurely. No conception (Not a surprise!)

Antral follicle count on Day 3. 2-3 dormant follicles only in one ovary. POOR RESULT.

FSH level. High.

Final test to confirm Premature ovarian failure

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone). Bull’s eye for my diagnosis. Very very very low count.

Chances of conception with my own (if) remaining eggs – negligible.

Clinical suggestion – IVF with donor eggs.

Me (inside my head): “NO! NO! NO! No, no, no…”

Premature ovarian failure: “You have no other choice.”

Me: “I will never let you take control over my life.”

Image designed: Canva

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Will I ever have a baby?

“The problem is in you.” The doctor said to me in the month of October 2016. That was harsh doctor, you shattered my world by saying that. I know it was your duty to inform be but the way you said it torn my life and more over my hope in million pieces. That was the last day I visited you and I shall never set my foot again.

I did not want sympathy from the doctor or from anyone for that matter. You know how it felt? Imagine someone is scrapping while awake, your hands are tied down and you are helpless. Got it?

Everyone’s fingers were (are) blaming me, condemning me. I myself am a doctor. Never ever I had thought while learning about ‘Infertility’ in medical college that my life would be associated with the word ‘female infertility’. 

My AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) is way too low. (I hate you AMH, what did I ever do that you are taking a leave from my blood and my motherhood away from me). I have what is medically termed as, ‘Premature ovarian failure‘, which means my ovaries are failing and the biggest probability of ‘Premature Menopause’. GOSH!!! I am only 29!

The pain, the hurt of struggling with infertility can be understood only by those who go through it. Believe me! Even if you say, ‘I understand’ if you are/not experienced it, you will ‘never feel’ what I am feeling right now, each moment, every day. My words might not convey the pain but if you want to listen, watch the video by HickMan Vlogs how they beat infertility. Gods grace they have two beautiful kids. Megan speaks her heart out and how it hurts when someone ask about, “Aren’t you planning for having kids?”

(PEOPLE! Stop nagging, because when you ask me about when are you planning it doesn’t sound as if you are concerned but probing in ‘what’s wrong’ or rather ‘who has the problem?’)

Every morning I wake up and there is this emptiness which no one can fill even though I try my best to make myself busy. I do not blame God, but I do fight with him/her. What have I done wrong? Have I committed such a big sin that you are punishing me?

I am tired. I am tired of visiting several doctors. I am tired of going through the sonography probe going up my vagina (always hoping to see ‘Hope’). My heart races every time I do a pregnancy test. The result always has been negative as if my fate is having a good laugh at me.

I have stopped everything of it. I no longer expose my body to artificial rays or medicines. I have a healthy uterus and so the option of IVF is open in front of me by donor eggs. I can’t! I can never! How will I hold the baby who has grown in my womb but not ‘mine’? How will I ever say ‘you are my baby’ but not ‘mine’? This thought shudders me!

I do not cry, not in front of others. But I do cry to myself. I do not have a shoulder to cry on. I snuggle myself and the tears find their way out. I had been wanting to share this since ages to someone. The fear always held me back. 

I am waiting for the two lines on the strip. I am waiting for the morning sickness. I will adore my stretch marks (as not everyone is blessed with them the reason being carrying a baby). I am waiting for the highest threshold of labor pain.

My ovaries might be failing but my faith isn’t. I still have a spark (tiny it might be) inside me, speaking to me, “I will get pregnant. I will see my’hope’ growing in my womb.” ©kohleyed7