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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: Body

How To Know You Have PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

jasmine banks


"How do you know if you have PCOS?" People actually ask me this all the time.  I talk often about having PCOS. I was diagnosed when I was 12, but we knew something was off far before any doctors were telling me I had to go into surgery before my ovary exploded. Soak that up. For real. They really told me that my ovary was going to explode... OKAY, technically they said it could "rupture" and they had to do "ovary drilling", but my 12 year old mind heard:


PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian/Ovary Syndrome affects many women. (pah-lee-SIS-tik) ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a serious health problem, called a syndrome for the way you can have some but not ALL of the symptoms.  One in ten women have PCOS, and *NEWSFLASH*  not all of them are chubby women! Some people think that PCOS is a disease caused by OBESITY, and while obesity complicates PCOS, it doesn't alway cause it. I am a prime example, I started having symptoms when I was 8.

Some of the symptoms of PCOS impact:

  • Menstrual cycle
  • Ability to have children
  • Hormones
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Appearance

My symptoms manifest like this:

Sounds like a walk in the park, right? The tricky part about PCOS is that it can be very hard to diagnose. Doctors sometimes simply say, "lose weight" or "stop eating sugar". The thing is, your body is smart. Your body will win. I run, play roller derby, and see a nutritionist and losing weight is HARD hard HARD. You can treat PCOS with Metformin, and other drugs that help your body process hormones and insulin appropriately.

The thing I've learned over the years is having enough courage to be your own advocate. If you chose to take the naturopathic or medical route, it is up to you. I choose to take from both approaches. I changed, mostly, the way I eat. I exercise. I reduce my stress through support systems, and I take good care of myself.

Here are some awesome sites I follow for PCOS support and education, only ONE of them is geared directly toward PCOS. I've learned to piece together support and information.


Gracious Pantry

Runs For Cookies



Have you ever heard of PCOS before? Do you have it? Do you know someone who has it? How do they deal?





My Uterus Is Trying To Kill Me

jasmine banks


I am laying in bed. Well, technically, I am  sitting up because I can't type laying down without my boobs trying to cut off my air supply. #FirstBoobWorldProblems

I arrived home from AWBU with a prompt case of " You are dying from an unknown something".

Don't laugh. I am not a hypochondriac.

I didn't feel very well at AWBU and I knew I needed to go see a doctor. My uterus was painin' me and I knew I needed A LADY doctor STAT.

The last time I felt this horrid I was rushed into surgery and two doctors drilled holes into my ovaries to keep them from exploding. YES! Exploding. My ovaries are all, "go big or go home, y'all." (yes. I have Southern ovaries... I hear people with West Coast ovaries are super chill and enjoy avocado smoothies)

I have PCOS. Polycstic Ovarian Syndrome, if you're nasty. PCOS is an evil bitch that makes my life hard, conception confusing, menses non-existent, carb cravings constant, and hormones chronically unstable. For the last two weeks I have had constant hormone headaches, a lower back ache that feels like I am carrying a baby, uterine cramping, and a 99.8 degree fever.

My beloved OB/GYN who has managed my health issues with me since I moved to Arkansas got tired of Arkansas and hightailed it back to California, so I had to schedule an appointment with his predecessor. I was not very happy about this since:

1) I am considered a very rare medical case and some doctors just think I am crazy

2) All the new doctors usually are all, "hey... stop  being fat and that will fix everything (which isn't true AT ALL) or

3) HOLY HELL you are super interesting lets run all these tests on you you've had done over and over your whole life only to get the results you told us we would get!

So I made my appointment reluctantly with the new OB/GYN, arrived at my scheduled time, took my pants off, and had an hour long conversation with a total stranger whilest pant-less. Dr. Thompson was super awesome! He looked at me from the corner of his eye first and asked me questions like, "Jasmine... you don't have a period- yet you had children." "Mmhmmm..." I answered. I was tempted to tell him I went to a church and danced with snakes and through my faith healing the venom helped me conceive, but I was in too much pain to be THAT funny. "Yep. Three kids," I answered and continued,  "No period. Anovulation since age 12 Laparoscopy drilled right ovary with cauterization.  High levels of estrogen, low levels of progesterone, high levels of DHT, stable blood sugar- clean Hemo A1C, low blood pressure, typical gestational size of newborns birthed, hirsutism, excellent cardio health, excellent thyroid, chronic depression perpetuated by low B vitamins and vitamin D deficiency, and no cholesterol issues."  Dr. Thompson was puzzled, as I assumed he would be.

So we took a urine and blood pregnancy test. Negative

So we checked for infection. Negative

Then Dr. Thompson did the whole check out my uterus with your hands and a quick looky lou of the cervix.

"Bad news, Jasmine."

I scowled.

"Looks like you need to come back in for a pelvic ultrasound. We need to start thinking about ways to get you to menstruate or we risk cancer (again). The tenderness in your uterus and the pain are most likely caused by lack of menstruation and/or fibroids. I am suspecting endometriosis as well. We need to check out your ovaries too because they are unusually swollen, and I imagine painful. Until we can do surgery I can prescribe a muscle relaxer and some meds to make you menstruate for 10 days or so."

So I am laying in bed with a uterus that hates me. I am extra emotional (read: hormonal) and I am facing the very real prospect of surgery. I schlepped myself out of bed yesterday to go run at the gym for the sake of my mental health... but I am feeling very puny.

I need a massage, a pound of chocolate, and a new uterus.