Introducing Amy Medling, winner of the Best in Show – Blog Award in the Second Annual WEGO Health Activist Awards:
Q1. How did you become a Health Activist?
A1. Being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can be devastating. Not only are we experiencing the physical symptoms of PCOS, we also experience depression, anxiety, and if we are told we have infertility, grieve over the children we long to have. Although I am a wife, and a mother of 3 children. I was not always a PCOS “Diva.” I still remember these words as clear as it was yesterday. I was just 18 years old, and instead of suggesting that I may have PCOS, the doctor told me I was infertile. During my early twenties, practically every time I would visit an OB/GYN for an annual, I was told something about how difficult it will be for me to get pregnant. I never received a PCOS diagnosis.
In my mid-20’s, after a round of Clomid, I did get pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. But later, when we wanted to have another child, found that I was not ovulating. A registered nurse at the local hospital, was actually the first person to suggest that I had PCOS. She knew from my charting that I wasn’t ovulating and the chart looked very typical of PCOS. I was 30 at the time and I had never even heard of PCOS. After being diagnosed with PCOS, I was put on Metformin (which made me sick as a dog), a higher dose of Clomid with monitored cycles and eventually injectables. It took many monitored cycles (actually the last before I would have to think of IVF) and I became pregnant! But—I was also a tired, bagel eating, diet soda drinking, frumpy, moody mess. I hated that my body couldn’t tolerate effects of the hormones I had taken while trying to get pregnant. I spent many nights and a whole lot of energy asking, “Why me?” I was exhausted all of the time, and the weight would not come off. I was angry, feeling sorry for myself and utterly hopeless. And then one day, I had had enough. I wasn’t going to let PCOS be the end of my world. I embarked on a journey to heal my body and life. I wanted to begin managing my PCOS naturally. Every evening I spent hours researching and I tried lots of different diets, supplements and lifestyle changes. The weight started to come off, my energy levels increased, my skin cleared and my moods brightened. I was able to get my body, mind and soul to a place where after two pregnancies conceived with the help of medication, I had the biggest surprise of my life. I was pregnant, completely on my own, no fertility treatments, no pharmaceuticals at age 37. Now, I am the blessed mother of two boys and a daughter! I want women to know that that there is a way out of the hopelessness and myriad of symptoms that defines PCOS.
Q2. What are your goals for Health Activism this year?
A2. PCOS is thought to effect up to 20% of all women and 70% of those women don’t even know they have it. My goal for 2013 is to increase awareness of this syndrome and help women get diagnosed. Typical PCOS treatment protocols include a variety of medications. From birth control pills and insulin-sensitizing medications to ovulation induction, anti-androgen medicines and topical medications, many of these conventional treatment paths can prove both ineffective and even toxic to the body. I want women to know that there is a more natural approach to managing PCOS that can work, as well as, the traditional pharmaceuticals.
Q3. What awareness event or effort are you most excited about in your condition?
A3. I always get very excited about my Discover Your Diva Jumpstart Program. It is a week long online health coaching program for women with PCOS. By the end of the 7-day program women begin to see the possibilities for their life. They no longer have to be held captive by the symptoms of PCOS.
Q4. If you could tell other Health Activists a few things about your condition and your community, what would you want them to know?
A4. Women with PCOS can absolutely manage their symptoms with the right diet and lifestyle changes. They can reclaim their fertility, femininity, health and happiness when given the right information and motivation to make consistent positive lifestyle change.
Congratulations to all of the winners from the WEGO Health Activist Awards and thank you to all those Health Activists and community members who participated in last year’s program. Nominations are open for the Third Annual WEGO Health Activist Award. Give back to those who inspire you and nominate them here: http://awards.wegohealth.com/