Name: Edline Yowai Flomo
Occupation: Student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County studying Nursing and Health Administration
How I am Living Fearlessly: My life before being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) was pretty much simple, I lived like a regular teenager and didn’t know what was going on with me missing, my monthly period from time to time. I honestly thought it was normal. It was first diagnosed as a hormonal problem back in Liberia when I was sixteen years old and later diagnosed with PCOS when I moved to the US 7 years ago.
I felt terrible knowing that I had PCOS, knowing and reading about it. Living in fear felt like I was in a hole or a dark room. Always wondering what if or why me, or is there something I did. It’s a bad thing to live in fear and also knowing that there is no cure, yet.
There have been lots of times when I felt alone and/or scared. Living with PCOS is hard and it brings a lot of changes to the body, both emotionally (mood swings and hormonal imbalance) and physically (hair loss, weight gain, hair growth in weird places along with acne). Knowing that your chances of starting a family are low or hearing that you have no chance at all is alone a fearful thing.
Three years ago, I decided to no longer live in fear. I sat down one day and thought about all the pain and hurts my body has been through for (11) years, and said to myself; I have no control over how my hormones behave or when I don’t have to worry about shaving my face every other week. Then it hit me, no matter what medication I take, I still had to change my lifestyle and the way I see things, life is all about prospective. With weight gain comes more health complications, so diet and exercise are my way of being free and thinking about a better tomorrow.
Support: Family and friends kept me going, they have been there every time something major happened, from surgery to hospitalizations due to a miscarriage and everything in between. They have been my rock and the shoulders I’ve cried on, and I don’t think I could live fearlessly without them. My mother is my biggest motivation. I love her out of this world and thank her every day for pushing me to be my best self. She encourages me to workout and to keep up my healthy diet on a daily basis, advises me and she’s always there for me when I need her.
Does anyone else in your family have PCOS? No, no one in my family has PCOS.
Do you know anyone else living with this? No, I do not.
Have you found a support group? Yes, I Have a support group both online and in Baltimore.
Were you able to build new relationships with the people you’ve met? I have met a lot of great people from the PCOS group in Baltimore, and have learned a lot from their experiences.
My life has improved tremendously compare to three years back. Loosing weight gives me a feeling of fearlessness, like yes, I did it and I can do more. I am in a calmer place and try not to stress myself over the little things and be happy about the important things.
Words to inspire: “Don’t worry about what you can’t change”
If you would like to learn more about PCOS or have someone you think may be dealing with this please visit www.pcos.com for more information.