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Old 10-22-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
Twynship
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Default I need advice on how to be supportive

My identical twin sister has been diagnosed with PCOS. She is overweight and feels that no one understands what she is going through except for her new friends on her PCOS support blog. This is hard for me because she and I are extremely close and we've never faced anything like this. I'm unmarried and not trying to get pregnant so I have no idea if I have PCOS but based on the symptoms (irregular cycle), I don't think so but considering that we have identical DNA, we've never really dealt with one of us having a condition and the other not having it. I keep saying and doing things wrong when I try and talk to her and sooth her and I just need advice on how to move forward. She is in the first cycle of trying the clomed (spelling) medication and she doesn't feel her husband is being supportive enough (at all actually, it's kind of like he doesn't care if it works or doesn't understand that it working sooner rather than later is important due to how ill she is from the medication). She called me today (we live in different states now) in hysterical tears and I apparently said all the wrong things. I've never any our 30 years of living heard her this upset before. How much of her reactions are hormonal right now? Should I not try to reason with her (i.e. not to be this frantic yet becuase she gets to try 6 cycles of the clomed and she is only on her first, maybe she should wait and try and get pregnant naturally without the medication, et cetera). I just need help. I want to help her feel better. Please help.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:03 PM   #2
drox
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honestly, as a person who is close to her, you probably know better how to console her than just about anyone. My guess is that you are doing everything you can. It may be that, for now, she just needs to grieve and feel frustrated for awhile, and the best thing you can do is listen to her and be supportive and understanding of her feelings. She might not be at a place where she wants to hear someone talk about the bright side.

...On the other hand, since her DH isn't being very supportive, maybe she needs to feel like someone is optimistic and hopeful. I think by listening to her talk about things, you will get a sense of which approach to take. Just remember that you can't necessarily "fix" this for her-- but being in it with her is a very good thing. Good luck! You're a good sister for being so caring.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:01 PM   #3
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I would say that alot of the reaction is probably hormonal if she is on the clomid now and never used it before. It can through your body for a serious loop on the emotional curve. BUT, to be honest just listen. If she asks your opinion try to just re state what she has said or her dr. has said. For me, it irritated me when people would suggest things like why don't you try without meds. because they didn't understand that I had been trying or that my body just didn't work right. The support of you still have several more tries with this med, give it a chance to work was good, but that doesn't mean it made it any easier to hear. Everyone is different, but trying to conceive when you are having a hard time is extremely difficult and even if you say the right things she may not react well initially. Because in her mind she is thinking (what if you are wrong, what if I can never have kids, what if these meds. don't work, what if my husband isn't really ready, why do they make me feel this way, I hate having to use meds. to have a child, why doesn't my body work the way it is supposed to, I feel broken....etc. Put those thoughts in your mind when you talk to her and hopefully that will help you understand her a bit better.)

I would say just try to encourage....not "fix" the problem (like drox said). Support her and cry with her.
Sorry this got a little long.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:59 AM   #4
sweetsunshine72
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I agree with the others - listen, listen, LISTEN!!!

Also, try to get an understanding of what PCOS is all about. While many of us do have irregular periods, not all of us have that symptom. PCOS is really a hormonal imbalance usually caused by Insulin Resistance, so a low-GI-type diet, exercise and possibly Metformin is usually the first plan of attack.

Now, your sister probably does NOT want you telling her "oh, you should try THIS" - BUT in her calmer moments, you could ask her what she HAS tried and point her to the FAQ's section on the main boards here, which explains the IR connection. One thing you can tell her is that with PCOS, once you get the IR under control and get ovulating, you have about the same chance of getting pregnant as the "average" woman. There's tons of "hope" on these boards, too, when she's ready for it - on the Pregnancy and Mom boards.

For the most part, though, just learn and listen and CARE. Also, get yourself checked out as reproductive issues are only the tip of the iceburg with PCOS - there's heart health issues, female cancers, and diabetes to watch out for, too. Any close female relative is significantly more likely to also have PCOS - someone who's genetically identical is almost sure to have it, unless you have a hugely different, healthier lifestyle that is preventative by nature.

Take care, and keep up with the boards! HTH!
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:08 AM   #5
Twynship
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Hello drox, QueenFroggie and Sweetsunshine72. Thank you for the advice. My sister came into town this weekend to visit with our mum and me and it was a wonderful trip. She is definitely sick a great deal but she is really being a trooper and we have high hopes that her doctors appointment today will reveal nice clean healthy ovaries and a high chance of ovulation. It's intersting you made the comment about being broken QueenFroggie. She is always saying she is broken or that she guesses she's a boy inside because she doesn't work like a normal girl. She says it like a joke but I always tell her that isn't true!! In good news, her husband has seen the err of his ways and has been uber supportive since I posted this message. He sat her down and explained that he'd been using the protection mechanism of assuming this wouldn't work so he didn't get his hopes up too high but now he knows that is wrong and eventhough he isn't on the meds, he wants to walk this full road with her as much as possible (as if he were on the meds too). He's been great every since he told her that. Oh, and my sister has a doctor who specializes with this condition SweetSunshine72. He has her well educated on her condition and she is on another blog cite. I thought it would be too intrusive for me to join the same blog cite as her. She is one of the rare ones who does not have an IR issue but the symptoms she does have are being regulated as much as possible with her medication. My mum has it but it looks like I don't which is confusing since we are identical but my twin is about 100 pounds heavier than I am so we think that might have something to do with it. I'm a vegetarian too and work out 5-7 days a week. Maybe that is preventing it. I'll still ask my obgyn to do a check for it though.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:42 AM   #6
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I am so happy that everything is working out so well!!! Here's to hoping that her ovaries will respond!!!!

The only thing I would add is that, if she does have such a weight issue, then treating as if she DID have IR probably wouldn't hurt, and may help (as it can be incredibly difficult to pick up IR), even if it simply reduces stress on her body and helps her to lose weight.

The lifestyle differences are most likely why you don't seem to have this syndrome - it's like the potential can "sit in the background" until it's triggered by something. For some people, it doesn't take as much as others to "trigger" it. Still get assessed for it, just in case, preferably by an endocrinologist.

Take care, and feel free to keep posting!!!
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No treatment for 12 years
Now, Metformin 1,500 mg/day, Fish Oil, D3, good multi
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:44 AM   #7
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i think its hormonal and she is frusterated and upset - been there done that!

Keep at it! The best thing is to be there for her and not give up!

My hormones are all outta whack and me and my partner are flat out dissagreein but all sweet at the end of the day

It is pretty frustorating getting preg? only havin 6 goes of clomid sounds like she is putting her self under a bit of presure
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