by Angi Ingalls
PCOS in ConnecTion
I thought I would share an incident that happened today as inspiration. I hope it gives you power to reach out to others and enjoy the effect you can have on others – even if it means you have to push past your apprehension.
I went to the local pharmacy store to pick up some odds-n-ends. In the beauty-care aisle I heard a mother talking to her 20-year-old daughter about finding a good foundation to cover up her acne and brown spots.. I took it upon myself to interject, always looking for an educational moment or to help out, ya know.
After learning from my experiences, they chose the product I recommended and continued shopping when another woman approached me after overhearing our conversation. “Since you’re giving advice…” she said and the four of us had a little chuckle. Just ‘Ask Ange’ if you see me >chuckle<.
After the conversations, we finished our shopping, separately of course. After arriving at the counter, I saw the mother-daughter team checking out. I got a better look at the daughter’s complexion and felt reminiscent of my younger-years.
Feeling compelled to discuss in further detail, I put down my supplies at the counter and followed them out of the building. I cautiously approached them, which was easier since we spoke earlier, and brought up the daughters complexion. They said it was fine and they seemed eager to hear more. We discussed options about how to improve her skin complexion so she would have less to cover-up. Shortly into the discussion it came out that she was informally diagnosed PCOS. We spoke in great depth on the subject; including the fact that her endocrinologist passed her off to her gynecologist because she was not diabetic. Sad, isn’t it?
This conversation turned into a touching moment when the mother turned to me and started to cry. She proclaimed that they were frustrated with doctors, frustrated at the little information they have received thus far and how it was meant to be that we met. We spoke for at least forty-five minutes in the parking lot of CVS. I gave them my card and phone number with the proclamation that my email and phone are always open to them. The daughter said she would email me right when she got home for more information that I had for her on my computer. A few hours later, that emailed arrived.
Her email was filled with several versions of appreciation for changing her life, gratitude for meeting and excitement for the possibilities of her future. It was the most affirmative email I have gotten based on what I am trying to do – educate and give the power of knowledge to others.
It may not always be easy to approach someone you think may have PCOS, and it may not always seem appreciated, but in my opinion, it’s necessary to reach out to others who may not know what is out there. Overlook your shyness and embarrassment and find ways to approach the other person. Use your environment like I did to start the conversation. You may be surprised at how many you help in doing so.
Angi Ingalls; PCOS in ConnecTion
Guest PCOS writer and Educator for over 18 years
Diagnosed in 1985 at 12, living with PCOS since 1981
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