After graduating from college in June of 2015, I was excited to get away and start adulting (not really). But nevertheless it was the start of a new chapter and I was all for it! Two weeks after graduating, I moved to Denver, Colorado for a new job, and life after college couldn’t have started out any better. Not too long after moving to Denver, I started noticing some  drastic changes in my body. I was always tired and my hair started falling out in large chunks. I’ve always experienced fatigue and hairloss in the form of shedding, so I thought more sleep and a deep conditioner would do the trick. As time passed I grew even more tired, and my hair kept falling out. What really pushed me over the edge was the fact that I gained a whopping 40 pounds in less than 6 months, without any change in diet or physical activity.

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Thanks to my extensive medical training (binge watching Grey’s Anatomy & House), I finally decided to visit with a gynecologist. After meeting with her, she suggested a series of blood test and an ultrasound which confirmed what looked to be like a number of cysts surrounding my ovaries (one of the many PCOS symptoms). At the time I didn’t know what to think or what this all meant? But boy was I about to find out. As the title to this post suggest, I was diagnosed with (PCOS) Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a condition in which a woman of child bearing age experiences a set of symptoms due to hormonal imbalances. Symptoms vary from person to person, but most often include irregular periods, excess body hair, weight gain, infertility, male patterned balding and pelvic pain. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to associated conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cervical cancer. In addition to being diagnosed with PCOS, my doctor informed me I was prediabetic and immediately put me on Metformin. Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes, but it is also used to treat PCOS patients dealing with insulin resistance, as this can eventually lead to diabetes.

When I found out I had PCOS, infertility was the first thing that popped into my head. I’ve always wanted children, and now there was a chance that I couldn’t have any. I started to question all the decisions I made in my 23 years on this planet. Did I do something wrong? Could I have prevented this? And at the end of the day, the answers really didn’t matter. All that mattered was how I was going to move forward. For the next couple of weeks I spent most of my time researching PCOS and reading the stories of other women dealing with it. According to Womens Health, PCOS affects between 5% to 10% of women of child bearing age (14-44), however, it is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose. In fact, it took me three visits to my primary physician until I was referred to my now gynecologist.

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Although PCOS has been a major thorn in my side, I have taken the necessary steps to manage my symptoms and get back to being that optimistic young college graduate. I was a bit hesitant to share my story publicly, but saw it as an opportunity to raise awareness for such a common disease. Please visit the PCOS Awareness Association website to learn more.

 

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In “Don’t Touch My Hair” I wanted to present this super majestic and regal image of black people, black culture, and black street culture. I remember feeling out ideas, like velour suits and finger waves, or do-rags and furs.” -Solange Knowles in Vogue

A week after the anticipated release of her third album,  A Seat at The Table, Solange Knowles is delivering black excellence. With songs like “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Where Do We Go”, there is no doubt that Solange’s album is catered to those that have experienced modern day oppression, particularly African Americans.

If you’re questioning how hair relates to oppression, then I don’t know what to tell you. I cant even begin to explain the number of comments I have read of those offended by Solange’s song “Don’t Touch My Hair”. They’re asking questions like “what is so racist about touching someone’s hair? or “I’m white and people touch my hair all the time, but you don’t see me whining”. If you don’t get that this song isn’t actually about hair, but instead, Solange’s truth on the black experience, then you may need to move on to another artist such as Iggy Azelea.

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“All my niggas let the whole world know.
Play this song and sing it on your term.
For us, this shit is for us.
Don’t try to come for us”

Solange’s album has transcended the world of music and entered the realm of political discourse advocating for blackness and black autonomy. A Seat at the Table has gained widespread attention by fans, as well as critics, not only for it’s beautiful sound, but its radically relevant message. She delivers brutal honesty in her lyrics. Her sound is soft and meditative, but what stands out the most is the solace that her album has brought during a time I like to call the new age civil rights movement.

All in all, A Seat at the Table is a musical masterpiece. It has easily already entered my top favorite albums of 2016. If you haven’t heard her album,  click here to listen to it and let me know what you think down below.