Is Talking Enough?

3 minute
The Prejudice that Didn't Last (3).jpg

She was eagerly waiting for her ultrasound reports. Although she knew she didn't need to. The symptoms were plenty; the signs pointed singularly - PCOS. She had always wanted to be one in a million, one in a billion perhaps. Here she was - just a one in a seven. Every one in seven women gets diagnosed with PCOS. And Vaani had become its latest victim.

The phone buzzed. It was her alarm. Her eyes looked at the time: 7.30 AM. She had to submit her due at her office in under 30 minutes. But she simply couldn't bother thinking of her assignment and snoozed it away.

If one has irregular periods and increased androgen levels, one can be reasonably certain of having PCOS. Vaani, clearly, had both. Yet, she hoped against hope for the ultrasound to turn out in her favor. Her doctor had already diagnosed her with PCOS and asked her to start exercising.

Yet, Vaani kept looking at her male hormone levels on her blood test. To stick out, the raised values were colored in red. She nervously stared at the red numerals. The red reminded her of all the blood she had been losing during her last few menstrual cycles. She quickly opened her diary to look into the calendar. Once again. 28, 30, 35, 39. The gaps did not look good.

Constantly recalibrating your beliefs based on presented evidence is a part of Bayesian thinking. The evidence said PCOS. In bold and caps. And in red. She was great at Bayesian reasoning, but the red had clouded everything this time. Infertility. Diabetes. Raised risk of cardiac arrest.

This was all too much for the young Vaani to take in. She was ambitious, straightforward, and straight. Increased health risks posed question marks over her career goals and infertility raised concerns over her intense desire to have a family of her own. She had always wanted to become a great novelist. Austen was her hero. The idea of being the next Austen always excited her. She had been prepping herself towards the marathon writing exercise of penning a novel by challenging herself by writing short stories. She always wanted to talk about the desires of women, often inspired by Austen. Just as she was wondering about her future, she felt it. Yet again. The intolerable blood rush. It was getting worse and worse. She very well knew that heavy menstrual bleeding was also a symptom of the much dreaded PCOS. The pills had stopped being of much help by now. And...

The phone buzzed. This time, 7:45 AM. Vaani, yet unmoved, waited for the lab to send her reports early in the morning as they had promised.

Meanwhile, her manager at her Global Women Company's office was frustrated. Vaani's article was the only item that was due. The women's voice e-mag had left no stone unturned in trying to TALK about women's issues week after week. The manager was over-excited about this week's theme. The over-excitement was slowly turning into over-irritation. And it was visible. The cause was a young promising writer who had yet not turned in her short story on this week's theme by the deadline. The manager, red with anger, picked up her phone with clear intentions...

Vaani's phone rang. She thinks it's finally the lab. But it is her alarm again. 8:00 AM. Annoyed with the snooze, she decides to kill the alarm. But as she goes to do it, this time around, her eyes go down, and the alarm title reads the dreaded PCOS.

PS: For anyone wondering why the manager's call didn't reach Vaani on time, it was still stuck on the coronavirus message. :P

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