Holy lady parts! Yearly pelvic exams aren’t necessary or are they?

It’s the latest segment of this week in lady parts – we’ve moved on from the Hobby Lobby decision to a new debate on the national stage.  How often should women get yearly pelvic exams?  The rule has been the minute you started having sex was first a trip to the island of stirrupkey.  You want birth control?  Not without putting your feet in those stirrups first.  The 1st rule of gynoland was no prescription without a pap smear and pelvic exam.  Need birth control to control your period and not having sex?  Didn’t matter – you were still getting a pap smear and a pelvic exam.

Pap smears for everyone.  Once a year. No exceptions. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Today news broke that maybe a pap smear and pelvic exam every year are a little bit of overkill.

“Here’s what put the test under the microscope: Pap smears that check for cervical cancer used to be done yearly but now are recommended only every three to five years. So if women weren’t going through that test every year, did they still need the pelvic exam that traditionally accompanied it?

Pelvic exams are appropriate for women with symptoms such as vaginal discharge, abnormal bleeding, pain, urinary problems or sexual dysfunction, the ACP said. And women should get their Pap smears on schedule — but a Pap doesn’t require the extra step of a manual pelvic exam, it said.

For symptom-free women, years of medical studies show routine pelvic exams aren’t useful to screen for ovarian or other gynecologic cancers, they don’t reduce deaths, and there are other ways, such as urine tests, to detect such problems as sexually transmitted infections, the doctors’ group reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/guideline-healthy-women-skip-pelvic-exam-24371758http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/guideline-healthy-women-skip-pelvic-exam-24371758

Whatcha talking about Willis?

You mean all those pap smears and pelvic exams weren’t necessary?

Turns out they weren’t.

Now for all those men who are reading this out there – there are many things that women would rather do than get a pap smear.  Go to the dentist. Stand in line for hours at the DMV. Get our oil changed. Basically do anything other than get a pap smear.  It sucks.  It is pretty much one of the most humiliating experiences on the planet.  Think about putting your feet in stirrups spread eagle with a spotlight on your junk for a good 10 minutes.  Now we find out the whole time that it was totally unnecessary for women to be subjected to a yearly pelvic exam.  One every three to five years would have been a-ok.

Here’s a little secret.  I worked in family planning.  About five years ago I was at a medical conference and one of the doctors presented on this very thing.  The “breaking news” today isn’t new news.  It’s just new news from a new medical source.  The medical world has known that women have been receiving too many pelvic exams and pap smears for a long time.

It hasn’t change anything and I predict it won’t.  Why?

It’s simple.  It’s habit.  Pelvic exams keep women coming to the doctor.  It allows doctors to examine women for other things.  To be honest, it’s a money-maker.  Less pelvic exams means less doctor’s visits, less testing and ultimately less money in the system.  When I heard the doctor preach about too many pap smears years ago, the outrage in the audience was evident.  As I cheered him on from the sidelines, the practitioners in the audience were besides themselves.  What do you mean stop giving pap smears to anyone under 21?  What to do you mean only give pap smear to monogamous women every 3 years?  You were asking the audience to put down their speculums and step away from the table and they weren’t ready to disarm themselves in the battle against HPV.

It was as if we told a group of 4-year-old that Santa Claus wasn’t real.  They couldn’t wrap their heads around it.  No matter how much evidence based proof was provided, they weren’t buying it.  It wasn’t the way things had always been done.

I think this finding today and what I listened to five years ago is kind of like the mammogram issue – when evidence-based medicine comes to a conclusion that you don’t want then what happens?  Do we just ignore the evidence and keep going about things as normal because it’s the way we’ve always known? How much evidence has to be presented to change something?

I’m curious – for all the women readers will you demand that your doctor stop performing unnecessary pelvic exams and abide by the new guidelines?   Will you trust in evidence-based medicine or old habits?

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My life as a pain. I mean my life in pain.

Many of you know I am a pain.  I know I am a pain.  I am a self-confessed pain in the butt.  I know I am a pain to politicians – Tim Huslekamp – R KS I’m looking at you.  I know I am a pain about issues I don’t agree with.  Sometimes I am even a pain about issues I do agree with.  Generally I am just a giant pain.  Here’s what many of you don’t know.  I am almost always in some sort of physical pain.

You are probably thinking, “aren’t we all sister.” Like almost every person on the planet I get headaches.  Heck, you probably have a headache just reading this.  My headaches aren’t like most people’s headaches.  In fact, I hesitate even calling them “headaches”.  A headache sounds like I need to stop making dinner for Susie and Johnny and lie down for few moments, putting a warm compress across my forehead and “voila!”  all better and back to normal in a matter of moments. My headaches are more like raging beasts.

I get two types of beasts – hereditary migraines and a type of beast called “cervigenetic headaches” from three herniated discs in my neck from an accident I had in my teens.  It’s the jackpot of headaches.

I always wanted to be the queen of something.  Turns out I’m the queen of headaches.

My hereditary migraines probably go all the way back in my family to caveman times where the only relief my ancestors got was hitting themselves over the head with a wooden club until they knocked themselves unconscious to get pain relief.  I got my first migraine when I was about eight after a t-ball game on a warm summer day.   I’ll never forget that day.  I was running around the yard and suddenly I couldn’t see things right.  I looked at a tree and only saw half the tree.  That was the tunnel vision.  The pain started shortly after.  As a child, I would get these beasts every six months or so.  Once I got a headache so bad I lost the ability to speak correctly.

As I got older the headaches got worse.  We are talking about the kind of pain where no room is dark enough, no space is quiet enough and I spend hours suffering from blinding pain that leaves me vomiting and exhausted days afterward.

I have triggers like all migraine sufferers – hot days, red wine, smelly cheese, exercise, msg, furniture polish, carpet smells, high tide, if the planets are aligned correctly.  The one and only glass of red wine I’ve ever drank was at my cousin’s bar mitzvah back in the 80s.  That was one of my top 10 headaches I’ll never forget.  The thought of no red wine causes people to gasp in horror. How do you manage?  If drinking a glass of vino would cause you to want to take your brain out from the pain, trust me you wouldn’t miss the red stuff.

Before you even start by saying, “have you tried?” The answer is yes, I’ve tried it all.  The list goes on and on….chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, reike, chakra alignment, ancient Native American healing, magnets, yoga, meditation, pain pills, nerve blocks, physical therapy etc. etc.  My bathroom looks like a senior citizen’s – ice packs, biofreeze, muscle relaxers, migraine medicine, anti-nausea mediation, pain killers and other potions all to help alleviate the pain.

Between the migraines and the cervicogenic headaches, I am a frequent visitor at many local urgent care clinics and emergency rooms.  I immediately announce upon arrival, “it’s not a brain toomah” in my best Arnold Swarzenegger impression.

Thank God it really isn’t a tumor.  It’s just pain.  Chronic pain.  If I’m not in pain I’m waiting for pain.  When will it hit next? What is the pain going to ruin this time?  What plans will I have to cancel?  What fun thing will I have to miss?  Pain has brought me to the point of suicide.  The pain has destroyed relationships, worn out friendships and hurt my career.  I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on medical bills and that’s just this year.

I was recently classified as a “chronic pain sufferer”.  I’m 42 years old.  I’m not what I have in mind when I think of someone who suffers from “chronic pain”.  I think of old people in nursing homes.  Not me.  Not people my age.  That’s why I’m sharing my story.

I thank God that  I’m not dying from a terminal illness.  It’s just pain.  So now that I’ve been labeled as a chronic pain sufferer, now what? What color ribbon do I get to wear?  Where is the 5k that I sign up for?  Pain is such an interesting thing.  It’s not a terminal illness like cancer.  There isn’t a struggle to overcome or a huge battle to wage. It’s just pain and it is truly a pain.

If you suffer from pain, how do you deal with it?

If you or someone you know is dealing with chronic pain, please share your story.  I think we all have a lot to learn from each other.

The queen of headaches,

Aimee

 

I challenge Akin and Mourdock on their BS Pro-Life Stance

Here we go again.  Another Republican candidate spouting off about what God intended about abortion.

Richard Mourdock from Indiana said this last night,  “The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother,” said Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed state treasurer. “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

I’ve stopped beating my head against the wall long enough to write this.  Another day, another Republican telling me what God intended.  So, let’s face it guys, and I can call you all guys since it’s been guys who make all these extreme and wacky statements about abortion, God was a little wishy-washy about when life begins in the Bible – see previous posts.  Some say God defined life at conception and others say God defined life at the moment of birth.  Until the Big G shows up and tell us, the verdict is still out on this one.

Now I know most pro-life Republicans put conditions on the pro-life stance – abortion is only o.k. in times when the life of the mother is at risk.  Simple question..why?  If God intended that life begins at conception as you claim and life is a gift from God, why wouldn’t it also be  God’s intention to take the life of the mother at that point?  Is it, because you may lose some voters by saying in all cases even the case when the life of the mother is at risk? I don’t recall God calling this exception out in the Bible anywhere.  If you are so bold as to claim you know what God intended as far as abortion and when life begins then show me proof where it says, “except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.”  I dare you.

Second, God interpreters also known as Republicans, who is to say that God didn’t intentionally put doctors on this earth to perform safe abortions?  When a heart surgeon performs a successful heart surgery we comment about how the skills are a “gift from God”.  Who is to say that God didn’t grant us the intelligence to perfect this procedure.  Abortion has been around for hundreds of years.  Many women died trying to get an illegal abortion.  Maybe it is God’s will?

Third, if you are so concerned about the life of the mother and you outlaw abortion, what happens when women start dying again from having illegal abortions?  What about the life of the mother then?  Just because you outlaw abortion does not mean they will stop.  We all know that abortions can be performed with a procedure termed as a “medical abortion”.  No people this is NOT the same as the morning after pill.  These pills can be obtained by some shady sites on the internet.  What’s to stop women from ordering this unregulated pills from the internet and performing illegal abortions in the privacy of their own home without a doctor’s supervision?  Women will die.  Mark my words.  If the life of women comes before all else all in this Republican pro-life debate, what about in this scenario?  Will safe abortions become legal again if there are enough deaths resulting from illegal abortions?

Oh and by the way, one thing God was crystal freaking clear on was adultery -

Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.”

Deuteronomy 22:22 “If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.

Leviticus 20:10 “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.

I think this applies to people like Newt Gingrich and if memory serves he was campaigning for Akin.  If we are so sure of God’s intent, let’s not forget this one.  Akin, why are you o.k. with an endorsement from Gingrich if you and other extreme Pro-Life Republicans are so sure of God’s intent?  Is it just selective following of God’s intent?

Oh well, silly me.  I guess I’m just not as religious as you guys.

Somebody pass the beef

So I don’t like to tell too many personal stories on my blog except about my awesome liberalness, but I thought I would take a minute to share.  I was at a health fair this past weekend.  At the health fair, I got my cholesterol screened.  Just a simple finger prick and 10 minutes later viola.

207

20..what

207

Seriously?

Nice nurse lady, “Maybe you should modify your diet.”

“Modify my diet?  I haven’t had a hamburger since 1988.  Do you hear me.  No beef has passed these lips since 1988.  It was the Bush/Quayle years.  Gas was 91 cents a gallon.  Milli Vanilli was/wasn’t singing.  Remember those days?  That was the last time I enjoyed a juicy, delicious single with cheese from Wendy’s.  You’re telling me I gave up beef and pork and I’m still looking at a cholesterol at over 200?”

Maybe I gave her a little more than she needed to know.

It was 1988 and I was just a kid in high school.  I was at an art fair at the University of Michigan.  I innocently enough passed a display table for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  I was instantly drawn in.  How can you not be?  Unless you are made of stone, you are drawn in.  I was looking at the picture of the bunny half shaved from some experiment at a cosmetics company.  Right then and there I pledge to stop eating meat.  I didn’t pledge to give up my cosmetics.  Hello…have you met me?  Let’s get serious people.  I was 16.  Priorities. Have I mentioned I’m a bit dramatic?

After about 2 weeks of this animal pledge I realized this was harder than I ever thought it would be.  Remember it was the 80’s before the whole Alicia Silverstone Vegan craze kicked in.  When I went to fast food restaurants there rarely were salads to choose from.  So I started eating chicken and turkey, but continued to save the cows and pigs.  Chicken and turkeys, there are too many of them in the world anyway so screw them.

As I grew older, I didn’t really care much about the cows or pigs I was saving, but I just decided not to eat beef or pork anymore, because of the cholesterol benefits I thought I was getting.  Sometimes people assumed that I didn’t eat pork, because I was Jewish.  I didn’t exactly go out of my way to correct them.  Remember, I was the only Jewish kid at a Southern Baptist college.  I did enough defending of my religion that I took that freebie even though it wasn’t exactly true.  Sorry people who thought I was super Jew.

Turns out my no meat sacrifice has been for NOTHING.

Other then saving some cows and pigs, which by the way not eating beef or pork since 1988 probably amounts to one entire pig and one entire cow.  You are welcome pigs and cows of America or China or where ever the hell you are.

If you are wondering, yes I have missed bacon.  Yes I have missed a ham and cheese on an onion roll.  Yes I have missed steak and I have really missed that single with cheese from Wendys.

Excuse me while I go pull out my old Milli Vanilli cassette tapes and blame my high cholesterol on the rain.

My email to Sen. Merrick about SB 62 in Kansas

Dear Sen. Merrick,

I urge  you as a voter in your district not to vote for SB 62.  I understand by your voting record you are pro-life.  I respect the existence of pro-life and pro-choice Americans.  I do not believe the world needs an all or nothing stance.  However, this bill is too vague.  It will cause Kansas to open itself up to costly lawsuits in order to define this bill.  The state of Kansas cannot afford to waste any more money in the judicial system trying to define vague legislation.  

I know that as a fiscally responsible representative, you want to see Kansas thrive economically.  In a time when our state needs to focus on fiscally responsible legislation passing a bill like this is financially irresponsible. I would say this about any bill that is this vague in definition. This state is desperate to elect fiscally responsible politicians both Democrat and Republican.  Voting in legislation that will cost this state millions in legal fees does not make sense in a time when school funding is being cut, we desperately need job growth and our social programs are suffering from budget cuts. 

I am fine if you are pro-life just like you should recognize that  voters in your district are pro-choice.  Please continue to do your best to convince women not to seek abortion by preaching this message in your church and among your friends.  Please keep this vague and costly legislation out of our government.  Kansas simply can’t afford it.

I am confident you will do the right thing.  This voter is paying attention.

Sincerely,
Aimee

Betty Draper, please help me erase memory about eating placentas…

Dear January,

First, thank you so much and everyone involved in bringing Mad Men back last night.  I love the show.  I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting some more for the return of Don Draper and the rest of the cast.  I was almost in a frenzy last night when I realized I left for my weekly mah jongg game and  didn’t DVR the show.  Luckily my good Jewish mother saved me.  Now Mah Jongg isn’t something Betty would have played back then, probably just her Jewish friends played, that is if Betty had any Jewish friends.  Now that I think of it, Betty probably didn’t have any Jewish friends.  That was a time when rich whites weren’t so kosher with country club activities with blacks and Jews.   Well that sucks doesn’t it?  Screw you Betty Draper.

Oh sorry, misdirected and historical anger rant.  Back to my point.  Mad Men is back!  Television dialog that is subtle and smart and actors that can pull it off.  Fabulous!  You were  absent late last season because you were bringing into this world a bundle of joy named Xander.  First, two thumbs up! E”x”cellent use of the letter “X”.    I do love this name and I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of a lot of celebrity names these days.    The kid is screwed if he ever wants a mass customized cup, water bottle, pencil, place mat, etc.  However, you are a big celebrity so you can probably hire an artist to just paint his name on everything he wants so problem solved.  Not so easy when you are a mom here in middle America looking for items at Target.

Now, I am one of “those people” who read all of the gossip magazines.  I consider it mind candy when I need a break from figuring out how to solve Middle East peace or resolve famine in Africa, I read all about the Kardashians or the latest in the Real Housewives saga.  So when you turned up preggers, I, like everyone else, was curious who the baby daddy was.  Your message was loud and clear-I am not telling.  Fair enough.  As a celebrity, you do have a right to privacy.  I thought it was so cool that you wanted to keep something in your life private.

Ok, so now I have to ask, “why is it that I know you eat your son’s placenta?”

If I don’t know an easy question like who your baby daddy is, why do I know information like you eat your son’t placenta.  I was innocently reading an article about you and there it was.  I couldn’t erase it from my mind.  It is stuck there like the name of the Brady Bunch cat.  For the rest of my life I will know that and I don’t want to.  Your reason for eating your son’s placenta ground up into vitamin capsules – it gives you energy and we are the only animal species that doesn’t do it.

News Flash: There are lots of things we do that animals don’t do – wear fabulous heels, buy Mac lipstick, tweet, drink cosmos…

There are a lot of things that animals do that we don’t do: sniff eat other’s tushies, poop in public, chase down, kill and eat our dinners (well I can’t be 100% sure in some of the more “rural” places in the US)

Point is I’m cool with getting my energy from my extra large diet coke at McDonald’s or in my morning coffee.  Some people do it with a Red Bull and some people do it in a more healthy way.  I don’t really care, but like your baby daddy some things are better left kept to yourself.  Eat all the placenta you want, but in your new age coolness if you discover a way to erase unwanted memories, please look me up and send me that info.  I have a placenta memory that I am looking to erase.

Thanks,

Aimee

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