Women’s Health Issues: Taking One for the Team
I had a rather eye-opening experience over the past week or so, which confirmed to me, much to my chagrin, that there are no easy or clear-cut answers when it comes to making decisions about our healthcare.
Looking back, and knowing how obstinate I can be when it comes to group-think, I should have known when I joined a holistic health group on LinkedIn that it was only a matter of time before I locked horns with some of the members – and I did.
Ironically enough, it was part of a discussion which asked if pharmaceutical companies are standing in the way of good health, and I found myself actually defending drug companies. I know, right? I guess pigs really do fly.
It wasn’t so much that I was there to defend drug companies. But more so, that I was reacting to what I saw as a sweeping assumption in the conversation, that pharmaceutical companies, aka “Big Pharma” as many of the people called them, are completely evil through and through; that all drugs – every, last one of them – are toxic and evil, and part of a bigger, nefarious plot to kill us all for financial profits. One of the members of the group went so far as to state that she suspected the AIDS virus was cooked up in a pharmaceutical lab in an effort to control the population.
I lie not. I read it with my own eyes.
Okay, now look. I’m all for a healthy dose (pardon the pun) of skepticism. I’m also all about challenging the status quo, authority figures, big government, big business, and thinking independently. But when you cross over into conspiracy theories? Well, I’m sorry, you’ve lost me.
Much to my amusement, during the course of the conversation, someone actually called me “naïve” because of my defense of drug companies. Naïve? Hardly. I have serious trust issues. You have NO idea. I also harbor no illusions about the greed and lust for financial gain in our healthcare system. But I have no intentions of donning a tin foil hat anytime soon either.
I hear from women every single day who are frustrated and confused with the healthcare system. They want help with their healthcare issues, namely perimenopause and menopause, and I sincerely want to help them. But when I get a glimpse into groups like the one I kicked myself out of, which are comprised of supposed “healthcare professionals” who actually believe that pharmaceutical companies produced the AIDS virus so they could control the populations of the world; well, good Lord, no wonder women are confused and frustrated!
I say that I “kicked myself out” of the group – and I did. But, judging from the way the conversation was going, it wasn’t going to be long before I was asked to leave anyway. That’s fine by me. If anything, it showed me how desperate the healthcare community is for reasonable, rational voices. It also showed me that if you’re going to advocate for women’s health issues, then you better be ready to take a few arrows, because they’re coming.
But that’s fine by me too. Just call me Xena, the warrior princess.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.