You Have "Peri" What? : Charting Your Own Path
I just returned from a round table discussion in NYC last week. While I’m not at liberty to discuss the topic at hand just yet, I can divulge that the purpose of the discussion and my being invited did revolve around women’s health and menopause issues in particular.
Now that I’ve had a chance to mull the time I spent there, and the conversations that took place, I thought I would throw out a few of my preliminary thoughts and over-all impressions of the experience. Given the tenor and tone of many of my recent posts, I’m certain it won’t come as a surprise you that I was reminded yet again that there is a sharp divergence of thought around the subject of menopause, the treatments for the symptoms of menopause, and what actually works and what doesn’t.
In fact, it is this constant state of disagreement and divergence among the “experts” which not only drives me personally insane, but has a very frustrating effect on all women who are seeking help for their symptoms.
I am pulled betwixt two. On the one hand, I wish to give the respect and recognition which is due to the medical community, and specifically to those who are involved in academic and scientific research which directly impacts public policy regarding our healthcare system, and ultimately how menopause is diagnosed and treated.
On the other hand, however, I also see a real lack of clarity in the fields of medical research, science, and medicine as it pertains to menopause, which I find completely exasperating. Do I have an impressive litany of statistics and facts to back up what I see? No, I do not. It is simply a gut impression. But, I feel certain I am not alone in those impressions.
I also realize I am not making it easy for those of you who are looking for answers and help for your symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, with my continual philosophical observations about the state of our medical system. For me to constantly beat the drum that physicians are failing women in perimenopause and menopause, does nothing but state and restate the obvious, and quite frankly, becomes tiresome very quickly.
I want very much to give you useful and practical information which actually helps you. However, I have found myself on a path that I really did not anticipate being on, and the truth is, I’m in a bit of a quandary. At this point, the only thing which seems to be abundantly clear to me is that, going forward, whether we like it or not, it is incumbent upon us, the patient, to take personal responsibility for our health.
I am feeling more and more like a traffic cop. I can only direct and point you to the information and the research. I cannot drive you there, because I am still trying to find my own way through this mess, too. This is not a vanity tour for me. I am not seeking to build a personal fan club or a group of devotees.
I simply want to be a source of information that you can trust. In order for me to do that, however, I have to be truthful and tell you that, like you, I feel clueless sometimes. But I can assure you, I will always endeavor to direct and point you to the information with as much personal integrity as possible.
Today, unfortunately, that’s the best I’ve got.
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.