Monday, November 07, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Asking Questions

This is me making lemonade out of lemons.

When I was 6, my mom went into the hospital. Forty one year's ago today in fact. She died a short time later on Remembrance Day.

Growing up without a mom...still to this very not a course I would recommend, although I've managed to get here and be me just the same.

It's true that my bushy eyebrows did grow back after I unwittingly shaved them as a twelve year old girl....and my period came with little explanation or preparation. With some help from random women in my life, I figured out fashion, hygiene, boys, sex, bras, makeup, bladder infections, birth control, housekeeping, broken hearts, broken engagements and grieving. And best of all, I figured out that 'no one person was going to tell me what I needed to know.'

Instead, I took on the task of learning everything I could about being a woman.

By the time I was 17, two more key family members, that I lived with, had died from disease, one due to a significant mis-diagnosis. My lemonade jug got filled some more. I developed a healthy degree of skepticism of the medical system on a whole and doctors in specific.

Given my doctor sees me about once a year for 20 minutes, it was clear to me that I would know more about my body, how it felt and what changes were going on than she would. Plus her knowledge, as a GP, was...general. My knowledge about myself is specific.

It is not uncommon for me to tell my doctor what is wrong and for me to be right about my assessment. My interest in myself makes her and I that much better at working together.

To round out my health team, and not to put all my eggs in one basket, I've invested my time in finding a slew of other health specialists. Intermittently I use the services of a Shiatsu Therapist, Herbalist, Massage Therapist, CranioSacral Therapist, Reike, Holistic Energy, Physiotherapist, Psychologist and Yoga Teacher.

I'm all about disease prevention. I love my body. I want to stay well. And I'm willing to ask questions.....even stupid ones. Sometimes it's smart to be dumb.

Sue Richards


Blogger Michael said...

Sue, we were so sorry to learn about your mother, although we knew you were motherless from an early age. We can understand the added significance of Remembrance Day and poppies to you, and our hearts go out to you.

We think you are wise. A fundamental tenet in good health care worker/client communication is to listen carefully - chances are that you are right, after all it is your body. We also appreciate your not putting all the eggs in one basket, you only have one body.
Michael and Liberty

11/14/2005 05:27:00 PM  

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