Monday, August 17, 2015

women's health...and August

August is here, and I alternate between being very busy with twins and completely stalling out.  This past weekend, I came down with laryngitis that incapacitated me for an entire day.  (I had no idea I had such a vocal parenting style until I could not talk!)  We also had a heatwave (for Winnipeg) which made life steamy for a few days.  It is now sunny, crisp and cool again and I have a brief moment to post one of my recent articles.  This came out on the CBC Manitoba website this past weekend:

Should Kim Kardashian be giving women medical advice?

This is already sounding funny for those who know me....I don't watch reality TV or have time to follow much via social media.  However, the issue at stake is really about how drug companies advertise, and whether women have access to good medical support and information about the right medications when they need them.  Particularly, it is about Diclectin, (Diclegis, in the US), an anti-nausea drug that helped me get through twin pregnancy.  Yes, I was stoned, unable to drive, and fuzzy all the time, but it helped me keep food down...and I was lucky to have it.

There are no weird photos of drugs here or of me, trying desperately to talk to 4 year olds and only squeaks coming out...but alas, we've been back from the lake for 2 weeks now, so it was time for a real-life update!  How are you?  How's August treating you?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Barbara Bell said...

Hello, I just read your article about Kim Kardashian and wanted to comment.

Years ago, our local newspaper published a humour column written by a woman. In one installment she described, in wry if very generalised terms, her first labour--how much it hurt, how her husband reacted, etc. etc. A few days later there was a letter to the editor from an offended reader who said it was wrong for this writer to give such a negative account of childbirth in a public column, as it might cause anxiety and fear for other young women expecting a first child.

I am in sympathy with those who would eliminate or minimise the fear of childbirth with good education and reassuring testimonials from other mothers (I read lots of them myself before having children) but I also think someone with enough education to be able to read the newspaper should also know better than to depend on a humour column for a realistic representation of pregnancy, labour and childbirth.

The same might be said of anyone who makes a medical decision based on what some celebrity endorses/mentions. Because of past tragedies involving pregnancy and drugs, it is easy to see why there would be criticism. And of course people make unthinking decisions all the time based on celebrity endorsements. Certainly, though, it is our responsibility as adults to do the research, talk to our own doctors and weigh the pros and cons in our own case. Part of our "research" could be hearing someone else tell about what worked for her, right? Where drugs are concerned it is not the only source of information we should go by, but it has its place.

September 11, 2015 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Barbara! You are right... I find it all too common for society to expect women to keep the unpleasant parts of pregnancy/childbearing and rearing to themselves. Women are often criticized, privately, in public, or even in the media when they speak out as men might about their relevant health issues. I struggled mightily when pregnant and after my twins were born from a variety of issues. Some were considered "normal twin symptoms" by my primary doctor, which gave me no context about their frequency or relief. Also, as a writer working at home, I do not hang out with colleagues by the water cooler, so I did not know what to do to help cope with some of these symptoms. I don't take medical advice from celebrities, but as you say, learning about the availability of a drug is not the same as taking it blindly.

Thanks so much for engaging! Few people give such intelligent feedback, so I appreciate it.

September 12, 2015 at 7:45 PM  

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