Trying to be Healthy

WEEK 45

BOOKS REMAINING:  5

CURRENT BOOK:  Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Women’s Book Collective

I really have been trying to do well this week.  Not so much regarding what I ate.  I was conscious of it at least.  But I still mostly ate junk.  (Yesterday when two of the girls at work invited me to join them and get pizza for lunch, was not my fault.  Until they asked me to go with them, I was going to get a burger and fries for myself.  Which I got today.)  But I have been good about exercising except for Wednesday when my husband and I had a last-minute appointment to bring our paperwork to our tax preparer.  I even took a walk in the neighborhood yesterday after following up with my eye doctor for a pressure test and dilation exam that he had been wanting to do, and everything checked out fine and it was not as much of a nuisance as I had expected.

Not to mention it is less than a month until my husband and I leave for Chicago-before-Ireland.  He is an engineer and since engineers are like that he is in the process of mapping out where all our hotels in Ireland are and where all the attractions are and figuring out what we will do each day.  We still have not received our packet from the tour company with all of our vouchers but I’m sure it will feel even more real once we do.

Anyway, back to the books.  I am so glad that I only have five books left and that except for The Second Sex (which sucks) they are short.  I did not like Our Bodies, Ourselves much more than The Second Sex because there is just too MUCH of it.  Yes, it is a vitally and crucially important subject.  And it was written in an approachable way.  However, all of the sidebars made it difficult to read through.  I disagree that they should have omitted anything about mental health because, despite their statement that information can be found elsewhere, I don’t believe there are as many resources (and I’m not talking self-help books), and also I think it is very different for women than men as far as dealing with feelings and trauma and etc. so I think mental deserved at least a chapter when the book was 800 pages already.  Much of women’s health centers around reproductive health and pregnancy and childbirth, which do not apply to me because of my medical condition which involves nonfunctioning ovaries.  My medical condition (which ONLY affects women) was only briefly mentioned in a sidebar, and I felt it was out of context because it was within a discussion of premature menopause.  “Premature menopause” seems to me to be an inaccurate way to describe a condition wherein the menstrual cycle never even starts, much less pauses prematurely

Our Bodies, Ourselves takes a very liberal approach to women’s health and goes so far as to suggest that women should no be pressured to have their labor induced or to undergo a C-section and should wait it out longer than doctors and hospitals generally allow, it is not that difficult to breastfeed, and that women need access to undergo abortions if they choose and that terminating  a pregnancy is essentially not a big deal.  One of the most interesting parts of the book addressed gender identity and sexual orientation, and in a very open way.  The authors expressed support for the Affordable Care Act and a single-payer healthcare system.  While I am somewhat liberal, I am not quite as liberal as the authors.  I am sure if any one country had found a foolproof method to health care reform that solved all problems, every country would be doing it — but there just isn’t anything out there that doesn’t have its pros and cons.

I agree that women need to be knowledgeable about their bodies and their health.  We need to be able to act as informed consumers of healthcare.   But I’m not sure it should have taken 800 pages — with sidebars — to accomplish this.

In any case, it’s Friday.  And I’m not dealing with any more 800-page monstrosities on a Friday.  I’m going to the gym.

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