Our Bodies, Ourselves?
Our Bodies, Ourselves?
I had the best health insurance money could buy back in 1993, but having the best health insurance, I learned, does not necessarily mean the best medical care, at least not to me in my experience. That is why the current debate about providing birth control to women is, at least to me, aside from the constitutional arguments for religious freedom, an invitation for the medical community to further exploit women in health care. The more dependent a woman becomes on the medical system, the more potential for exploitation. Let me explain.
I was abandoned with a partially-treated burst appendix and the only reason was because the first physician I had seen mistakenly gave me a barium enema during the throes of it; while subsequent doctors, aware of the mistake from the first physician (“I do not read x-rays,” they all said), collectively referred to my pain as a “mystery” of science and thus “imagined” by me. “It’s all in your head,” was something I heard more often than not. Would this have happened to a man? Not sure, really. But given the fact that women have more variables to consider in the differential diagnosis of "abdominal pain" than a man, perhaps there are more ways to exploit a woman than a man under our current "collective" medical system, right?
But besides all that, isn’t it true that women go to doctors most often because of “pelvic pain” or some other “female” problem? Never mind. The truth is that to diagnose me would have implicated the first physician in malpractice. It’s that simple.
After seeing over 100 physicians in various capacities (systemic conditions affect every part of your body), I feel a fool to admit that it took me so long to realize how my social security number had become an integral part in physicians' ability to decide whether I would get treatment or not. That it took so many visits to doctors to convince me of this truth is embarrassing to admit. However, to accept this horror as truth was an important first step to my survival, and one that propelled me forward on a path of understanding, not only of my own body and what I needed to do to survive, but also a clearer perspective on medical care in general. After all, think about how much money my health insurance company doled out to the medical establishment during this period – thousands and thousands of dollars.
Face it everybody (men and women), your body is not really your own as much as you think - not anymore! Sure, you can destroy it as much as you want – you’re still free to do that. But as a woman who personally witnessed the exploitation of my body by physicians in medical practice I have learned how easy it might be for you too to reap a wellspring of health care problems in the future. The old adage that “doctors do not judge” came from the idea that was cultivated alongside a time in our country when medical care was competitive, the individual respected, and was thus more personable - that is, if the physician did not want you to look elsewhere. At that time he (or she) knew he/she had to provide good care to stay in business. But that competition is no longer here. We do NOT live in that world any longer.
So what I got to thinking about was how mandating "birth control" is touted as an adjunct to women's health, which then got me to consider how women could be exploited if - aside from avoiding pregnancy - she predisposes herself to diseases that birth control alone cannot prevent. I thought that, maybe, instead of mandating “birth control” in our health policies then, what our government should be promoting is a campaign to engage in healthy emotional relationships with people before engaging in sex. Ideally, marriage and long-term relationships are the best defenses a woman or man can have against medical or sexual exploitation, by either sex partners or physicians. Why? It is easier for the physician to make sense of a particular set of symptoms when couples are in a long-term relationships. Why? Many sexually transmitted diseases are not even symptomatic when first contracted.
Gonorrhea, for example, can be totally symptomless in a woman and sometimes can be so for many years. On the other hand, men usually have symptoms right away. That is because for a woman, from the time the disease is first contracted, and after it ascends into the upper female genital tract, there are no vaginal smears or paps that catch it 100% of the time, and the symptoms that occur many years later are usually the ones that first prompt a woman only then to visit a doctor, which symptoms are not easily attributable to sex any longer. In fact, the differential diagnosis in many arthritic diseases is still Reiter's Syndrome - caused by sexually-transmitted disease - [See http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/reiter-syndrome] which is touted by medical professionals as "difficult to diagnose," meaning that only a physician who knows you personally is in a position to make that "clinical" diagnosis and provide presumptive therapy. If not, you will find yourself chronically ill and on a regime of painkillers and prescriptive drugs for many years to come.
Equally alarming is the fact that syphilis – which our current medical establishment boasts of eliminating – mimics almost every other disease in medical texts (which is why it is dubbed “The Great Imitator”) and - contrary to what is said about it - is more often “missed” in conventional testing than anyone cares to talk about.
And Safe-Sex contraception is still considered to be the condom, but even condoms do not protect partners from parasitical diseases.
Also, did you know that any fetal tissue – even of the smallest degree – left behind in a woman’s uterus after abortion or tubal pregnancy can potentially cause cancer ("choriocarcinoma") many years later, and that getting pregnant might be a good way to prevent this type of cancer from occurring?
Half of all gestational choriocarcinomas start off as molar pregnancies. About one-quarter develop in women who have a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion), intentional abortion, or tubal pregnancy (the fetus develops in the fallopian tube, rather than in the uterus). Another quarter (25%) develop after normal pregnancy and delivery.
So if we really believe we are free to do with our bodies as we want, are we kidding ourselves? Only as individuals do we make intimate choices, not “collectively” as our government wants us to think (so they can control). More insidiously, how can anyone actually believe that in exercising one's freedom through their sexuality they are not forfeiting that freedom when what they exercise merely results in their being enslaved to the "State" in the form of chronic illness and perpetual medical care? (Is any chronically ill person ever "free"?)
No, despite what the liberals say about “sexual freedom” and “choice,” much of what is touted depends on a physician who is your advocate, a physician whose heart is clear of any prejudice and who sees you as the individual you are, one who will entertain the thought that your symptoms could be a result of past choices, which in the past called for presumptive treatment that many physicians functioning “collectively” within a system are reluctant to provide today. Why? In a "collective" medical establishment, it is like a hunter shooting in the dark at an unknown target, which could harm you, they say.
Moreover, please remember, it only takes ONE physician in our system to not like you from which other physicians will follow, which is where we are headed with Obama-Care.
As I said at the outset of this piece, I survived a burst appendix; but as a woman I was treated with hostility from physicians largely due to the fear of reprisal or liability to one for providing me bad medical care. Still, that I am a woman made me think on the issue of "birth control" by mandate. And I did so because I could see that - if doctors could exploit me because of the proximity of my pain - I have no doubt more women will be in for a rough ride down the road if no one speaks about this.
The best way to avoid becoming a chronic patient and slave to our medical system is to keep yourself healthy and independent of it and to keep in mind that your body is never your own once you commit it to others with the expectation of a propogandist's "good will." Your sex life is still the one sphere where only you make choices, and the best way of keeping your privacy and health is to remember that the “collectivist” idea of freedom (and science's expectation you follow the crowd) can be just as shallow and enslaving as the physician who exploits for profit and makes decisions based on the politics of the moment.