Sunday, July 18, 2004


JULY 18,2004
Yesterday I was in one of these pissy/depressed/don’t f#!* with me kind of moods.   This was mostly induced by my frustration with being unable to download the stuff I needed to connect to my new ISP.  Of course they’re not my new ISP yet, since I can’t connect.  Except I guess I started paying for it yesterday.  Don’t get me started.
I received a welcome email from the company, Tiscali, after Cristina ( was kind enough to walk me through the registration screens.  I was unable to download the program at that time because the internet was so slow, and when I tried to complete the process via the link provided in the email, a strange thing happened.
The directions said to click on the button, then when the dialog box appeared on the screen, click “open”.  The dialog box is the small gray box that pops up in the middle of your screen whenever you are downloading something.  Except that for me, when I clicked the button, the gray box appeared for ONE SECOND! Then disappeared!!!!  After repeated tries, unblocking Tiscali’s cookies from being downloaded, turning off my “pop-ups” blocker from MSN, even waiting patiently for something to happen, I was ready to scream!!!  Why can’t anything with computers be simple and easy for the AVERAGE person to understand!???!!!!
So anyway, despite the best efforts of Welbutrin, I was just in one of those moods.  I don’t know if I can blame this sort of things on hormones any more or not.  I was never one of those regularly scheduled mood swing women…luckily for Art.  Several years ago I had a hysterectomy, so although my ovaries remain, I have no physical proof that they still function, or at least function in a pre-menopausal mode. 
This brings up an interesting story about my former gynecologist.   His name was Doug Peeno.  Some of you may remember his wife…I think her name is Linda, but anyway, there was a movie (made for TV I think) that was made about her.  She was a nurse who worked for Humana at one time.  I probably don’t need to tell you what heartless bastards THEY are…but let’s not single them out….I would go so far as to include ALL insurance companies in the heartless bastard category.  But I digress (as usual).
After years of working for Humana, being forced to deny services that she thought were justified and needed, Linda Peeno finally quit, and she now works as a consultant and expert for people who are suing their insurance companies over services denied.  Nothing like having an “insider” on your side.  Although I never met her, I admire what she’s doing.  My feelings about her husband are quite different.  (And even more so after seeing the movie, where his philandering ways were exposed to the world.  The Peeno’s are now divorced….big surprise)
Dr Peeno was my gynecologist when I needed to have bladder surgery a few years back.  I had switched to him because Dr. Zegart, one of the other doctors in the practice had ZERO personality, and really, when you just see these people once a year with your feet in stirrups, it’s nice to at least have someone who can (attempt) to make you relax and feel comfortable.
So I needed to have this bladder surgery. And in order to make the surgery most effective, my uterus would need to be removed.  Since I wasn’t planning on using it anymore, I had no problem with that.  What I DID have a problem with was what Dr Peeno suggested next:  that I have a complete hysterectomy!!!  He said that most “ladies” (his term for women, and I always just HATED IT!) chose to have this done.  I looked at him in disbelief! 
I asked him WHY other women would do this…what could be the reason, the point?  He said it made them feel “safer” in general, but even if you are having your uterus removed because of cancer, there is NO connection between uterine cancer and ovarian cancer, at least as far as I know. 
Natural menopause can be a bitch for many women.  True, some women go through it without even noticing.  Their periods taper off gradually. Or for some of the lucky ones, just stop one day and it’s over.  Other women of course suffer through night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings.  These symptoms can go on for years!  It’s always been my contention that if MEN went through the same types of things, the problem would have been solved eons ago. 
Anyway, menopause is certainly a natural occurrence.  Yes, it can be uncomfortable, and there can be unpleasant side affects.  Luckily for us, we live in an age where many of these post-menopausal symptoms can be alleviated, although those options have shrunk due to studies linking hormones to increased cancer risks.  But the point is that menopause something that our bodies do naturally, gradually.  To forcibly rip out two perfectly good ovaries and force your body into an UNNATURAL and premature menopause would be crazy, stupid, and completely unjustified.  (THIS would be the type of thing the insurance company should reject, not a liver transplant!)   For any man who might still be reading this (I can’t imagine THAT!), let me just say that the ovaries are where the majority of a woman’s hormones are produced…the hormones that make us curvy and less hairy than men.  And the hormones that fuel our sex drive….things you don’t want to mess with!)
Now I understand the concept of preventative medicine, and know that some women with a family history of breast cancer choose to have one or both breasts removed while they are still healthy.  Or a woman might choose to have BOTH breasts removed when only one is (currently) affected.  I can understand this choice, although it must be difficult.
But, to get back to my original point…. To have a doctor suggest a procedure that is medically unnecessary and will cause problems where there were none before, all because some misguided, uniformed, and probably scared woman suggests it, is just beyond my comprehension!  I told him that I felt it was his JOB to EDUCATE these women.  To follow the doctors’ creed…”First, do no harm”.  Isn’t forcing a woman to endure the misery of an unnatural, forced menopause considered doing harm? And if not, why is that????
So, this is why Dr Peeno is no longer my gynecologist.  At least I was lucky enough to have just enough knowledge to save me from his incompetence.  And while we’re on the topic of incompetent gynecologists, let me just mention that my daughter was extremely lucky to escape the incompetence of her obstetrician…what was his name?  I know that it started with a “K”, (Kirtley? Kirkley?) and that he was her doctor twelve years ago when she was pregnant.  And also that he was an arrogant bastard (in my opinion), but more to the point, he was also found guilty of misdiagnosing breast cancer, and that at least one woman died as a result of his ineptitude.  When I'm sure of his name, I’ll come back and add it, just in case he’s still practicing….which is an all too common occurrence in these situations.
That whole doctor/God syndrome is ridiculous, but is fed by way too many patients who just accept their doctor’s words as gospel.  I strongly feel that we should educate ourselves, and at least have some idea of WHAT medications we’re taking, and why, of what options are available to us.   I guess one of my favorite sayings is “the Lord helps him who helps himself”.  You have a brain…use it!  Don’t let others determine your fate, whether that means what medicine you take, what surgery you have, or what car you drive! 
And although you might not believe it, I’m in a better mood today! 


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