Research Results, Including HRT

A national newspaper printed an article today about health care issues, including HRT.   All research must be taken with a grain of salt. I was recruited, years ago, for the Nurses’ Health Study. After filling out their questionnaire, I received a letter informing me that I was ineligible as a participant since I had taken steroids. I have never taken steroids in my life! I didn’t write back because I didn’t have the time (full time working mom, grad student, with two little boys). So now, even though public health is my love, I look at all research with more acute skepticism

As for HRT, I did that for about 5 years, then quit cold turkey because my gynecologist told me she could not in good faith prescribe it anymore. I have a friend who has been “tapering off” HRT for the 3 years I have known her. Tapering off a relatively innocuous drug? I can only suspect that her gynecologist is her age as well, and the looks of skin and hair are more important than the total health picture? Or maybe not? Maybe it doesn’t matter if we do HRT or not?

There is a lot of spurious, and confounding, information in these studies…I am a medical professional, but also a skeptic. I have attended prestigious universities, have worked at prestigious universities. But that doesn’t mean anything. What is important is the integrity of their representatives, their scientists, of their reporting of results of their studies. They need to be honest, not just writing what the public wants to hear.…

Balancing Job Offers

Finally, after a lay off happened to me in October of 2006, my applying and interviewing has paid off, or just about. Looking for work can be harder than working. I have been offered two positions: one with a great salary, a 2 year contract, with NO benefits; the other with a lower salary, with a 1 year contract (open for renewal) with great benefits.

Which one do you think I decided to accept?

 Since last October, I have been one of those Americans with no health insurance, a very precarious and scary place to be, especially as I am getting older. Maybe that would be okay if I was 21 and in my prime. I have no major health problems, am not old enough for medicare, don’t have a spouse whose benefits I can share, and suppose someone decides to run me over as I cross the street? Or shoot me? A real possibility in this city where, from my observation. drivers do not seem to know the rules of the road. (they speed through yield signs, brake going up hill, lose track of the width of lanes, have no clue what to do if two or more cars come to an intersection at the same time) So I liquidate all my assets to pay medical and dental bills, and ask my sons to buy me a shopping cart for Mother’s Day!

 This is an issue to think seriously about in our next presidential election. I have worked as a health professional for 39 years, paid my taxes, paid into social security. It seems like I have a right to a relatively comfortable life, with health insurance. Or don’t we have rights anymore? I might do better moving to a foreign country where there is national health insurance. We are LONG OVERDUE for this here.

 When I was an undergrad student in the 60’s, I had a professor who said that we would have  a national health insurance program by the time we graduated in 1968. What a dreamer…I hope, if she is still teaching, that she has become jaded and doesn’t say this anymore…