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- Iíve Never been so Empowered in my LIFE!!!!!Last Updated: 9/21/2012
That's what my friend said when she called me after having left her CNM's office. We'd recently reconnected after several years of having lost touch. During those years, I graduated from Midwifery School (AAMI) and have spent some time attending women during their births. I spent about 4 yrs in serious study of midwifery and birth which had an emphasis on critical thinking.
Here is my friend, Barbara Q. Lynch with her husband, Tom. We go WAY back, I'm talking 30 YEARS back, and I love her dearly. She was instrumental in my coming to Christ and we spent many days, weeks & years together living, learning, praying, laughing, crying and loving others and each other! (I miss you!!)
After we spent some time getting reacquainted she told me SHE sees a midwife. I'm a little surprised because I know my friend had a hysterectomy over 20yrs ago. I asked her WHY she's seeing a midwife and she said so she can get an annual and an order for a mammogram. I encouraged her to rethink the mammogram and opt instead for breast thermography due to the cancer risk with mammograms and sent her several links. Then I asked her why she has a pap when she doesn't have ovaries, a uterus, or a cervix. She said, "because they said I have to???...they swab SOMETHING!!" I asked her WHY do they have to? What are they looking for, you don't have ovaries do you? "No." says she. So I do a little research and I cannot find what they might be looking for. The information states that if the hysterectomy was for a cancerous condition then repeated pap tests are still recommended. Not all are in agreement with that assessment, some think pelvic exams should be continued anyway and others disagree. But I'm thinking....a pap is a CERVICAL exam....what are they scraping if there is NO CERVIX, the vaginal WALL???
My friend only knows she is doing what has been recommended to her. I encourage her to challenge the status quo. Told her she doesn't NEED an order for thermography, just go GET it.
So she goes to the midwife.
While she's there she learns her OLD midwife has left the office due to
politics, and there is a new one now.
The nurse tells her to get undressed, you know the routine. She says, "no, I don't think so, I'm not
having an exam, I just want to see the midwife." She asks her WHY? Barbara says, "I don't need one, I don't
have anything IN there for you to check."
The nurse is flabbergasted and says, "we NEED to check your
But Barbara says, "I don't HAVE a cervix."
The nurse says, "we need to look inside your vagina!!"
She counters, "NO! I want to see the midwife."
So the speechless nurse leaves the room and in comes the midwife.
Midwife asks, "What's the problem?"
"I want to have breast thermography instead of a mammogram." says Barbara.
She says, "but why?"
"Because there is an increased risk of cancer with the mammograms." replies Barbara.
"But...but....that is not what we recommend." mumbles the midwife.
Barbara considers her and says, "WE??? who is WE????"
The midwife says, "well....WE....WE....WE.. WE recommend mammograms."
"No thank you, I WANT to have thermography."
But the nurse tells her they don't have that in her location.
(REALLY??? I mean REALLY??? St. Augustine is not a third world country, for crying out loud!!)
More mammogram/thermography links:
Then the CNM says, well, "okay here then, please get undressed....."
"Actually, NO, I'm not having a pelvic today."
"Because I don't have anything IN there and I don't NEED you to check me."
The Nurse Midwife parrots back, "BUT, WE NEED TO LOOK INSIDE YOUR VAGINA!!!!..... the recommendations are for a woman your age to have a pelvic and a pap at least every 3 yrs"
Barbara replies...."well, I don't have anything IN there that could GET cancer, but....okay, so it's been 2yrs....maybe in a year, if you can convince me there may be a problem, I may come back and let you look inside my vagina...but for now, I just want my prescription!"
So she wrote her the prescription and sent her on her way. The whole office was speechless and sent her out without charging her.
She says to me, "I've never felt so EMPOWERED in my WHOLE LIFE!!!" and so NOW?? NOW, we're changing the world.....one pelvic (or lack there-of) at a time!!!
NEVERMIND what THEY (or WE) say.....YOU are the boss of YOU!!
(Story told, names & pictures shared with permission, and I may have given emphasis in certain places for dramatic effect:) )
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