Having spoken to a few of my classmates today regarding their own clinical experiences, I am at least somewhat relieved to hear that mine was not unique. We spent a good long while comparing our experiences on the subway home today, and complaining about the crappy speculums at the clinic, and the lack of cytobrooms (they only had cytobrushes and spatulas to collect specimens with, and we were taught that you use a broom for a thin prep pap), and tissues, and a goose-neck lamp in one of the rooms, and reminding each other that next time will be much better. And it will be. For now, it’s just nice to know that we’re all in this together, and that I may not actually have the worst speculum technique in the world (or, at least, their technique is just as bad). I feel so much better.
Today’s random factoid: did you know that cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer of women in this country, period? Did you know that 1 out of 2 (let me repeat that for you: ONE out of TWO) women will die of cardiovascular disease?? Also, because women don’t often present with classic heart attack signs (such as chest pain and pain radiating to the left shoulder), women actually die from heart attacks much more frequently than men do. True, men might get them more often, but many of their heart attacks are caught in time because everyone knows what the “classic” heart attack symptoms are, and knows what to do for them. Women, on the other hand, will present with indigestion instead of crushing heart pain, and pain that radiates to their jaw rather than their arm, so they end up going to their dentist and getting diagnosed w/ Tempo-mandibular joint pain, when really they’re having a heart attack! It doesn’t help that most of the studies are done on men, so the “classic” signs for a woman are rather underemphasized at the moment, if they’re even recognized in the first place. Where are the subway ads telling women what to do if they feel radiating jaw pain? Yeah, I thought so.
Anyway, feminist food for thought. I’m off to go cook some food of another sort.