I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Healthgrades. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Healthgrades Women’s Health Report 2013
According to Healthgrades, as women we need to “lean in” when we are making health decisions. I agree with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, on this one. She wrote a book that really popularized this idea to “lean in” when making health care decisions to get the best results.
Rather than proceeding blindly and assuming healthcare is equal, women should take action, ask questions, investigate options, and challenge the health system to provide them the best care possible. (Healthgrades Women Report 2013)
Being a woman who has always had to frequent physicians on a regular basis including many specialists I know just how important it is to take action and research exactly what options are available to you. The report evaluates clinical outcomes for women not only in the female-specific specialties of maternity care and gynecological surgery, but also in orthopedic, cardiovascular, and critical care.
I was thrilled to see that in their study outside of maternity care and gynecological surgery they also studied the top 15 common hospital-based conditions and procedures. In the second half of the report they list the top hospitals in all 50 states that excel in the care of women with these procedures. Michigan has quite a high number of high rated hospitals. It appeared like it is in the top 5 states with the most high rated hospitals.
One of the Complications-Based Procedures that was included in this study happens to be for a procedure that doctors have been telling me for years to have done. Back and Neck Surgery both fusion and everything expect for fusions.
You can see my last back x-ray that was taken in 2006 of the kyphotic curve in my spine. You don’t need to be a doctor to realize that a curve like this isn’t normal. The average spinal curve for the thoracic spine (upper spine) is about 30 degrees whereas you can see that my spine about 7 years ago was at 95.3 degrees. From what I have been told just from physical exams my spine has curved even more since then. This could be because of a bunch of different reasons.
This second picture is just to give you an idea of what they are looking to do with my spine. This is an example of a 40-year-old woman who has a 120 degree curve of the thoracic spine. This woman had a successful surgery with two rods and screws surgically implanted to each vertebrae. She was brought back to a neutral curvature of the spine.
The reason that I have not gotten the surgery yet is (1) because it is very expensive and I do not have the money to fund it and (2) there is the fact that the woman’s physique is so different from the male physique that I am worried there could be simple complications from someone over looking that fact.
The differences between men and women span everything from the composition of bone matter and the experience of pain, to the metabolism of certain drugs and the rate of neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain.
Yet many women do not know that they are more vulnerable to some diseases, may have different symptoms, or react differently to some medications. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors and hospitals don’t recognize those differences either. (Healthgrades Report 2013)
I find it very important to understand the unique health risks that women have so as to prevent complications from occurring and help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations from also occurring. I have seen on a couple of instances in my life when female friends ended up back in the hospital because of complications that could have been preventing. Most turned out fine, but there was one person I can think of where it resulted in her death.
Please be educated and “lean in”: take action, ask questions, investigate your options, and change the health care system.
I encourage you to download Healthgrades 2013 Women’s Health Report: “Lean In” When Making Healthcare Decisions to Get Your Best Outcome and use it as you make decisions on your family’s health providers. This report evaluates the quality of healthcare for women in American hospitals and recognizes top-performing hospitals throughout the country for their achievement in addressing a variety of women’s health issues.