Twenty five years ago I found myself – two weeks from my wedding day – in the emergency room needing surgery because a dermoid cyst had strangled one of my ovaries. Ten months later my appendix ruptured and sent me back into emergency surgery. The next several years were a blur of internal exams, cryosurgeries and hemorrhaging that finally resulted in a full hysterectomy in January 2001. During this time I also gave birth to my two daughters.
I’ve learned a little bit about women’s health through my own experiences. For me, it sort of just happened and I took each new health issue in stride.
Now, I think I am a very healthy and lucky woman. I turned 51 in February – my daughter said it’s just the beginning of my second half, and I hope she’s right. Most of the health-related issues that I have had would have killed my mother in her time. Many of the things that happened to me will never happen to my daughters – or theirs – due to huge strides in the health-care field, as well as a dramatically increased level of awareness.
In this issue of Maine Women, we are looking at women’s health issues through the decades. We start with women in their 20s and take a look at the important screenings, tests, and preventative measures that all women can take at every stage of their lives. We are thrilled to have Diane Atwood as our guest editor. You may remember Diane from her years as a health reporter on WCSH-TV or know her from her work with Mercy Hospital. Today, Diane is using her wealth of knowledge as a freelance medical writer and she also has a blog called Catching Health, www.dianeatwood.com/catchinghealth. She provided us with some great information on health screenings, immunizations and health tips for all the decades we’ve covered.
Take some time to take care of yourself, and as always, we welcome your stories, comments and opinions.
— Lee Hews, Publisher