Monday, January 21, 2008

Reflections from the couch

Hey, I'm feeling better! I spent a few hours on the couch, and the cat curled up with me, and everything seems to have settled down. I still haven't eaten anything yet, but I don't want to push my luck!

I was watching the Food Network, and while the shows were enjoyable, I found some of the commercials quite interesting. One really bothered me, and made me think of an even more questionable drug.

The commercial was for Yaz, which is a new type of birth control pill, using alternative hormones. It claims that this pill can alleviate emotional and physical premenstrual symptoms, as well as the problem of acne. The whole marketing thing bothers me...what, we're not supposed to ever feel any physical discomfort EVER in our lives? It's cramps, people, and most women have them. I don't enjoy 'em, either, but 4 Advil and I'm good to go--and I usually only have to take one dose of that. I don't want to be too dismissive, because I know that there are women who have much more severe symptoms than I do. I can see how if it were that bad for you, you'd want to try something that would help. The name of the pill bugs me, too: Yaz. It sounds so cutesy and fun, and it seems to me that they're targeting a particular age group.

That one isn't that big of a deal to me, but I've recently read about another new pill, Lybrel, which doesn't have the placebo pills at all (which is when you have your period). You just take the real deal all along...and never have a period. I'm not sure this is a good thing. Your hormonal exposure is several weeks longer, and do we really want to be screwing around that much with our hormones? The effects of hormone therapy on breast cancer is still way too unknown for me, with conflicting reports coming out seemingly every week. I also realize that menopausal symptoms can be very severe, and that hormone replacement therapy is a necessity for some. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, but my goal is to avoid them if I can. My Mom weathered it well and didn't have to take anything, so the odds are in my favor. The other thing about this that concerns me--and it's stated on the Lybrel web site--is that because you no longer have a period, you may not realize that you are pregnant. But Beth, if you're on the pill, you won't get pregnant! Uh-huh. Ask one lady I know...and her three children.

From everything I've read, taking the pill when you're pregnant because you don't know you're pregnant can have adverse affects on the baby. Most docs recommend that you stop oral contraceptives a few months before you try to become pregnant.

I believe in taking medication when it's necessary, and I certainly have no problem taking Advil when I need to (although I've cut way down on that, too). But I feel we still know so little about how things can affect us, and hormones are one of the more unknown entities. Look at it this way: the stuff that some baseball players and other athletes have been taking are hormones. Do YOU want to look like Barry Bonds? I know I don't! I just think we need to be a little more careful with what kinds of medications we take.

Oh a lighter note, have you ever heard of that game "Would You Rather?" by Zobmondo? I got that for Shane for Christmas a couple of years ago, and they have a web site with some interesting sample questions. It's mostly a way to generate some interesting discussions, and believe me, there are some real dilemmas! Here's a sample, and it's a disgusting one:

Would you rather...?

Immerse your naked body in a bathtub of cockroaches
dive naked head first into a pool of chewing tobacco spit?

I told you it was disgusting! I really had to think about this one for a bit. At first, I thought that I couldn't dive into the chewing tobacco spit because of the exposure to bacteria and viruses. But the alternative is cockroaches, and I think I would go out of my mind if I had cockroaches crawling all over me. (I did note that they didn't specify live or dead cockroaches, but I will assume live ones--dead cockroaches would be easy.) So I thought about the pool of chewing tobacco spit a little bit more, and it seems to me that chewing tobacco would pretty much kill any bacteria and viruses present in the spit.

So I guess I'd have to choose the spit.

I'll just have to hope that I'm never faced with that choice for real. Ha ha!


jimsulliv3 said...

I waded about half deep into your entry when I realized I had gotten on the wrong bus. Well, since I'm here, I don't like the name Yaz either.

I remember meeting a young lady at a social function and I invited her to my apartment for drinks. She declined, saying she was on her menstrual cycle. I told her that was fine, I was on my Harley and I meet her there.


P.S. I hate cockroaches too !

luvrte66 said...

Ha, Jimmy! Sorry, maybe I should've put up a disclaimer first!


queeniemart said...

Good Lord.
Just thinking about the cockroaches and then the spit makes my tummy hurt.
I was on YAZ in 2006...i have severe up on it, it is a real ailment....but i am poor and did not stay on YAZ....i was on it due to serious depression....i went in telling the doc, female, that i HAD to have a generic pill to be able to afford to STAY on that pill and she gave me some $70 per month name brand thing. The 2 months i was on it, with the free pkgs she gave me, it DID help my moods and cramps and all of that, but i could not stay on it. My periods were not any less severe. I just did not want to jump off a building then.
i am so glad you are feeling better!

shrbrisc said...

now ugh I think I would pass on both but definately the roaches eww

rdautumnsage said...

Depends on what kind of roaches they are. If they are the Madagascar (sp) hissing roaches they actually wear them as jewelry (yes, live ones). Then you have another type of roach that bites believe it or not. I hate roaches, especially flying roaches (I used to live in Fla.) but given the alternative. You can brush the roaches off you afterwards, your covered and slimed with the tobacco spit.....(Hugs) Indigo

luvrte66 said...

Wow, good point, Indigo. See? That's what is fun about that game, and these kinds of have to talk about why or why not you choose the way you do. I'll put up another one tomorrow!


luvrte66 said...

Oh, Lisa, I don't doubt for a moment that PMS can be very severe--I've read a bit about it. I hope you were able to find some relief. If it's depression, are there other medications you could consider? I hope you continue to discuss things with your doctor.