I’m not talking about election results, nor about the Academy Awards. A few weeks ago I promised to give you an update on medical tests once received. But before I spill those beans, a lot of people have asked what I think about yesterday’s “A Day Without a Woman.”
First, I believe in women and their inherent attributes to multi-task, intelligence, goal setting, caregiving and ability to nurture. Women are blessed with the ability to reproduce and care for the most vulnerable.
Yesterday was designated “A Day Without a Woman.” Organizers encouraged women to take the day off work, shop exclusively at “small, women- and minority-owned businesses,” and wear red “in solidarity.” The emphasis was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day. Some women showed their solidarity by refusing to smile. Some schools closed in Washington, DC, and Alexandria, Virginia (which I believe hurt many women who had little choice in childcare). Some restaurants shrunk their menus as women went on strike.
I believe in the value that women of all backgrounds add to our socioeconomic system. I support equal pay, non-discrimination, and fighting against sexual harassment. “A Day Without a Woman” was organized by the same people who created the Women’s March on Washington last January in support of abortion and other women’s “rights.” I stated then and I’ll state now that the march/strike/movement is more about their dispute with the president’s policies and women’s reproductive rights than anything else. I don’t support a woman’s “right” to end another life out of convenience, but I will not judge that woman since the law of the land for the last forty years has allowed this practice.
I disagree with the organizers on a lot of moral issues, but I agree with them that the value of women in our culture cannot be overstated. As a staunch pro-life supporter, I grieve over the huge number of baby girls lost to abortion without an opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Women hold 53% of the American workforce. More than three-quarters of our public school teachers would not be in the classroom. Eighty-five percent of our nation’s obstetricians, 75 percent of our pediatricians, 57 percent of our psychiatrists, and 58 percent of our family doctors would no longer see patients. Thirty-six million volunteers would no longer volunteer.
Unfortunately, despite women’s value, women comprise only 4.6 percent of S&P 500 CEO positions and only 16.9% of Fortune 500 board seats. I could go on, but Harvard Business School reports that organizations with women in leadership generate greater profits. We’ve come a long way, baby, but there’s still a ways to go.
So that’s my op-ed for the day. Now to the “results.” This week I received all the medical test results from my physician. He confirmed I was “maturing” (I hate it when doctors say that, but I guess it’s easier to digest than hearing “you’re getting old”). I have osteoarthritis in major joints. However, the big diagnosis was Ankylosing Spondylitis (“AS”), an autoimmune inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and lower back. This results in constant pain and stiffness, pain in ligaments and tendons, and may lead to abnormal joining of bones (“bony fusion”) affecting bones of the neck, back, or hips, or possibly fusion of the ribs to the spine or breastbone limiting ability to take a deep breath. It was confirmed by blood tests and MRI’s.
This is a genetic condition (thanks Dad) currently without a cure. However, there are new drugs (biologics) available to calm the symptoms. Until a treatment plan is developed, I’m on quite a few medications. There’s pros and cons to each of the drugs that my doctor and I will be weighing until the final course of treatment is determined.
Your continued prayers are appreciated as I start this latest journey.
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.