When I interview people for writing assignments, I get totally engrossed. Recently, I’ve been interviewing a bunch of doctors about their research in women’s health. And it is FASCINATING.
They’ll be casually talking about their findings, and I can’t help but interrupt them–”You discovered WHAT? Are you sure? That’s incredible.”
If I’m talking to, say, an artist about her work, this line of questioning is usually met with shared enthusiasm. We both get to gush for a few minutes. But the sciency folks always seem taken aback. They stutter a minute, then concur. Yes. It is in fact interesting to learn that there is something different in the actual skin of pregnant ladies that causes adhesive patches not to stick.
Or, that we’ve been giving methadone to pregnant women without understanding what the appropriate dose should be for a pregnant person because nobody has ever tested the pharmacology of medications for pregnant patients.
Yesterday, I was interviewing a team of midwives in the birth center here in Pittsburgh. There was some confusion upon seeing me in the lobby, because I’m largely pregnant and they thought maybe I made a mistake and showed up for some prenatal care. But then we started talking about how they hold drop-in well-woman visits on Fridays for women who can’t make scheduled appointments for one reason or another…and once a month they offer these appointments entirely in Spanish. I just can’t help myself when I learn about such awesome programming.
I spend so much of my day thinking that the world is not designed to support a woman who is home alone with young children. And here are a group of women thinking about these barriers to women getting medical care, talking about how if they can capture women and help improve their health, it improves the health of their entire extended families. These aren’t just PAP smears, these are comprehensive explorations of the women’s health, while their kids climb around right there and nobody judges them.
I’ll tell you. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain objectivity as a writer.