Warmest greetings to our fellow Baby Boomer Women! Or should we say,
our HOTTEST greetings, given the temperatures this summer?! (Our very
first piece of advice: do not go anywhere this summer without a bottle
of water. Dehydration can sneak up on you very quickly)

We wanted to take the opportunity in our first column for this
newsletter to introduce ourselves, tell you how excited we are to be
here, and let you in on our philosophies for
maintaining good health and achieving longevity in this wonderful, though challenging, time of our lives.

First, some housekeeping (probably the only kind that I\’m any good
at!). The two of us will be sharing this Medical Column, with one or
the other of us writing it on alternate months. We\’ll always tell you
which of us is writing the column at hand. Although only one of us will
be writing the column, it will represent both of our views on the topic
being covered. Don\’t worry – we\’re not going to get into a “She
said…She said” debate! Though we definitely will share our differing
views. Should you have questions about the topic we just covered, or
suggestions for topics you\’re interested in, please send them to us
through the “Contact Us” page, which is shown as a link on the home
page of NABBW.com. We will try to answer as many of your concerns about
our column as possible.

This month, August 2006, I (JH) am writing the introductory column for
Robin and myself. Most of what you need to know about our backgrounds
can be found in our biographies http://www.nabbw.com/columns/
hornmiller.html Although the one thing not mentioned there, but which
should be obvious, is that we\’re both Baby Boomer Women ourselves and
proud of it. It has always given me such a sense of pride to be a
member of a group of individualistic women, and comfort to be a part of
such a large group (the “safety in numbers” issue). I\’ve always felt
that whatever problem(s) any of us faced – in growing up, starting
families, establishing a career, or expressing ourselves creatively –
we\’d figure it out together. And we have.

Which brings us up to the present and how Robin and I came to write
this column for you. The reason involves that “A” issue which we\’re all
now facing. You know – aging. Or maturing or growing older. A few years
ago, we each began to experience many of the common bodily changes
which happen as the years pass, which led us to talking about them,
which led to our realization that most other BBW must be experiencing
not only what we, personally, were, but also what many of our women
patients were experiencing as well. Since both Robin and I have seen
which therapies and preventive measures do, or do not, work for the
symptoms of these bodily changes over the years, we wanted to talk
about them with you. Put another way, we wanted to start a dialogue
with you, not lecture to you. So that is exactly what we\’ll be doing.
We\’ll be covering what we hope are your medical concerns involving
every organ system in the body – from changes in your vision and
hearing to changes in your bowel habits, all of which occur with the
passage of time. From osteoporosis to osteoarthritis to sexually
transmitted diseases (yes – you still can get those) to heart disease
to diabetes, just to mention a few. In fact, except for the topic of
menopause (which we will not cover since there is a menopause expert
already writing a column for this newsletter), we\’ll be talking about
any and every medical issue which affects us women in midlife,
including how to most effectively deal with the changing health care
environment and how to best use “alternative” medicine therapies, such
as herbs, vitamins, and acupuncture.

Now to our basic philosophies about good health and longevity for women during this time in our lives.

We believe that:
1) The answer to many health problems is simple, inexpensive, and natural.
2) The combination of therapies from “traditional” medicine and “alternative”
medicine to maintain health and treat disease – when done judiciously – may
often yield better results than using one type of therapy alone.
3) Preventive measures are of the utmost importance in maintaining good health –
Rather than only treating illnesses as they occur.
4) Talking and listening to the patient is part of the cure for many illnesses.
5) Each of us needs to know how to engage her health care providers in
meaningful discussions and how to share the responsibility for her
health care with that provider – not an easy thing to do in the current
health care environment.

Again, we\’re so pleased to be here and are looking forward to many
dialogues with you. Stay well and don\’t forget that water bottle this
month!