Ask the doctor: What are your most pressing health questions?

It has happened more times than I can count: I've been sitting anxiously on the exam table, barebacked in one of those awful and faded hospital gowns, with a list of questions for my doctor rolling over and over through my mind. Then the doctor comes in, asks all the routine questions, kindly covers any concerns, and examines me. Before I know it, the appointment is over, I'm alone in the room and getting dressed again. All those questions? Never asked, never answered.

Sometimes, the questions have been big -- is it time for me to have a mammogram and should I be concerned about this mole? And sometimes, they have been small but nagging -- what's this little thing right here and what is a normal blood pressure? Occasionally, I've called back and left a message or spoken to the nurse practitioner on staff. But more often, these questions just keep rolling around until the next time I wiggle into the gown and up on to the table.

Do you relate? I imagine you do, and that you have your own pressing questions that you haven't felt comfortable asking in person or haven't found a thorough enough answer to online.

Shine readers, we no longer have to let those questions go. We have been offered an extraordinary opportunity to not only get our health questions out in the open but to have them answered by an incredible doctor.

Here's how it will work:

We will ask our women's health questions -- from the tiniest to the terrifying, and everything in between -- here in the comments of this post.

I will gather those questions together and present them in person to a doctor I am very excited for you to meet.

Next week, when women bloggers from across the country gather in Chicago for the annual BlogHer conference, I will be there to meet Dr. Annabelle S. Volgman in her home city. I will interview Dr. Volgman live on Blog Talk Radio, sharing your questions for you and bringing back answers to Shine you need to hear.

You will be able to read which questions were chosen to pose to Dr. Volgman and her responses here on Shine, and will be able to listen to the interview in full.

I am thrilled that Healthy Living will be hosting Dr. Volgman and we will get to share in her expertise here on Shine. I am also thrilled that Shine's active readers will be represented at BlogHer and on Blog Talk Radio.

Now let me introduce you to the illustrious Dr. Volgman:
Dr. Annabelle S. Volgman is associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Dr. Volgman immigrated from the Philipines in her teens. After extensive schooling and many honors from prestigious universities in this country, she is now a cardiology specialist and an active member of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and Heart Rhythm Society. Dr. Volgman is a prominent leader of the Go Red for Women Movement and has received numerous awards, including commendation from the Girls in the Game and Asian American Hall of Fame organizations. She is featured as a Top Doctor in the January 2008 issue of Chicago magazine and featured as one of America's Top Doctors for Women by Women's Health Magazine that same year. Dr. Volgman was featured in O Magazine as Oprah Winfrey's cardiologist.

We are very lucky to have the Dr. Volgman's complete attention for all of those as-yet-unanswered health questions. As a seasoned cardiologist, Dr. Volgman is excited to give us as much heart health information as we need. She is also here to answer your questions about living well, living longer, feeling better, being active, and eating to make sure you are able to do all of those things.

Before the mics are turned on and Dr. Volgman sets her skills and sites on Shine readers, be honest about the health questions rolling around in your mind.

I will even start. I want to ask Dr. Volgman:

How will my struggles to get enough sleep will impact my health over the long-term?

Does the fact that my grandfather had seven (yes, SEVEN) heart attacks put me at risk for cardiac trouble, too?

How much are women in our 30s at risk for having a stroke?

Now, it is your turn. This very cool opportunity is in your hands, so spill the things you're worrying about and wondering in your head.

What questions do you have for the doctor?