So, I know this sort of topic won’t be something everyone wants to read about, men mainly-that’s who I mean. But personally as a woman, as I have to go through it, I decided to blog about it! Apologies in advance though if it’s not to anyone’s liking.
Yesterday I had the dreaded Drs appointment most women dread-the Smear test. Or as some people (mainly my husband) call it, “The Lady Bits Test”.
Before I continue, I would NEVER miss a smear. I know of and read about so many women who missed theirs and ended up with varying complications, some affecting or ending their lives because of abnormal cells not being picked up. I would never risk putting myself through that, especially now I have my babies, but even before they came along.
Smear tests save lives. Statistics show that the earlier abnormal cells are spotted the quicker treatment can be given to help, therefore attempting to prevent serious illness. DON’T SKIP YOUR SMEAR!
Anyway! I’ve known the appointment was yesterday for a few weeks, but it hadn’t played on my mind, until approximately 5 minutes before I was due to leave for the doctors.
Thoughts running through my head included;
- I’ve been swimming, does that affect anything?!
- God I hope this doesn’t hurt!
- It didn’t hurt the last few times. It won’t hurt this time, surely?!
- What if this time it hurts because it’s a new nurse!
- I hope it’s a female nurse!
- What if they ask me when I get to reception what I’m in for and I have to say SMEAR in front of all the other patients?!
And so on!
Upon arriving at the doctors, I don’t thankfully, have to tell the receptionist what I’m there for, she just explained where I needed to go (I do think I saw a faint look of sympathy towards me on her face though).
I go to the waiting area and find myself scanning the room to see who I’m waiting with. Thoughts then processing are;
- I wonder if all these women are here for the same thing as me?
- I wonder if they’re thinking that about me?
- I hope no one walks in while I’m half naked!
- Please be a woman nurse, please be a woman nurse!
Out of the door marked “Treatments”, comes a lovely looking nurse, who calls my name and, when I get to her, tells me to, “come this way lovey”.
I start making small talk about germs in the waiting room, (best conversation maker award goes to me!) and follow her into her room.
After checking my details are correct she asks me to step behind the curtain, to remove my lower half of clothes, and to cover myself with the paper she’s left out (and folded over like I’m getting into a bed with a duvet I might add).
She then proceeds to explain through the curtain how she’s going to lock all the doors (thank the lord!)
So there I am, half naked covered with a paper towel, and she wheels her trolley of equipment over (which is also covered with a similar paper towel-cue me asking why it’s covered? Apparently because some women get panicky seeing the “tools”).
I immediately “assume the position” and she quips that I’ve “clearly done this before”. (I really hope she meant the smear!)
She explains about feeling pressure and scratching, THEN tells me to relax, before starting the ‘job in hand’.
Now, I don’t know about you ladies out there. But this is where I have an issue.
She wants me to relax. She wants me to breathe calmly while she’s doing the test. So WHY does she insist on asking me questions and getting me to chat!?!
She started by asking me my children’s ages. Right, firstly my dear, right now I can’t remember my children’s names, let alone their ages!
Then when I had managed to continue breathing calmly, whilst relaxing and answering her with the children’s ages she then says, “oh that’s nice, and how olds your eldest?” A question I’d just answered! I’m not being funny, but repeating the same answer is going to make me think you’re not actually bothered about the questions your asking me, and that will make me more tense!
Finally the ordeal (yes ordeal!) is over. I’m clearly so excited by that fact I sit bolt upright, forgetting I have no clothes on from the waist down.
Quickly, resolving the issue, I’m thinking “brilliant I’ve done it-I’ve got through another one”. She breaks my thoughts with her, what I like to call, ‘conversation ender’, and says, “that was a bad one, you’ll have some pain there for a while”.
Well if I didn’t have pain before, you’ve just made my brain think there is now!
She ran through when I’d get the results, and what happens in every eventuality, then said I’d “done very well”, to which I replied “thank you” more than once (thank you for……?) and sped out of the door quicker than you could say “swab”.
So now I await the results! And in the hope they’re all fine, I don’t have another unpleasant experience like that for another 3 years!
As I said before, I joke and make light of what happened to me during my Smear test, but they’re SO important to women’s health-please don’t risk your life by missing one.
(But also, remember to breathe calmly, relax, and most importantly, answer any detailed questions the nurse asks you-while she’s no where near your face and probably doesn’t care about the answers).