SMEAR TESTS: MY NIGHTMARE EXPERIENCE

I'm not the most care-free person, I have anxiety, I worry about things, I think too much, sometimes I care too much. So when the letters started piling in and my missed calls were building up, after 6 months of saying to myself "I'll do it next week" I decided to book my smear test. Preparing mentally I watched Youtube video after Youtube video of demonstrations, I looked at pictures, I even saw someone live-vlog their entire experience. After seeing the girl's eyebrows raise as the speculum went in, and not much else, I thought I was just going to experience a wierd sensation inside me. Not much else. So I booked to go at 11am on my day off which was 13th February. I arrived on the last minute, having to circle around a few different car parks as they were all full. Flustered I asked at three desks asking where to go, which desk, which floor etc, and I managed to sit down in the waiting room at 10:59. I'll give it to them, at bang on 11am I got called in, great service (should I have wanted it) but i begrudgingly walked into the nurse's room behind her. She asked me questions about where I live, my age, if everything was normal, to which I answered yes. The nurse was very friendly and did make me feel at ease, telling me things about where she lived which was near me, and showing me a photo of her cute little poodle. She then walked me over to the corner of the room where she showed me the equipment she would be using on me, which were freshly opened and single-use items which was good. The speculum straight away made me feel a little uncomfortable since she opened it very wide to show me just what it did.

I then stood behind a curtain and undressed from the waist down, covering myself with a blue sheet of what felt like a thin paper towel. After coming back in to the area where i was led down on the bed, she lifted the bed up and I put my legs in the position she asked. The procedure felt ok at first, but the further she drove the speculum in the more intense the sharp pain was. I gasped hoping she would be a little more gentle. It was my first smear test after all. It took the nurse about 20 seconds to finish shall we say, the business with the brush. Those 20 seconds of sharp pains felt like a needle similar to the flu jab I had gotten last October, only worse because it was inside my body in a part of myself which I did not want to share with a stranger. With a blinding light shone down below and an awful awful pain inside by body, I have to say, it was honestly a memory I will never forget.

I got dressed after she had finished, one again this was behind a curtain and left after she told me I'd get a letter in two weeks. The second I left the room I burst out crying in the middle of a doctor's surgery. I cried all the way home too. I couldn't understand why literally everyone online says "It will be fine" "It doesn't even hurt" "I'm not embarrassed" "It's nothing". It wasn't nothing to me. Hours later I'm writing this experience while it's still fresh in my memory. I'm still in pain too. It feels like intense period pains coming in waves once or twice an hour for about 15 seconds. My boyfriend said it could be like blood tests - Some you can have and they don't hurt, others hurt like hell. One thing I know for sure is that I am absolutely dreading ever getting one again.

I thought I would share my experience because I honestly feel like after my experience, more people should be talking about the fact that, yes it is important, but no it will not be pleasant. Yes, it can hurt but it doesn't last for very long. I feel like a lot of social media posts about Smear Tests are completely unrelateable. It's not the shyness that made me not want to go, it was the large plastic object that they shove into your downstairs and prize you open with. Sorry to say it like that, but it's the truth and someone's gotta tell it.

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