This post is the first in a series of posts about my feminine health over the past few months. It is also a reminder to keep on top of your health checks.
Yesterday I sat nervously waiting for my name to be called. I played with my mobile to distract me from the time and from the others sitting in the waiting room. My wifi wasn’t even working but for 20 minutes I kept turning it on and off, searching for open networks. Reading Facebook threads I had already browsed through. Time was slow.
My name was called and the GP apologised for the wait. She also apologised for the fact that I had walked into the room so quickly that she had not looked at my notes yet. Her eyes scanned the previous notes and then she turned to me.
She went over the last appointment where I clarified that I was having unusual vaginal bleeding. She asked if taking the medication had stopped the bleeding. I replied positively that it had. The GP asked me to get ready for my smear. She checked that I was expecting it. I nodded my confirmation and got unchanged. I felt a little sick. A little anxious.
I knew I was having the smear, I had already acknowledged it was a little late. The on and off bleeding had stopped me making an appointment. Time had escaped me and I had made excuses. I should have spoken up about the bleeding before now. I also have an out of date implant in arm. It is a couple of years overdue but I have been dreading having it out so simply hadn’t bothered. Now my hormones and body is confused. It doesn’t know where I am supposed to be in my cycle and neither do I.
As she started the getting me into position I flinched. I felt uncomfortable. I was asked to put my hands into fists and pop them under my bum. The joy of a tilted cervix. I felt vulnerable and exposed. No-one likes a smear or internal exam but when you have an underlying issue it is even worse.
Next, the speculum was inserted and my eyes smarted. I felt pain. The GP asked me how long I had been with my sexual partner. I laughed and said some twenty years. Good, she replied and laughed too!
As she scraped it hurt somewhat. This was different to previous smears. I mean they are never pleasant but they have never been anything more than mildly uncomfortable. However that wasn’t even the end of it, she then explained she needed to examine me further. I almost shot off the bed as she gently examined me. Again she apologised as she could see I was in pain. As she finished and commented that I could get dressed, she vocalised that I was bleeding, that the exam had triggered a bleed. She said that bleeding isn’t uncommon. But it had never happened to me before.
I dressed and sat back down. Immediately the GP told me that half of my cervix was raw, inflamed and tender. I could have told her that after the exam! I kind of knew something wasn’t right. That is why I had made that first appointment two weeks earlier. The GP then told me that she was making an urgent referral to a specialist. I just said, ok and thank you. I heard the words and her actions confirmed what I had thought. Something is not right.
I also have other mild symptoms and niggles. A backache that comes and goes and persistent bloating. Both annoying rather than anything else. I have been training with a personal trainer. I’ve been doing loads of core and yet my stomach has not decreased. Everything else has.
I came home and had a little cry. I am not scared as such, I just don’t want anything beginning with C. Google and my knowledge tells me it is one of two things. I am hopeful it is erosion, which it seems can be sorted relatively easily. The other I don’t want to think about.