Yesterday I had my appointment to transform my pre – menopausal life for the better, by having the hormone coil fitted. Cheaper than having to take hormone tablets 3 times a day for god knows how long, with prescriptions in England costing over £8 per item. However I knew that in order for this free treatment to take place, I would have to lay bare my inhibitions. To be honest, us women have to do this a fair amount in our lifetime, so I was pretty immune to the “embarrassment factor by now. I’m 48 in a few weeks, I’ve had 3 kids. This is all a walk in the park!
So there I am all geared up for, let’s face it, the most intimate of conversations with a GP. A lady one naturally. We all know men can’t find there way anywhere without GPS 😉 😀
Apparently these appointments take around 10 minutes tops. They take their time, make sure you are comfortable.
Yeah, that’s until it’s me
I have a torch being shone at different angles to try and locate the cervix. I already know it’s a tricky bugger to locate as it’s backwards facing. Great for childbirth, pretty crap for smears and other investigations, which means the old fists under the bum trick to hoick it up a bit. After a bit of suddenly there’s a whoop as the cervix has been located. Houston we have made contact 😆
My cervix has other ideas. Sure you can do some measuring, go ahead. But you aint getting that device in. Tweaking, turning, my hands are numb and white from proposing up my bum. We are now 20 minutes in to this simple procedure 😨 I’m really close friends with the GP and nurse. Waaaaay closer than even to my husband.
Houston we have a problem.
As well as being backwards facing, it’s wonky!
At this point I’m the one reassuring a by now very flustered and sweaty GP that it’s OK, let’s keep going cos we will succeed. She suggests calling in reinforcements if I’m ok with that. Sure, more the merrier I joke 😆 I reassure her I genuinely am fine with this, honest. Not the right time to be wisecracking I discover lol.
30 minutes after first dropping my knickers we have successfully completed the procedure. The second lady GP had a right no nonsense approach, and basically told the cervix to just stop mucking about and let us get this over with. It worked 😁 OK so did her slightly different angle of approach internally, which tilted me the right way. But the sighs of relief from all 3 staff was funny. I apologised for being awkward. We laughed about it, we bonded in a strange way only women will understand, over a doctor’s couch and legs akimbo.
I know there will be people who will find this all quite gory and horrific. I know some of them will be women. It was an uncomfortable experience, and yes I feel a bit achy today.
But the reality is that if I don’t subject myself to the “indignity” of smear tests, internal examinations, swabs and now having a coil fitted, I will ultimately subject my body and my family to much worse.
Chemotherapy. Invasive surgery. Radiation treatment. 6 months to live.
I have had to make jokes throughout my pre-menopause. If I for one moment allowed myself to feel embarrassed, humiliated, degraded, I would not have survived the reality of how serious this situation could be. Abnormal cells, if left to their own device, would end up killing me. This is the harsh fact.
We have a great health service in the UK. We women have access to health care thst will prevent loss of life. Please don’t dismiss how bloody lucky we are. Too many women are denied basic health care all across the world. Not just in poor countries, but in the US and other places too were it should be the woman’s basic human right but it is denied by policy makers.
If at any time, as a woman, you feel too embarrassed to go for a smear, or to have something you don’t feel is quite right checked out, please just think how much harder it will be to face up to being told you left it too late and you have days or weeks left to be with your family.
Because for me, that 30 minutes of discomfort was worth experiencing to know I am protecting myself against a possible onset of womb cancer. That it means I will celebrate my 50th birthday in 2 years time, and my 25th wedding anniversary. That I will see my children become parents themselves, and can blow all my money on geek outfits for the grandchildren to come in the future 🙂 To live a long and very happy life.
To all women, wherever you are, I love and cherish you all. Please love and cherish your bodies ❤xxx