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It's me, the ghost moderator. 

I'm getting a pap smear tomorrow. I'm almost 30 and have never had one. I have a BRCA mutation of unknown significance and I skipped the HPV vaccine due to being an ignorant teenager. So I need to do it. The problem is that it's the perfect culmination of all my triggers, the sexual abuse, medical trauma AND the best place for me to go is the closest shopping centre to where my ex-partner (for whom I have an AVO protecting me from) lives. 

I visited the clinic and had the doctor talk me through the procedure. I've written a letter explaining my trauma history and asking her to tell me everything she is doing and to let me dissociate during it and help me ground afterwards. 

I'm still panicking. I called the SA crisis line and that helped a little. I have a number so I can leave a message tomorrow and they will call me back within a few hours. 

What else helps you? 

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I had my first pelvic exam at 37.  About a year ago.  I had a painful sore on my vulva that I was worried about, which turned out to be nothing.  I had my fiancée with me, and he hugged me the whole time, telling me it would be ok.  I gave the doc a written explanation of why I was so scared.  She was gentle.  It didn't hurt.  She told me she was so sorry for what I'd been through.  I was cleared of any STDs and told I don't have to have another exam for 5 years.

To be honest, I cried the whole time, but I got through it.  And I was so damn proud of myself!  You will get though it, too, and you will be proud!  I'm sending good thoughts your way.

h

Edited by shimmeree

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Thanks. Well done for getting through it, I’m glad you had somebody supportive.

My husband was very supportive for all my other medical procedures and that got me through them. Unfortunately he was abusive in other ways to the point I feared for my life 4 months ago and he assaulted police and the police approached me to apply for an AVO. 

That’s why it’s so shit, because there’s new trauma on top of the old.

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14 hours ago, bluelikejazz said:

I visited the clinic and had the doctor talk me through the procedure. I've written a letter explaining my trauma history and asking her to tell me everything she is doing and to let me dissociate during it and help me ground afterwards.

Engaging the doctor as you have done, and reminding her when she does the procedure of how sensitive you are, sound like really good preparation. I neglected to prepare myself or my doctor when I had a cystoscopy, and so I nearly couldn't go through with it. I lucked out in having a doctor who was really really helpful talking me through the thing and I did get through it. One thing I wish I had done before hand was take a Xanax: they wouldn't let me take it when I got there because I was driving myself (even though I can drive perfectly well on Xanax). 

Best of luck. 
--YAF

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Well, I got through it. I was very dissociated and I cried through it but the doctor was nice. The sensation of having something in me was horrible. I felt so ashamed and dirty and violated. I was in a busy area and I felt scared that any man nearby might hurt me.

I paid extra to have the HPV test, so I don’t have to get another one for 5 years.

ive taken a lot of benzo’s and that has helped. I feel like an adult again.

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Yay for you!!!  I'm so sorry for how you felt during.  Please know you can be proud of facing the exam.  I'm totally proud of you!

 

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