There is only one letter that arrives in the post which is less welcome than the credit card statement, and that has to be the Pap Smear reminder.
Argh! Can it really have been two years already since my last cervical scraping?
I popped the reminder into the bin and added ‘make an appointment at the doc’s surgery,’ to my mental to-do list. My memory doesn’t have the best track-record in these cases though, and three weeks had already sped by without me giving the pap smear a second thought, when I came across My Mummy Daze hilarious post ‘Vagina. An Inside Story. Seriously.’
Not only did it give me a good laugh, but it served as a timely reminder to make myself an appointment, and get it over and done with.
Unfortunately, when I called to make an appointment with a female GP I was told that there were no longer any at the practice. Hmmph.
Well, if the saying is right that a male gynaecologist is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car. Then going to see a male GP had to be akin to taking my car to the mechanic’s apprentice who rides a skateboard! No thanks!
I made arrangement to see a female practitioner a little further afield.
This morning, suitable buffed and fluffed, I attended my appointment as arranged. Having learnt the merits of bribing my children, I had made a deal with myself. After the test had been performed, and I had dressed and regained my dignity, I would take myself off to the shops for a spot of guilt-free shopping as a reward.
I must admit, the lady I saw put me at ease instantly. She spoke calmly about the ins and outs, as it were, of the procedure and talked me through each step as she performed it. You would imagine that having a conversation with somebody shining a light up into your nether regions whilst inserting a speculum might be a tad embarrassing, but surprisingly not.
That was of course until she frowned and said thoughtfully “Hmm. I think we may have to reinsert. Your cervix may be tilted slightly.”
Okay. Tilted cervix. That didn’t sound too bad. Since I’m not planning on using it again, and considering it has seen me through three births in very quick succession, I figured it deserved a bit of a lie-down anyway.
However, the reinsertion did not yield the result she was apparently hoping for.
“I might just need to get a different speculum,” she said disappearing behind the green curtain.
Oh no! I winced. By different, did she mean bigger?
She reappeared from behind the curtain. Oh the shame! She did mean bigger!
Noting the horror on my face she calmly explained “After having children the cervix can get a bit saggy. It won’t affect you at all.”
So much for my inner beauty! I might still have pert bosoms, and fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothing, but it seemed I had not escaped child-baring unscathed. I had a saggy cervix!
“With this speculum I can get a better look at the cervix without the extra skin getting in the way.”
Extra skin? Stop, already! I get it! I have a f’ugly cervix!
“You may find that next time you come it could all be fine, and we’ll be able to get it first time with the other speculum.”
Oh hallelujah! Apparently there is light at the end of my tunnel after all!
As, I dressed myself after the procedure, I lamented the lost beauty of my cervix. But, I consoled my bruised ego, it is a small price to pay for my three beautiful children.
And as for the discomfort and humiliation of having a pap smear, far better to have a healthy, butt-ugly cervix any day!
Are you up to date with your pap smear test?