Get your Pap Smears, Ladies!

Posted March 30th, 2012 by Stacy Kravitz in Health

When was YOUR last pap smear?!

After a brief debate whether or not this was a publicly sharable topic or TMI, I decided it was absolutely TMI and therefore I absolutely had to share as a simple reminder to NOT neglect your health, ladies.

We are all super busy, we all could get more sleep, more exercise and more spinach each day but you know, sometimes you just have to prioritize.  And you health is at the top of the list.  For example, I eat all my lunches on a bed of wilted spinach with lemon juice and olive oil.  In the same way, I make time for the annual inspection of my girlie bits.  No one likes it, but let’s face it, it’s not that bad, it’s over quickly and the pros of having knowledge and peace of mind that your body is healthy absolutely outweigh ant potential embarrassment.

I was only about six months overdue for my pap smear in December when after a very routine exam I got a call from my doctor explaining that my pap smear had shown dysplastic (abnormal, precancerous) cells and they wanted to do a colposcopy in the office as soon as possible. I went in on my son’s birthday and it was totally uneventful, except for the annoying few weeks of pesky discharge, which, sadly, is normal. Blech!

The colposcopy confirmed what the Pap Smear had detected and I was scheduled for a LEEP.

I went to the hospital before sunrise last Saturday morning, checked in, got my IV, and got rolled away to a very cold and very sterile room with more people than I usually prefer to see when someone is to be working inside my vagina. The only thing I remember is that the room was cold, they folded my pillow for comfort and started to put the blood pressure cuff on my arm, next thing I knew someone was saying my name and I was back in my room and very sleepy.  I saw Marc, and then I dozed off.  I sipped some ginger ale, munched a graham cracker and dozed off.  I opened my eyes, and then dozed off.  And then I went home.

I didn’t even feel, um, … violated. I slept on and off for the rest of the day and took it easy for a few days.  Technically, I am still on pelvic rest; no exercise, no lifting, no hanky-panky until Dr. T gives me the thumbs up next Monday.

I gotta tell you, regrowing a cervix is hard work.  I’m tired, more than usual even.  The worst part is that I have to take it easy, no running, no exercising.  I had little to no pain, a few twinges of cramps that were very mild, like, less severe than a good period.  All of this fuss to remove some small area of abnormal cells that may or may not in like, a decade, become cervical caner.  I’m glad the dysplastic cells were found, I’m glad I opted for the more aggressive of my options, waiting to see if dysplastic cells disappear on their own is an option but not one suitable for me.  I know that I am clear of abnormal cells on my cervix and I can put the welcome mat back out, so to speak, just as soon as I get the thumbs up from my doctor.

Don’t put off your gynecological exam, it’s not worth it.  No matter how busy you are, your family would be much worse off without you at all, get your yearly physicals, get your clean bill of health and show your family that you love them by taking care of yourself.

To read more about HPV, what is believed to be the most common cause of cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia, and the available vaccines to prevent HPV infection,  click here. 

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Stacy spends her days wrangling and taxiing two children around town, unless of course she is on “pelvic rest” while regenerating her cervix, and then of course,  she writes about it.  She chronicles only the most pleasant of dinner-table topics at The Fabulous Miss S. 

 

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