There is nothing more wonderful about being a female human being than the joyous occasion of the smear test.
Yes. I’m being sarcastic.
A smear test: when your vagina is winched open and your cervix is swabbed. YAY! Fun for all.
GUILTY FACE. I was long overdue a smear. Hadn’t had one in AAAAAAGES. Thought I should probably have one done. They’re important. THEY MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN PUNCHED IN THE VULVA, but they’re important.
This is what I worried about prior to the actual smear test:
- what if my undercarriage smells?
- what if I guff in the doctor’s face by accident?
- what if the doctor loses a speculum up there?
- what if the doctor finds a colony of womb spiders?
- what if the doctor recoils in horror at the sight of my untamed muff?
- what if the doctor refuses to administer the smear test on the grounds of a cruel and unusual vaginal display?
- my vagina’s OK, right?
- I mean, it FEELS OK. I haven’t actually looked properly in a while. I’m assuming it’s OK. DOES MY VAGINA LOOK OK?
- oh my GOD what if my vagina doesn’t look like a vagina any more?
- would the doctor even say if my vagina didn’t look OK?
- or would they just secretly add it to a list of Odd Vaginas and post it on the internet?
- should I google Odd Vaginas, just in case?
I’m pretty sure the doctor has seen A LOT of vaginas in her line of work. She kind of had the face of someone who’d seen A HECK OF A LOT of vaginas. And not in a good way.
She was quite curmudgeonly. I felt sorry for her, but then felt annoyed, because I wanted someone chirpy and bright and POSITIVE to bring me out of my worried funk. Someone to put me at ease. Not a ‘oh fuck, here’s another vagina’-faced doctor. I should have had a ‘YAY VAGINA!’ doctor. All gynaecological doctors should come with a YAY VAGINA! qualification.
But I’m being unfair. She was good at the smeary stuff. If ‘good’ means ‘shove a speculum in this front bottom and wrench those walls wide so’s I can shine a light on your secret juicy parts and poke around a bit’. Which is essentially what a smear test entails.
It’s UNCOMFORTABLE. It’s not unbearable, though. Just when you think you REALLY REALLY DON’T WANT TO DO THIS any more, she whips the speculum out and it’s over. I found out I have something HORRENDOUS sounding called CERVICAL EROSION (or ectropion) which made me want to go ‘AAAAAAAAAARRGHHHHHH WHAT WHAAAAAT OMFG MY CERVIX IS ERODING WHAAAAAAAT?’ for a minute until she explained it was quite common and not weird or dangerous or anything. Phew.
Anyway, obvs I have to wait for the results to see if I do have anything weird or dangerous, which is a whole different kind of worried funk now. But at least I’d KNOW, and can then do something about it, if needs be.
SMEAR TESTS ARE SO FUCKING IMPORTANT. Just DO ONE. Sure, they’re disagreeable and faintly embarrassing but how else are you going to know whether your cervix is peachy or not?
And if you’re lucky, you’ll get a YAY VAGINA! doctor.
I’ll say it one more time: YAY VAGINA!
And: get a fucking smear test done.
This has been a public service blog post, sponsored by my eroded cervix. You’re welcome.
Should I google Odd Vaginas?
Gave myself a bit of a squeaky-bum moment t’other day upon lifting the lid of the toilet and discovering there what I thought to be a GARGANTUAN SPIDER but was, in fact, some plughole hair that I had deposited within after my shower earlier that morning.
It really did look like a spider. Why there’d be a spider in my toilet, fark knows, but ne’ertheless, I did shriek a bit and flail momentarily before realising that yes, it was just HAIR. My hair. There’s no one else here, so it has to be my hair. I doubt Moo has been shedding copious amounts of spindly dark hairs, unless she has been secretly collecting them for her amateur voodoo, so – with my marvellous powers of deduction – t’was my hair.
Aside from it being plughole hair (which we all know to be the most heinous and foul-smelling hair in existence) it just struck me exactly HOW MUCH farking hair I appear to lose on a daily basis. I seem to empty that plughole almost interminably. I am AMAZED there is any hair left on my actual head. Seriously, that follicular Shelob was FARKING HUGE. Like Godzilla’s hairball. Godzilla was hairy, right? Right? No? Shit. Well, anyway, if Godzilla had been hairy, its hairball was sitting in my loo yesterday. True story.
My hair is very fine. It doesn’t look it, cos it’s wavy and somewhat wiry, and sticks out from my head at all angles, but I don’t have a lot of it, which means that from some viewpoints I can look a bit patchy on the ol’scalp. Has always been this way. Years ago I went to my then-GP and tried to convince her I was going bald but she laughed in my face and told me to come back when I had a real disease. Now I refrain from googling ‘female hair loss’ cos I think WE ALL KNOW what happens when I google symptoms. Yeah. Can everyone say LUPUS? I reckon if I google ‘help-me-for-the-love-of-Jeezus-I-am-losing-all-my-GODDAMN-hair’ then I will just end up convinced I have diabetes, alopecia, scabies or Tropical Ooga-Booga Monkey Virus – or all four – like I did all that time ago. And I don’t have those things. I just have fine hair.
Usually it does not bother me so much. I have accepted the fine hair burden. I adjust hair styles accordingly. Although I WILL NEVER HAVE A FRINGE *sob* which is a shame as I love fringes. When I was preggo, it was GREAT cos my hair was temporarily thick and lustrous. Then it all dropped out. Then it went back to being fine again. Now it’s dropping again. I have not had another baby. This is not fair.
Why is my hair dropping out? Why do I have hair-spiders dabbling in my toilet bowl more often than not? Is it my shit diet? Not that I eat shit. You get me. If so, what do I eat to stop the madness? And, most importantly, will you still love me if I’m bald?
I would just like to ascertain that hair seems to have NO TROUBLE WHATSOEVER growing ELSEWHERE upon my body. FFS.
The internet is marvellous, sure. But if there’s one thing I shouldn’t do, it’s put my symptoms into Google and try and find a diagnosis for why I’m feeling so hot-damn shit at the moment.
Something’s not right with me. Since Friday, I’ve felt like I’ve been hit by a bus. I wake up OK, manage till lunchtime, and then suddenly I’m exhausted. Like, bone-crunchingly, achingly, bloody bastard exhausted. When Moo napped today, I lay on the sofa, unable to move, under two blankets, trying to get warm. I snoozed for a bit and had weird dreams. When Moo woke, it took me ten minutes to crawl upstairs to get her. Ridiculous. THEN I DECIDED TO WALK TO MY MUM’S HOUSE. Like a farking loon. Obviously, once I was out in the fresh air and moving along, I’d feel loads better. Mahahaha! WHAT A NOOB. A twenty minute walk to mum’s house took twice that long. I was hot, dizzy and out of breath by the time I got there. Yet I told myself it was only cos it was uphill, and I am
hugely mildly unfit, that it affected me so.
Anyway my mum is not a fool, and told me to go the doctor’s. And I always do what my mum tells me. Tomorrow I’ll phone up and book an appointment.
But this evening I thought I’d look up my symptoms anyway, just to save my GP some time. So, I’ll go in tomorrow and shove a sheaf of printed paper in his face and shriek ‘Oh my GAWD, save me Doctor, for I think I must have LUPUS!’
Cos I have lupus. OBVIOUSLY. Or if not that, then:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- rhabdomyolysis (no, me either)
- fibromyalgia (eh?)
- glandular fever
- bum fever
- foof plague which has spread throughout my bones
- or… um… Tropical Ooga-Booga Monkey Disease
Whatever. It could be I’m just exhausted. Physically, mentally and emotionally. It could be a virus that my body’s not managing to shift for whatever reason. It could be just one of those things, and I’ll wake up tomorrow and actually feel OK for a change.
But man alive, do I take my health for granted. When I can’t carry Moo downstairs after her bath, then I know something’s up. When I feel better I’m going to do a farking victory dance and start looking after myself a bit more (which means – probably – less cake… doom).
I am relentlessly optimistic (stop laughing at the back there, I farking AM) so I know I’ll be OK soon. Maybe. Yeah, I will, I will. Hopefully. Oh Jeezus. Excuse me while I go on NHS Direct, won’t you…
Am I the only internet hypochondriac out there? Or is anyone else tempted by the lure of a Google diagnosis?
You’ve been living in my wrists for a long time now. I think it’s time for you to fark right off and leave me alone. I’ve had enough. The ache is driving me slightly NUTS and INSANE.
What’s the deal with you guys? What the fark ARE you? Why are you so farking LUMPY? In my head, you are little balls of malignant SHIT that have taken up residence in my wrist-space and every now and again, decide to throb and wriggle a bit and send shooting pains up my arms. You bastards.
Why BOTH wrists? WHY? One I could handle. The left wrist – FINE. I don’t use my left arm a lot. I could probably manage with just the right one being operative. But no. You have infiltrated my left and my right wrists. Which makes some tasks EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. For example: picking up Moo, lifting my giant bottle of gin, and grooming my unicorn. All VERY CUMBERSOME with two FARKING LUMPS OF GRANITE in my wrists.
A doctor’s advice? ‘Well, we could simply hit them with a bible. That should sort them out’.
Say what now?
HIT THEM WITH A BIBLE? A medical professional has advised me to hit my ganglions with a bible? A holy book of Jeezus and shit? And this will ‘sort them out’? Is that SCIENCE?
Oh ganglions. You farking wrist-lumps. I hate you. Go take residence in someone else’s bones.
Lemme tell you about my first period.
No, DON’T run away. There is a point to this. And actually, it’s not my very first period, it’s probably the second or third. Maybe fourth. Anyway, one of the early ones. The first one was awesome in comparison to the ones that followed. A mere dribble. A whisper of blood. ‘I’ve got my period,’ I thought proudly to myself, ‘I am going to the shops right now to buy some tampons! At last, I am becoming a WOMAN. Just like the girls do in Judy Blume books.’
In the next few months I decided I didn’t want to be a WOMAN any more. I farking CURSED Judy farking Blume. Periods were nothing like in her books. They were HELL. Hell on toast with spiky bits in. At one point, I was lying on the bathroom floor, screaming and sobbing with pain and dragging myself up to vomit in the bath. Whilst bleeding everywhere. I missed days of school each month. My own mother would look at me askance. ‘It can’t be that bad,’ she said, clearly using her own experience of giving birth five times to knock my meagre period cramps into the stratosphere. To me, looking back, that level of pain is not normal. But as a 14 year-old, it just seemed like something I had to put up with. To be a WOMAN. For fark’s sake.
Anyway, I went to the doctor and he put me on the Pill. I had to describe my periods to him. ‘Are you sexually active?’ he asked. He was probably bored. Another dramatic teenager, he most likely thought. ‘I’ve not even kissed a boy,’ I sobbed, and then added hopefully, ‘yet..’ because I didn’t want to totally write myself off, despite not having discovered eyebrow tweezers or Impulse body spray at that point, and he was quite an attractive doctor as well. But I guess a spotty teenager who has just been talking about copious amounts of menstrual blood leaking through her pyjama bottoms was not his type, cos I left with a prescription for the Pill and not a lot else.
The Pill. THE PILL. I was fourteen and ON THE PILL. Like a deviant. Like a super-slutty, uber-sex-mad whore child, who shagged everything in sight and who also had a latent sense of responsibility. I told my best friend about it in hushed tones.
‘Oh my GAWD,’ she shrieked. ‘Are you having THE SEX??’
I took on an expression of pained exasperation. ‘No, actually no,’ I sighed, ‘it’s for my periods.’
‘Why do you need it for your periods?’
‘Because they’re so, like, massively painful and really really heavy.’
‘Are they? Wow. Mine aren’t.’
Yeah WELL. Turns out I’m a medical mystery or whatever. I know there’s a proper name for heavy periods but cos not every one is like that for me, apparently I don’t have that. It’s just my cunt being a bastard.
So I was on THE PILL, on and off, through the years, and having some of The Sex, until I hit my early thirties and thought I might have to have a baby at some point. Which I did. And have done. And now… maybe I want to go back on the Pill again?
My periods, as my Twitter followers will know, are a PAIN IN THE VULVA. I am on one right now. I am sitting here, BLEEEEDING at you. There are little sanitary towel corpses in my bathroom bin. I farking hate it. Heavy, bloated, painful, aching, cramping, flooding, sticky, smelly farking periods. All those years I was on the Pill? Bliss. Mere whispers again. No pain. My skin even cleared up. And – AND – I could carry on a packet and MISS A PERIOD IF I WANTED TO. Farking GENIUS.
(I read somewhere that they – they being the man scientists in the 1960s wot invented the Pill – could’ve invented a Pill that women could take all the time and not have a period ever. They only did one for a 28 day cycle cos they thought us women would WANT to have a ‘period’. Yeah. Right. Cunts)
So – the Pill – should I? Should I blitz my body with hormonal bombs once more? When I came off it for the baby-making it took a loooong while before my cycle regulated again. And it’s not like I’ll be having The Sex any time soon. Should I just grin and bear it? All part of being a WOMAN?
Or what other period-calming devices are there?
I wonder if that doctor is still around? *buys Impulse body spray*
I’m really trying to resist Googling it and then spending a sweaty night panicking that Moo is going to shit herself into A&E by the morning. The lovely doctor we saw today (not our usual GP because we are not living in our usual place) was very lovely and gave us a lovely leaflet and explained to us, in a lovely way, that it’s nothing to worry about and that as long as Moo is generally well and growing normally then it’s not serious and should go by the time she’s, oh, 5 or 6. Lovely. Bye!
Five or six?
FIVE OR SIX??
She’ll have chronic diarrhoea until she’s 5 or 6??
[insert string of juicy expletives here]
I don’t even know what this fricking Toddler Diarrhoea is – and from reading the leaflet, seems doctors don’t really know either – and I have no idea how to handle it, what to do to help her out, how to stop her stomach churning so loudly it echoes around the room, how to make sure she’s eating enough when nothing seems to please her these days (not even Scotch pancakes, doom), how to cope with cleaning up the yucky, yellow, splatty poo that keeps erupting from her nappy and staining her clothes, and how the FRICK will we deal with ALL THAT till she’s FIVE OR EFFING SIX?
My only hope is that when her stool sample comes back from the lab, it turns out to be a bog-standard virus instead. Which will clear up within weeks.