Smear fear

July 9, 2007 at 8:35 am (private personal space)

I thought long and hard about writing about this. I’m all for sharing but some things are probably best kept to yourself.
But then I figured it should be written about because all women should – nay must – have it done. I went for a Pap smear.
Being the type of fixes every medical problem with Nurofen/Disprin/Flutex/Sinuclear, I was obviously shit scared of going to the doctor to have her examine me there.
For heaven’s sake, I haven’t been to the dentist since 1999 because I’m too scared. And that’s only my mouth!
It didn’t really make it easier that she was a woman (but much better than if it were a man of course).
The doctor was lovely; chatting to make me relax but the prospect of having someone scrape around in those bits did not inspire relaxation, I can tell you that.
Eventually we got down to the thing after I stupidly asked her if I should remove my underwear (clearly my brain doesn’t work the right way around when confronted with such dilemmas as I was in that surgery room.).
After explaining what would happen (Aaaaarrrrgh!!!), she must’ve figured I wanted to bolt because she started talking about things which I, to this minute, can’t remember. I responded and it was soon over with.
All in all it wasn’t that bad – now that I know what it’s about and that it’s more inconvenient than sore, I won’t mind going again.
It’s not going to top my most-favourite-things-to-do list any time soon, but it’s certainly vital. It was just a bit cold and obviously weird having my legs opened to a strange person.
But at least I know I don’t have cervical cancer and I now know I’m not as much of a wimp as I thought I was.



  1. kash99 said,

    Irma God…cant believe u talking about this here..its disgusting, gross, uncomfortable and all that…but ja, u right, it is very necessary..i dont think most women realise just how necessary!!!
    So is that what u did on ur weekend, meisie??

  2. Toby Hanks said,

    I took a really, really long time deciding whether I wanted to publish this, Kash99. You know I’m not the most open/sharing type of person in the world so it really took a lot to write this.
    But I do think it’s one of the most important things women should do after reading about the dangers.
    Fuck, it’s one of the most easily curable cancers yet women only find out they have it when it’s too late because they didn’t want to go for a Pap smear.
    Anyway, my weekend was good. Watched movies, ate good food and did some serious book shopping. It was fab!

  3. madamm said,

    well, yes it is personal, but important that.
    I talk about…my studies…usually.

  4. tbhanks said,

    That’s as important, MrsM. If I was doing my Masters I would most certainly be talking about that too. Certainly nicer than talking about my bits. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if I should leave this post up!

  5. Gnome said,

    No, No Toby. You are very brave to post this! Well done! And it is terribly important. No one wants to go, but we have to. Even though I have been before, I dread going again and have put it off. Maybe this will inspire me to go again 🙂

  6. tbhanks said,

    Thanks Gnome! Considering the alternative (having my cervix and rest of body be annihilated by cancer) is certainly enough reason to make me go again when that time comes again.

  7. Louisa said,

    Better safe than sorry huh?
    Well, last year I declared the 13th of December smear-day. And I’m encouraging everyone to go then (as long as they don’t all go to my doctor or I won’t get an appointment!).

    Let’s be honest: it’s akward, but necessary.

    Good for you for going, and for not being to shy to say so Tobes! 🙂

  8. tbhanks said,

    Thanks Louisa. These comments are helping ease the slight panic I felt after publishing this post.
    Making one day of the year smear day is actually a great idea. I think I’ll do that but don’t worry, I won’t make it your day!

  9. edna said,

    Hats off to you. I’ve never been. You’ve inspired me to go before I turn 28 (three and a half years from now). I’m such a wimp.

  10. Toby Hanks said,

    Trust me darling, it is vital to go. Seriously, you could have cervical cancer and not know it until it’s too late. You MUST go!!!

  11. madamm said,

    To date I’ve always thought it was weird that some women in their 20’s have never been. It’s like, I don’t know…it’s like never getting an ID. You must go!!

  12. Toby Hanks said,

    That’s exactly what it’s like, Mrs M. Like not ever having gone for an HIV test either.

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