Woman Problems


I just had my third copoloscopy today. For anyone unfamiliar, a "copo" is a procedure that involves pap smear-like equipment to check out the cervix and surrounding areas. The doc uses some sort of vinegar solution that makes the abnormal cells stand out. Then they biopsy the offending areas to check them out further.

I have "abnormal cells". I've had "abnormal cells" show up on numerous paps, probably since I was 20. The problem with "abnormal cells" is that the virus, HPV, is sometimes the culprit. HPV is, as explained to me by those in the medical field, a ridiculously prevalent virus for females who are not virgins. For many young women, HPV is not really an issue. The body heals itself fairly easily. However, as we age, our bodies' ability to give the virus the boot is not quite as easy, I guess. Sometimes the virus progresses to additional stages that then could progress to cervical cancer if untreated.

And so now I'm on the every-six-months-pap-check because I show results of CIN1, low grade but no longer just plain old HPV. So today they again biopsied a sliver of my cervix. Exciting right? It's not a horrible procedure...not compared to what others may deal with. It is just kind of uncomfortable.

And I don't mean uncomfortable as in painful, although there is definitely what the doc calls, "a slight pinch" or "some cramping". The problem with me is I have a pretty good imagination (typically during inconvenient times), and no matter if I'm in the middle of a pap or during one of these copos, I have one of two scenarios play over and over again like someone spliced the same 30 sec scene to itself while editing.

I imagined the first scenario during my very first annual visit. I lay on the half bed with my hands, one on top of the other, fingers tapping, eyes shifting around the ceiling of the room, knees and legs splay open, when I first feel the speculum placed inside me and then latched secure. I automatically, for whatever reason, envisioned myself deep belly laughing and shooting the speculum across the room, potentially knocking the doc right in the face. Anyone else? Every time since it has been the same exact thing to the point of where I know when I'm laying back I'm smirking like a crazy person trying to keep myself from outright laughing.

In recent years, the scenario has changed to a somewhat more horrific image. Obviously I'm not a doctor. I'm not sure exactly what all is being put inside me for the various tests they do while the speculum holds me "securely" open, but I definitely have my ideas based on the doctory description provided beforehand...extra big cotton swabs (which I'm pretty sure are actually real), little metal bristle-like scrapers, and a little version of the grabber sold on infomercials to old people so they can reach and retrieve items. This they use to pull snippets of my abnormal cells off of my cervix. Realistically, it doesn't matter what I envision, because what I then imagine is the doc somehow losing balance and falling toward me pushing whatever instrument (weapon) she might have at the moment, all the way inside me. And then I think how I just signed a stupid waiver saying I understood that my doctor would do whatever they had to to help me if something went wrong. And I think, is it because they've fallen into people before? Is that why I had to sign that stupid form?


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