It’s a really awkward topic of conversation, and one that could do with so much more awareness within modern day society but it’s socially taboo to discuss. It detects for something which is very real and close to my heart, so in honour of my loved ones that have suffered, I say balls to keeping zipped…
In this blog I bring to you my story of the “Meeeear”
The “mear” is commonly known as a – now I struggle to say this word as it turns my stomach – cervical screening test, or a smear. Vom. It detects for abnormal cells around your cer…around your cerv…oh goodness, bare with me – what I am trying to say is, it detects for anything untoward going on with the opening of your baby house. Also referred to as womb, but baby house is cute and shit.
I was invited for a “mear” in 2014, but like many women do I put the letter in the drawer and promised to myself that I would book an appointment to get it done. Cervical cancer is something that is prominent within my family so I really did need to phone up and book it, and I would – I was just waiting for the kids to nap so I could call, I’d had one before so I knew there was nothing to fear.
2015. “Mear” reminder. Bollocks. Okay, it’s got to be done. The doctors surgery is right by the nursery that my two little chaps attend so I promised – although it was pinky promise this time – myself to go in and book en route.
I waltzed up to reception feeling empowered by my positive actions to keep my health in check – how womanly and liberating of me to be offering my vagina on a plate to stand a really good chance of beating any potential cancer’s arse – I recall there was even a bit of a hair flick going on. Not pubic hair, I hadn’t literally put my vagina on a plate. Gosh, I’m such a feminist making an informed choice to do this, I thought to myself whilst queuing for the reception desk.
Arrive at said desk.
“How can I help?” Asks the middle aged woman with an actual hedgehog for hair. Oh God. Hedgehog. Spikes. Cervix. Ouch. Shit.
“Err…I errr…” Come on, Spidermum. You can do this. Glance to the left of me, there’s a man…he’s going to hear my filthy, dirty little secret.
“Yes…” says an expectant Hedgehog
“I need to book in for a test please” clammy hands now. That Spikey fucking hair. I wonder if she can lip read?
“I need to book in for a s…a sm…”
“Sorry. A what?” There’s a queue forming behind me. Come the fuck on, woman! You’ve given birth before!
“I need to book in for meeear” I mouth.
“Oh.” She says. Pause. She’s none the wiser.
“You know, a meeeear” I mouth again.
“I’m sorry…I didn’t…”
“I NEED TO BOOK A SMEAR”
Brilliant. Lost my cool. The whole surgery now knows I need my bits prodding. The elderly gentleman behind me has grown so impatient I fear he is about to give me a good prod too. With his walking stick obviously.
“Ooooh!” She chuckles, “a smeeeeear!”
Now not only does the entire surgery know, news has also spread to the pharmacy next door and anyone unlucky enough to be passing by. Good one, hedgehog. Twat. I’m surprised I didn’t arrive home to find a new trend of #spidermumsmear.
Praise the Lord that is booked, I thought as I left the surgery not feeling quite so empowered. Why is it such a “thing”, why?! I think the trauma of booking will be way worse than the act itself.
Wrong. So, so unbelievably wrong. Now the aim of this is not to scare future “mearer’s” or in fact make it sound like a torturous procedure – if you don’t possess the same trail as thought as me – it really isn’t. Many family members and friends have told me it’s nothing to worry about, and as stated above I’ve had one before so it really should have been a a walk in the park. Probably a walk like John Wayne after it had taken place, but still…
Today I attended my appointment with a supportive Mr Spider in tow and a lovely little prescription from the Dr in the form of valium. Come to Momma. Out of nowhere an irrational fear had been formed in my mind. Instead of trying relaxation techniques and reasoning with oneself, I did what any other erratic individual would do and phoned my darling of a GP and demanded, begged and pleaded for a little something,something. What with my love of diamorphine and now valium, I would like to take the opportunity to state here that I only enjoy legal, prescribed drugs for a medical purpose and in no way dabble with any sort of naughties for recreational activities. 1. Because it has horrible, horrible consequences on people’s lives and 2. Hello price tag!
So we enter the nurses room. Usual chit chat, how are the children, how’s her grandchild, are we going on holiday this year – hang on a minute, are we? – And then she asks me to head over to the bed and remove my clothes. Oh no, I ate a pizza the night before and totally haven’t kept up with my squats, side bends and sit ups – I can’t believe this is happening. I start to take my trousers off – look Dude, if you’ve stumbled across this post and this line excites you, your in the wrong place, love – and then my underwear, And then came the dilemma – do I remove my zebra print socks or not? My mind was telling me no, but my body was telling me, “Yes! Get them the bloody hell off, you pale, wobbly,pizza eating embarrassment!”
How dare you speak to me like that, I thought. The socks are staying.
So I shuffle onto the bed as elegantly as possible – ha, just ha – and we continue our chit chat when I see it coming towards me in all its horrifying glory – shining bright, but not so much like a diamond – the vagina Jack.
“Oh God. I’m a bit worried” I alert her
“Oh you’ll be fine my sweet, you’ve had two big babies” – err, what exactly did she mean by that? The cheek. Hope my socks fucking stink. Take that.
Out of nowhere, I start to go dizzy and very sweaty. Me no like this, I thought. Time for a pep talk to myself.
Spidermum, this isn’t about you – it’s about keeping yourself safe to make sure you are fit and healthy to see your boys grow up, to lessen your chances of having to suffer something so awful such as cancer, to have peace of mind that you are well. You can do this, you’ve done it before, you’ve done so much worse before now. Come on. Be a champ and take one for the team. Sorted.
I can see her peering between my legs, a hand clad with a rubber glove, is that a hint of glee I see sparking from her eyes? What if it is and really she’s the nurse equivalent of Harold Shipman and plans to end the life of my lady bits with her tools. I mean, I wouldn’t allow Mr Spider to do this to me – why should I trust her?
“No. Please! I’m scared. You can’t do it.”
“It’ll be over before you know it” – Pah, heard that before.
“Ok. Ok. Try again. I can do this”
I start to cry and frantically shake. I can’t do this, she’s definitely a Harold Shipman, I can feel it in my jittery bones.
“Would it help if Mr Spider was to come and hold your hand?” She asked.
Over he comes. Squinting with his eyes so not to witness the crime scene. He gives me a few reassuring words and tells me it’ll all be okay. Love that Mr Spider, I do.
So now I have my legs wide open, a nurse between them and Mr S at my side filling me with encouragement and holding my hand – are we about to birth our 3rd baby here? Did I totally miss a sign? I start panting to fit the role, just incase.
Oh, I’m not panting am I? I’m actually hyperventilating. I can’t breathe properly. Or see because my tears have caused my eye makeup to submerge itself into my eye socket – she’s going to have to give that jack a quick wipe and open my eye up, I think.
“Have you got any gas and air? I ask. Serious question – don’t judge me. Harold Shipman laughs at me – I wasn’t joking, she thinks I was joking and carries on trying to do her day job down below – my legs are shaking so much, I am now more nervous about knocking her head and giving her whiplash than I am the “mear”. She’s fumbling and I am wincing, and crying, and panting and traumatizing Mr Spider. I would rather give birth!
“Its no good” she says. “I can’t do it. Your a closed book” – Love, I am posting the most intimate details of my “mear” on to the world wide web, I am many things but a closed book is not one of them.
I sigh a huge sense of relief and continue to cry like an emotionally unable newt over wasting her time. She tells me to go home and watch some videos of a “mear” on YouTube to become more relaxed with it. That moment of feeling bad was short lived. She then continues to put a vagina jack into my hand and reassures me that it is perfectly okay if I WOULD LIKE TO INSERT IT MYSELF. I start to cry again. Seriously, where did they find this one? Too much 50 shades of grey for her, I think.
Mr Spider wipes my tears and looks hopeful that I might like to try that one day. Mr Spider is now receiving the silent treatment.
She umm’s and ahh’s and decides the only thing for it is a referral to the hospital for me to have a “mear” where they can sedate me much more than what would be safe to do in the surgery. Woohoo – I love a good day out!
So, the point of this post is this. UK tax payer, I apologise for taking up more NHS resources than anticipated- you have my word, that whilst I am on a career break at the moment, I will soon be paying back into the system to make up for taking millions and trillions of pounds worth of treatment when I could simply have grown a pair of balls.
Ladies, it has to be done, and hopefully you are all much braver than I and it can be a simple 10 minute procedure. If your not there are other options – look at me, I am receiving the extra support (and drugs) I need, so if you are fearful aswell – talk to them, beg for a referral, turn up to the nurses office blind drunk and pretend she is Christian Grey – do whatever you have to do, but GET IT DONE. We all want to live to see our little people grow and flourish, and it’s our right to keep our health in check, regardless of what help we need to do it.
I’m going to post really soon about how well my hospital appointment went, and how I have had the test done and survived it – watch this space! #doingitforthekids