Medical Overdue smear. Hate myself

Libs40

Learning
I had my last smear test in 2015. I’m 41 now, always went to my smears every 3 years (I’m in UK), never missed one and always normal results. I’ve posted before about this but my anxiety has gone wild again that I’m 2 years overdue and women on Instagram saying it’s very common to get changing cells and if you don’t have a smear it’ll turn to cancer etc are changing cells that common?

Too much info but I’ve not had sex in 9 years. I’m married but after what happened to me I developed chronic fatigue syndrome, ptsd and anxiety, sex was the last thing on my mind. I became agoraphobic and socially phobic so I’ve not seen my doctor for a few years. She’s great and we do telephone appointments if needed. I’m just worrying myself sick I’m so overdue and these horror stories I see online that changing cells are so common make me panic even more.


it comes into my mind ag some point each day and my anxiety races. I beat myself up because I’ve always kept to appointments but since the ptsd caught up on me a few years ago I’ve become housebound, socially phobia etc and I’m overdue most appointments. Dentist, doctor, etc. I hate myself as it’s not me. I’m a mum who would never ever neglect herself because she has 3 children who need me here. After the sexual assault 13 years ago and then my brother physically assaulting me 8 years ago I kept pushing myself to do everything I needed to do and to give my kids memories etc but in 2018 I just broke down and had a nervous breakdown with severe anxiety and agoraphobia and the CFS/ME got me. It broke me and I haven’t left my home much at all since and can’t see people other than my family at home that I live with.


Like I said I’ve always had ok results, only slept with 2 people my whole life and not had set in almost a decade. I did go on the contraceptive pill to help my heavy periods in 2012, I came off it this year and I read it can increase the risk of cervical cancer so that scared me too. My pill was low dose 20mg. It helped my symptoms a lot but I came off as it’s now discontinued here.


I probably sound a complete idiot. I never would avoid appointments until I broke a couple of years ago. Smear tests and anything medical have become a huge panic attack trigger for me. All trauma related. Right now I just can’t push myself to do this appointment and I know no one can tell me I don’t have cervical cancer but I needed to cry and type this out somewhere safe. 😢
 

Missycat

MyPTSD Pro
Hi there, i completely understand your anxiety about this. As my trauma was sexual i hate being examined or touched and find anything like this a massive trigger.
i dont want to sound like I'm preaching but it is important that you have your smear - you recognise this too. Are you in therapy ? If so could you do some relaxation work etc in preparation? Have you spoke to your GP about your fears ? You may be able to have a practice nurse with you who can support you. Im in the UK and i was having gynea probs ( ignored at first cos i was 53 and lesbian .... so low risk of anything yeah ? ) having the smear highlighted another problem and i ended up having surgery to remove a 7cm cyst . I had to have some very personal examinations, one of my docs knew a little of my history so they knew how hard it was for me and did everything to make me as comfortable as they could.
So , speak to your GP and see what help and support you can get.
i wish you all the best .
 

Libs40

Learning
Hi there, i completely understand your anxiety about this. As my trauma was sexual i hate being examined or touched and find anything like this a massive trigger.
i dont want to sound like I'm preaching but it is important that you have your smear - you recognise this too. Are you in therapy ? If so could you do some relaxation work etc in preparation? Have you spoke to your GP about your fears ? You may be able to have a practice nurse with you who can support you. Im in the UK and i was having gynea probs ( ignored at first cos i was 53 and lesbian .... so low risk of anything yeah ? ) having the smear highlighted another problem and i ended up having surgery to remove a 7cm cyst . I had to have some very personal examinations, one of my docs knew a little of my history so they knew how hard it was for me and did everything to make me as comfortable as they could.
So , speak to your GP and see what help and support you can get.
i wish you all the best .
Thank you. I’m chatting to my GP and she understands currently I just can’t do it as my CFS is debilitating and they can’t do them at home.
 

Friday

Moderator
My old OB/Gyn gave out truffles with a little card that read chocolate could be upgraded to anti-anxiety meds at any time / just ask.

i looooooooooooved my old OB/Gyn. 💕 Of course, she had to retire eventually.

My “current” one (on record, IE who my insurance will pay for) I flat out refuse to see, after the first time. She’s an NHS reject who wants to do a full hysterectomy on me because of a problem I had almost 20 years ago (Actually, cervical cancer.) and haven’t had since. (Touch wood!). Almost 20 years ago I not only had cervical cancer, I was also pregnant. (My kind of cervical cancer isn’t caused by an STD/STI, but is hormone related. I can’t take hormonal birth control, and getting pregnant is dangerous for me.) So my totally badass doctors dealt with my actual cancer whilst pregnant all calm smiles & determination & soooooo many steps and options on the table... meanwhile she? Is just like, let’s rip out your entire reproductive system in your 30s. That’s the only option. And you should be freaked out. Bite me. Hell no! And No. No it is not my only option.

Which is a looooong way of saying, I’m supposed to get a smear done every 6-12 months, because of my history,,, but haven’t in a few years now.

Am I concerned? Of course. But it’s a few thousand dollars I don’t have to get it done outside of my insurance, and whilst I value my life that highly, I simply don’t have the money. So my only good choice, at this point in time, is to get new insurance. That’s taken longer than I’d hoped, but it is what it is. As I’ll take a doctor I trust with a major problem, over a doctor I don’t trust with even preventative screening.

The point of all this being? Sometimes we can’t, or simply don’t, do what we know we should be doing. For a lot of different reasons. Knowin what those reasons are? <grin> Gives us a helluvan advantage. For me I need new insurance. For you, a trauma-informed doc like my old OB/Gyn. Knowledge is power.
 

Libs40

Learning
My old OB/Gyn gave out truffles with a little card that read chocolate could be upgraded to anti-anxiety meds at any time / just ask.

i looooooooooooved my old OB/Gyn. 💕 Of course, she had to retire eventually.

My “current” one (on record, IE who my insurance will pay for) I flat out refuse to see, after the first time. She’s an NHS reject who wants to do a full hysterectomy on me because of a problem I had almost 20 years ago (Actually, cervical cancer.) and haven’t had since. (Touch wood!). Almost 20 years ago I not only had cervical cancer, I was also pregnant. (My kind of cervical cancer isn’t caused by an STD/STI, but is hormone related. I can’t take hormonal birth control, and getting pregnant is dangerous for me.) So my totally badass doctors dealt with my actual cancer whilst pregnant all calm smiles & determination & soooooo many steps and options on the table... meanwhile she? Is just like, let’s rip out your entire reproductive system in your 30s. That’s the only option. And you should be freaked out. Bite me. Hell no! And No. No it is not my only option.

Which is a looooong way of saying, I’m supposed to get a smear done every 6-12 months, because of my history,,, but haven’t in a few years now.

Am I concerned? Of course. But it’s a few thousand dollars I don’t have to get it done outside of my insurance, and whilst I value my life that highly, I simply don’t have the money. So my only good choice, at this point in time, is to get new insurance. That’s taken longer than I’d hoped, but it is what it is. As I’ll take a doctor I trust with a major problem, over a doctor I don’t trust with even preventative screening.

The point of all this being? Sometimes we can’t, or simply don’t, do what we know we should be doing. For a lot of different reasons. Knowin what those reasons are? <grin> Gives us a helluvan advantage. For me I need new insurance. For you, a trauma-informed doc like my old OB/Gyn. Knowledge is power.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

You’re right. I’ll get there in time but right now the time just isn’t right.
 

fern

Confident
I hate paps. I had an anxiety attack after my last one, which I put off for so long.
But I got a really good provider who is trauma informed and let me handle the speculum myself, took extra time to check in with me, explain everything.

It makes a world of difference to find someone who you really feel is being careful and considerate.

I dont think I will ever feel "ready" for uncomfortable stuff like that- just gotta make myself do it and hold space for myself afterward.
 

Libs40

Learning
I hate paps. I had an anxiety attack after my last one, which I put off for so long.
But I got a really good provider who is trauma informed and let me handle the speculum myself, took extra time to check in with me, explain everything.

It makes a world of difference to find someone who you really feel is being careful and considerate.

I dont think I will ever feel "ready" for uncomfortable stuff like that- just gotta make myself do it and hold space for myself afterward.
Thank you so much for your understanding 💜
 

oakleaves

Confident
I totally get why this is so scary for you and I struggle with it too. I have had treatment on my cervix too and to be honest that process was ok because the staff there are better than your average practice nurse at putting you at ease! I would never say it is ok to not get a smear though. As someone who has had changes.
There is an organisation in the UK called MyBodyBackProject which might be able to offer you some support.
Another thing to do is to maybe pay for a private smear if it is possible for you. In some ways it can help to feel you have more control over it as in where you go and they tend to take more time and talk to you more which might help. Take care it is really tough xx
 
Top