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Rat Queen/Mouse Matriarch
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the past, I've had panic attacks during pap smear attempts and exams down below and had to resort to ultra-sounds instead. I've switched to a new doctor maybe a year ago. She was very understanding of my issues, she explained what she would do differently to make me more comfortable. She asked if I'd be willing to try again and to call when I felt ready. Well, I made the appointment about a week ago for today and was stressing over it.

Despite taking my anti-anxiety med today, I did start crying, shaking and hyperventilating a bit right before the exam. My doc helped me calm down with deep breathing and relaxation. She used the smallest tools and helped me relax throughout. It was painful but not to the point of me tensing completely and panicking. Sorry if this is TMI, I was just glad I was able to get through it finally at age 24. I know they are more accurate than ultra-sounds when it comes to cancer screenings.

Can anyone else relate and/or do you have any tips to make it even easier?
 

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Good to hear. I know some folks say that smears are over-rated, but I am 100% convinced they're the best tool we have for now, in the fight against cervical cancer.

One of the doctors I used to visit had things to read and/or look at, on the ceiling.
 

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That's great Rhys! I'm glad you went and had a dr that was so comforting and understanding.

I always get regular paps and think it's VERY important for every woman to do so. I find that distractions work best with me. I try to get my dr into a conversation about random things to help get my mind off what's going on. Most of the time I don't want to know what she's about to do or what she is doing during the exam because then I just start to get nervous, tense, and anxious because I start to anticipate it. I'd rather not know anything until it's completely over.
 

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Ankle Biter
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Pelvics are never fun. It's really a awkward position to be in, and I'm sorry, but do all the instruments have to be metal?!? Seriously, though, I'm glad you have a doc that will work with you and help you to relax. And congratulations for being brave.
 

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Rat Queen/Mouse Matriarch
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The distraction method sounds like a great idea!
Thanks, you two! I like that your doc had ceiling pictures, Jen.
I'll have to try to talk, take a book, pictures I like or anything else for next time. Regular pap smears do seem pretty important which is why I wanted to try to get through one eventually. The doctor did not tell me what she was about to do and instead had me focus on breathing. I agree that not knowing does help and it went by quickly enough. She also reminded me that I need to start doing breast exams on myself every month, especially since my grandmother passed away due to breast cancer.

Edit: Thanks, Poppy! Luckily, I had a plastic speculum this time with a flashlight on one end. It was neat looking and a bit less painful.
 
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