Monday, May 17, 2010

Clarified Butter

I told my boss that I'd need Tuesday afternoon off, for an appointment in Holles St. She got all excited for me, thinking I was pregnant, til she read the rest of the email. I'm going for a colposcopy, see, and that's not something to get excited about at all.

A colposcopy, for those of you fortunate enough not to have come across the term before, is a diagnostic procedure to examine an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix and the tissues of the vagina and vulva. It seems I have some abnormal cells on my cervix that the doctor wants to take a look at. A really really good look, by the sounds of all that illumination and magnification. I may also need LETZ treatment, which is where they remove the abnormal cells with a fine heated wire loop. We'll try not to think about that bit too much, as Andrew says it makes his gee hurt.

I know it'll be grand. I'm told that colposcopy is common. Not in a wearing-your-jammies-to-the-shops kind of way, but that it could happen, as it were, to a bishop. Friends have been there and done that and while they didn't buy any t-shirts, they're straight-up heart-on-sleeve sorts and they've told me what to expect. Discomfort, mostly, and upsettingly large images of my undergrowth onscreen. Not this screen, don't worry. I don't think they give you any of the photos to take home.

Still, common as it might be, I had to google it.

I'm scared, thinking about this invasive and potentially painful procedure and the potential consequences for my health should the doctor find anything untoward. I know that she won't. I have been reassured that this is precautionary and that the abnormalities are negligible. But I know that with the c word (either c word, you choose) you can't be too careful, so I'll take my doctor's advice and get it seen to.

My sister asked me today if I was all set for tomorrow. She probably meant mentally. Maybe she was wondering if I've shaved my legs. I haven't. "I went to Tesco yesterday and bought fannypads" I told her "and then to Carvill's for a flagon of Old Rosie scrumpy." I didn't tell her that I started crying a little bit in the Tesco aisle. It's so long since I bought sanitary towels that I was bewildered by the array of them on the shelf and think I might have bought pantyliners by mistake.


Jennikybooky said...

Rosie if it makes you feel any better I have to have a colposcopy every Christmas! That's the only time I am guaranteed to be in the country you see. It really gets me in the festive mood!

But seriously it's grand. It's a bit uncomfortable, and that's it. The worst thing is puttin your legs in the stirrups and puttin your Mary Bridget on show for all and sundry! But you forget about that after five minutes so fuck it. I mean they do like 20 procedures a day in there, and some of them are on cheesy hairy knacker's fannies so they will only be delighted to see your young luscious undercarriage.

I always feel a bit vulnerable afterwards, after having my most sacred lady parts explored like, so I go home and have a handsome man mind me and bring me delicious treats as I lie in the foetal position on the couch.

And that's the truth of it.

And if you don't feel any better, one year I had to have it done when I had my PERIOD. Could I possibly have been more vulnerable? Nope! And even that was grand so don't worry!

Tessa said...

What Jennikybooky said, Rosie, with knobs on.

Don't be worrying your head about it. Half the time, I think they order up these procedures so all the fancy machinery doesn't get cobwebs. The only thing I remember from the colposcopy i had done years ago (the machinery was practically steam driven then) was the monitor screen filing up with blood when they cut out a wee polyp they found. And since it was the little bastard that had caused all the fuss, I didn't mind a bit.

Get the Gicker to make you a nice hot cup of tea after and you'll be grand.

Dan Sullivan said...

Not having had this particular procedure myself, I can't claim that I'm able to fully empathise. However, I can identify with that uncertain feeling when faced with a medical visit you thought prior to that was only meant to crop up on telly. I had the other C-ocsopy a few years back and I said nowt to no one at the time when I had to have that exploratory stuff. So sharing is a really good idea. And dear God but how the mind dwells on this stuff even when you are confident and reassured by everyone that it is routine. Truth is it is routine but the body, dear old evolutionary dullard it is, can't quite get its head around it.

A cry here and there, a prolonged sigh, or the odd half bitten "fuck it" is natural and should be indulged. It's all part of the body's way of bracing itself against an upcoming experience that your head might be intellectually somewhat prepared for but for which it doesn't know quite what to do. Should I tense or go limp, fight or flight thinks the bod to itself? Is there some advantage to a bit of blushing? Think I'll give some tears a go for the time being. So your body is not wrong in feeling a bit scared, no matter how groundless it actually is.

Tell himself there are double brownie points to be won by some extra care and attention in the days thereafter, even long after you're feeling physically better and I'm sure he will provide. The very best of luck with it.

Kitty Cat said...

Good luck with it Rosie. Jennie's use of the term Mary Bridget would be enough to put anyone in good form I imagine.

Voodoolady said...

Ouch for you but sure it won't be that bad, these things are always worse in your head than in reality.

Sarah Gostrangely said...

Rosie, I don't think I can add anymore that these lovely bloggeurs and bloggeuses didn't say...only I love the idea that the fanny gets cobwebs (Tessa)...and best of luck, really, will be thinking of you..


John Braine said...

>I don't think they give you any of >the photos to take home.

Videocamera + Youtube.
I'll get the popcorn in.

Au Lapin Blanc said...

Good luck Rosie! It won't be pleasant but at least it will put your mind at ease :)

Rosie said...

thanks for the comments, kids. i felt a lot better going in having read them. it was fine; the staff were great and minimised the morto factor. getting you to cough so that you skewer yourself onto whatever they take the biopsy with and whatever they did to treat where they'd taken it from was sore, but manageable. the doc opted not to do the LETZ treatment for now, so if anyone's stuck i have a jumbo pack of Always (with wings!) going a begging.

i didn't cry at all until i came back out to where Andrew was waiting. then i snotted most of the way home, even though we stopped for hot chocolate. oh yeah. he's a lucky fella.

LOL at you, John Braine. she did swing the monitor around to show the abnormality to me before she biopsied it - i reckon it would have put you off your popcorn.

emordino said...

I feel "cheesy hairy knacker's fannies" was a highlight, personally.

Conan Drumm said...

Well done you for putting on the brave face, (and him for letting you crumple it afterwards)... I have an oscopy in the pipeline too, I hope it goes as well as yours seems to have done.

Rosie said...

me too, Colm.

and me too, Conan. you should blog about it. or about anything else you like - i'm not fussy.

Au Lapin Blanc said...

Hope everything turns out ok Rosie! :)

Anonymous said...

Everything will be fine. I know lots of people who have had the procedure.
I need to change my name.
It's Mary Brigid.
I kid you not.

Rosie said...

thanks WR and... Mary Brigid. and take heart that your parents didn't name you "Cheesy Hairy Knacker Fanny".