Hi all, I'm Shelly, I'm 38 and I'm a psychiatric nurse from Melbourne, Australia. I hope you all don't mind but I would like to tell my story and ask a few questions.
In early March this year I went off to have my STD screen and pap smear. I'm a former infectious diseases nurse and I'm pretty pragmatic - even though I would love to think that my boyfriend is 100% faithful but I know in reality that this isn't always the case so it's best to get screened regularly for STDs. So when I got an urgent call-back from my GP I thought "I must have a STD; I'm gonna kill the b*st*rd!". I got an appointment immediately and to my surprise I was clear on all my bloods & cultures. But the Pap smear was positive for CIN 2/3. I was floored. Absolutely shocked and in NO WAY expecting this.
My GP didn't really explain much but urged me to get an appointment with a private gynaecologist immediately. A year earler she had a patient found with CIN 2/3 on her smear who was referred to the public system. That lady had to wait > 12 months for a colposcopy and in that time she had developed advanced cervical cancer. While my GP said that was a relatively rare case, she urged me not to wait. If I went to a public gynae I would have to wait up to 12 months for the initial appointment and then further months for colposcopy &/or surgery. I have no private insurance but am more than happy to fork out the $$ for a private consult if it saves months and months of waiting.
Two weeks later I had an appointment with a private gynae who has booked me in for a LLETZ in the public system. Tomorrow will be my preadmission clinic appointment and then I will get a surgery date. The gynae said there's no real point having a colposcopy first as the recommended treatment for CIN 2 or 3 is LLETZ so we might as well to the treatment. I've done a good bit of google-ing and this seems logical to me.
The wait is KILLING ME. Not literally I hope, but mentally and emotionally. I am having a lot of difficulty at work trying to care and be empathetic to others. My frustration tolerance is 0%. I'm used to being the strong one, the one that everyone goes to for help or support. Now I'm the one that needs it. It's increasingly hard as I have no family to speak of - only my mother who has the early stages of dementia. My boyfriend has adopted the head-in-the-sand approach "you'll be fine". My (now former) best friend is another "you'll be fine" person. She has suddenly dropped me like a hot stone after me being her support for 15+ years. My other close friend is a former assistant to a gynaelogical oncologist. Even though she now lives in the country and doesn't have adequate phone service (can only call when she goes in to town) she has been an absolute rock. Which is funny because I'm usually her support as she has bipolar affective disorder. I'm usually the one she comes to in times of stress
Though I'm only on the start of my journey I have learned A LOT in the last few weeks -
* I'm strong but I'm not infallable
* I now know who my real friends are
* It appears I'm a very impatient person who doesn't like to be told to wait (this really surprised me)
* Getting angry at wait times and ridiculous hurdles/loopholes in the health system etc gets you nowhere
Thank you for allowing me to vent.