Going crazy waiting / health anxiety


First post and just reading some of the lovely posts on here has helped.

I am 46 and in my early 40s had a really badly handled smear test and result - I had BV but the doctors called me saying it was “urgent” that I came in “immediately” - I was convinced (during my three hour wait) I had cancer and was dying - I thought back then the smear checked for cancer.

Although that smear was absolutely fine, as had the ones before it, I missed my next smear through simple fear. I completely ostrich-ed it.

So after six months of agonising, I finally had a smear done last week. I went private because the waiting time for results here is around 8 weeks and I couldn’t handle that - it’s about a week to ten days private. And they call to give you the results so not lying by the letter box.

Today is a week. Although not really as there was the bank holiday. I know that the speed of results doesn’t mean anything.

But my health anxiety is going absolutely crazy. I am finding it so difficult to deal with. I have PTSD and anxiety from other stuff, and some really awful previous gynae history from when I had a bartolithyn cyst and was used as a “teaching case” (the gynae did a full, rough, internal exam in front of about ten students - I’ve never felt quite the same about my vagina since.

The nurse doing the smear told me my cervix looked fine, but I may have BV or thrush from what she could see (they’ll tell me when they call) - Im not worried about that as it’s just antibiotics.

Im just so scared waiting. My usual coping mechanisms are Headspace (not working) and I do have Valium (prescribed) which slightly takes the edge off but there’s no one I can talk to.

My husband just tells me “you’ll be fine, you have no symptoms, and even if you’re not, we have insurance”, and of my two best friends, one is on a yearly check so I feel I can’t “bother” her, and the other has gone through stage 4 of a different cancer and a family death, so I don’t want to “bother” her with what I know sounds like petty whining compared to the multiple surgeries she’s gone through.

At 46 I’m far too old for this kinda stuff :frowning: but trying to buck myself up isn’t working. Has anyone got any advice please?

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Hi Frankie,

Sorry to hear you’re feeling so bad — but welcome to the forum! I think your husband is a wise man - you’re letting this get on top of you when you don’t know the results yet - and there is nothing you can do to hurry them. What you do have to deal with is your anxiety. Perhaps finding some displacement activity every time you find your mind gripping ‘the fear’ might help, as you can’t hurry the results, or the process - you’re going to have to wait I’m afraid. Try to focus on the positives - if there are ‘changes’ they can be dealt with; you have private health insurance; you have a supportive family; you have two best friends (some people don’t have any) who I’m sure would tell you that you’re not wasting their time by talking to them about your stuff, as I’m sure you’ve been there for them when they needed it…

Let’s hope it’s nothing bad - especially as (and you’re not alone) you’ve been previously traumatised by a thoughtless male gynae - but it is what it is, you cannot change it by worrying, but you can be active in giving yourself less of a hard time. X


Thank you for your lovely reply!
I think that I shall need to seek out some kind of help later to deal with the anxiety as it’s not exactly a good way to approach things!

I know there will be no “news” today so I’m trying really hard with the displacement and distraction - I just wish it wouldn’t pop up so randomly!

Thank you again for your reply!

Excellent advice Jacks123 - I can also recommend phoning Jo’s helpline for support. Hope this helps and sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Big hug! A x

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Hi, i hope it works out for you, i can absolutely relate- i am also driving myself crazy with HA and googling every day for hours (instead of writing my dissertation)… not good haha
all the best

Thank you ever so much for replying!

I know the clinic is closed today so there’s absolutely no point holding my breath waiting for the phone to ring now till Monday which has helped a bit!

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Aww sorry you’re struggling too!

I hope you manage to get your head in the right place for your dissertation soon, and that everything is okay x

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I know how helpful it was to read conclusions to other people’s threads.

Despite my best efforts I had a miserable weekend and my husband this morning did what I was too scared to do and called. My results are through and not only is it a clear reading, I’m clear of all the HPV I tested for too.

Although I’m in a steady relationship, and in my forties, I’m considering having my jab anyway.

Thank you for everyone who posted x

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There we go - brilliant news, and there was nothing to be worried about. Might be a good idea to get the vaccination (you can always ask!) as it might help to put your mind at rest. X

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