First of all, you've come to the right place. All the ladies on here are either going through or have already gone through what you are experiencing. Try not to Google any more as fortunately it has brought you here, but sometimes there is slightly conflicting information but everything you need to know and any questions can be answered by the good people on this website. I've been an avid reader on here since I got my abnormal smear results a couple of weeks ago and it was a great help at putting my mind at rest about the next step.
I had my colposcopy yesterday morning so I'll talk you through it. Like you I'd worked myself up into a frenzy about the whole thing. I'd barely slept the night before and left home an hour before my appointment for a 16 mile journey "just in case". There was no way I was losing that appointment! On arrival at the clinic you will check in and wait for them to call you through, just like at your own doctors. I was called by the nurse who was going to stand by my side for the whole proceedure. I was then met by the lady who was going to perform the colposcopy. I was expectiong a guy as my letter suggested, but I won't lie, I was a little relieved that it wasn't. The lady explained my situation. My smear results had indicated "high grade dyskaryosis" and she explained that mine was in the severe catagory so if she deemed it necessary then would I be happy for treatment to be carried out there and then? Of course! I do think this may depend on what clinic you attend as to whether this is possible. There should be a phone number on your appointment letter that you can call and ask these questions if you wish. She then explained that she would use a speculum (exactly what they use in your smear) so that she could see the cervix and that she would just be perched by my feet with the colposcope which is basically just like a microscope for long distance. This never touched you and if you do choose to look down then you can see it's nowhere near you. I was asked if I had any children (I don't) and told that if they did perform treatment then it can weaken your cervix slightly so there is a marginally higher risk of miscarriage or premature labour. This gave me a wobble as my husband and I were hoping to try for a family this summer, but I pulled myself together, took a deep breath and sucked the tears back. She asked if I had any questions and the nurse showed me through to the main room.
I wore a skirt to try to retain some dignity (why?) so was shown a small changing area with a curtain and asked to remove my underwear and tights but leave my skirt on. When I came out, all I could see was the chair! It's comfortable enough but has high set pads attached for your knees to rest on and screens everywhere so is quite alarming if you're not expecting it!. I was asked to sit on it and shuffle forwards, then the chair was lowered and the back of the seat reclined. The speculum was inseted with no pain and then the lady performing the proceedure asked if I wanted to look at the screen. NOT REALLY but I obliged and it was actually fine. She showed me my cervix and the white area which are the abnormal cells. she also showed me an oversized cotton bud and inserted it so I could see the size of the areashe was dealing with. Don't get me wrong, this isn't pretty, but everyon's is going to look a bit gross and these people see this every day. It's actually kind of fascinating! She then applied a "vinigary" like solution (doesn't smell) and kind of cleaned the area up. She then explained that she was going to treat me there and that I'd have to have a local anesthetic. This honestly scared the life out of me as I remember from past experienced on delicate areas (gums etc) it hurts like hell. She also told me there is adrenaline in it so my heart may race but it's perfectly normal. She covered my cervix with iodine and then suggested I looked away. She said it may sting a bit and although the lovely nurse was chatting away, all I could do was concentrate on when the pain was coming. I waited.....a couple of times I thought "Was that it? Oh no wait, that was it. Nope, maybe this?" No pain whatsoever! I think I did feel it but it was so faint that I just thought she was poking around down there again. Whilst I was looking away the nurse applied a pad to my leg. This is because the LLETZ procedure uses electrical current and although I wasn't told, I assume this is to absorb the current or something. My legs did start to shake quite a bit and I was apologising like nobody's business but they explained this was just the adrenaline and was perfectly normal. The next thing, she was telling me to look at the screen as it was finished! The result kind of looked like a cigarette burn. I was told I would need to wear sanitaey towels for 4 weeks and no sex for that time.
I was given a lovely NHS towel and a large piece of tissue and shown back to the curatain. There were further tissues in there and a bin to dispose of everything. I got myself dressed and off I went! I can't stress enough how lovely the ladies were. They know everyone is scared and they see it all the time. Yes, they do talk to you about utter rubbish whilst it's all going on, but it's just a distraction so you don't get worked up. They are professionals and very good at their job. The whole thing to when I got called through and walking out of the building was 20 mins. That's it! That was including getting undressed and dressed again. I can honestly say that i would do it all again tomorrow if I had to. There was zero pain, just like an extended smear with cameras really! I did sit in my car for a few mins afterwards and have a little moment to myself as I was still shaking from the adrenaline. It only affected my system for about 15 mins though.
I'm guessing by your username that you're still only around 25. Don't beat yourself up about just one year of a missed smear. I've been putting it off for years and am now bricking it about the result! You are still very young and the likelyhood of this being or becoming anything sinister at your age is so minimal that it's not worth thinking about. Take it one step at a time. Get yourself through the colposcopy and know that you are now on the road to getting this treated. I'm sorry if my response went on for days but I wanted to be thorough in what to expect. I hope it helped a little and stay in touch. If you can't talk to anyone about this then we are all here to listen. That's what this website is brilliant for.