I'm new here. I'm 26, a highschool teacher and just moved to the UK from Australia. However, I'm not new to the world of abnormal smears. Long story:
When I was 16, the guy I was dating and who I'd slept with before decided that it was alright for him to sleep with me whenever he liked. This included when I was asleep. I woke up one night while staying at his, he was on top of me and didn't stop what he was doing when I asked him. Turns out - no condom. Six months later I had my first smear - HPV positive and with squamous lesions. I was terrified and got sent for a colposcopy. At the appointment, the biopsy hurt more than I expected and the nurse was incredibly rude when I expressed that I was in pain. The doctor at the time told me everything was fine, it would go away on its own but I'd need a six month check up just to make sure.
I returned for the next smear, and never got results. So I kept going every six months until someone would tell me - I never heard anything and I rarely got the same doctor because my clinic would just book with whoever was available. So I just kept going back, but still no word. I was also with a new boyfriend at the time and we would sometimes not use condoms because I was on the pill. Because he refused to get checked, he probably contracted the HPV I had then kept reinfecting me. Around two years ago I ended that relationship, and six months later I had my next smear with a new doctor (with a thin prep just to be sure) and FINALLY I had a doctor get back to me and tell me everything was clear.
At the start of this year I moved to Scotland as I'm a dual citizen. I met an amazing man early on and things were (still are) great. But only a couple months in and I was suffering major pains and bleeding during sex, bleeding outside my period, and general pelvic pain. So, being paranoid from the near decade of HPV tests, I went to get a smear if only to get it registered with the NHS and to have my mind put at ease. Instead, I get told there's been moderate changes and I'm to go for a colposcopy immediately. I asked my doctor if this meant they would need to do any kind of operation and she said "No, they'll only operate there and then if there's been severe changes". So I went in thinking I'd just be having a biopsy then going home. Of course I'd researched it all and knew about LLETZ/cone biopsies, but had convinced myself I wouldn't need it .
I am terrified of needles, and I suffer depression and anxiety (which I manage fairly well, but when under sudden stress not so much) I walked in and was immediately told I'd be getting the LLETZ treatment before I even got in the stirrups, so the shock set in and just couldn't stop crying. The injection into the cervix was a bitch, and I was just about hyperventilating in the chair because I was trying not to have a full blown panic attack. The nurses were wonderful, but I felt so terrible for reacting how I did.
Since then, I've just felt queasy and terrified. The pain has been alright, but the first four days I think my anxiety was making me so unwell that I was just in agony in my stomach - not like period cramps, more like a really bad stomach bug cramps. I just started bleeding (normal in the second week I believe), but not being able to exercise is getting to me. I use it to help regulate my mood and without it I'm just stuck in this spiral of fear that I'm going to be told my results were awful. I still have three weeks at least to wait before I get results, and I'm just terrified. I've been withdrawn, cried a lot more than usual, I feel completely unattractive and diseased, and my boyfriend is trying to help me feel better but I don't know how. I feel like he doesn't deserve this and I'm just being more of a burden on him. I just don't know how to shake it.
What did you all do to distract yourself during the wait? Please tell me I'm not the only one who reacted this way!
Sorry for the long ramble, thanks for reading x