I am hoping someonce can help me.
Although middle aged I have never had sex/ a sexual relationship/ intimacy/ I do not like being touched. Which I am fine with. It is just how I am.
For these reason I had made an informed decision not to have smear tests as I was very low risk and signed many disclaimers for cervical screening at my GP surgery over the years.
However I saw an new GP for another reason (suspected breast cancer). During the consultation she was very aggressive and insisted I had to have /needed a smear test several times to which I said no.
The GP then said how suspicious my symptoms were for cancer and that it may have spread. She insisted I needed urgent tests and said I needed to have blood test for cancer biomarkers and a smear test straight away and the hospital would contact me for within the next 48 hours as I was an urgent referral (for breast cancer). When I tried to ask questions she dismissed me and just said how supspicious and urgent my situaiton was. I was given no information.
At this I was extremely distressed and frightened and agreed to have a smear test as I believed was seriously ill and it was something I needed (not a routine screening test).
I went to the nurses room in a state of shock and could not speak. I could hardly keep it together.
The Nurse repeatedely tried to force a speculum inside me. I told her she was hurting me so badly and she said it was because I was not relaxing. She kept ongoing and on about the fourth attempt rammed the speculum into me even harded. I felt as if my insides were splitting and was crying and shaking with the pain. It was ony when she could not also force the brush for the test into me as well that this ordeal stopped. I was totally distraught.
Physically I have healed from the internal bleeing, bruising and general discomfort, but emotionally I am so distressed I cannot express in words the total violation, humiliation, lack of control, betrayal of trust and also how stupid I feel as the smear test was totally uneccessary for breast cancer diagnosis.
Are there any organisations that offer support for this type of experience? I have tried to moved on but am finding it hard to cope. Sadly I do have breast cancer but this experience has severly damaged my trust in the medical profession and confidence in treatment/care. I did call a help line for breast cancer but when I tried to explain what had happened the helpline nurse just dismiissed it as a 'poor smear test experience' and did not seem to understand why it had affected me.
I have tried to take back some control and wrote a formal complaint to the GP practice manager. They advised they 'appreciate patient feedback", were "sorry I was disappointed in my experience wih them' and felt 'I should 'move on'. Which left me feeling dismissed and worthless.
I can hardly believe I am wrting this on a public forum (thank goodness it it annonymous). But I believe what happened to me at the GPs surgery was very wrong. Reaching out for help via the GP complaints process and help line nurses has crushed my faith in the medical profession.
I am hoping if there is someone else on this fourm who has had a bad experience they could advise ways to cope. I feel as if I have been assaulted and that I am being dismssed and told that what happened to me is fine. I feel very isolated and as this is so personal I cannot discusss it.
Just to add I am not anti smear tests. I just beleive women have the right to an informed choice over what happens to their bodies and that patients have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.
Sorry for the long post, I just feel so traumatised by the experience, terrified by the cancer and have such strong emotions I feel I am going out of my mind and for obvious reasons do not feel confident going to a GP for help (event though I have changed practices).
Thank you x