When we turn twenty-one, our lives get infinitely better with easy access to bars and alcohol. Unfortunately for women, this also comes with the first dreaded pap smear. Obviously this is a necessity in our lives. It’s better that we can have early detection of cervical cancer and other abnormalities so we can live healthy lives and stuff, but it still sucks. A lot.
Going into my first Pap smear I was more than a little nervous. Does it matter what underwear I wear? (No.) Should I shave before I go? (The doctor won’t notice either way.) Is this going to be absolutely terrible? (Yes.) However, my friends who had braved the gyno before reassured me that everything would be fine. It wasn’t very long. It barely feels like anything. It will be over before I know it.
So there I am, legs spread eagle on my doctor’s chair, just waiting for it to happen. She explained to me every step of what was about to occur and what it would most likely feel like.
“Now when we use this brush to scrape the cervix some people bleed a little bit if they’re sensitive,” she reassured me, “but you should only feel mild discomfort.”
Mild discomfort is not at all what I wanted in my lady parts, but I put my big girl face on and told her I was ready. The doctor did her thing and finally put the tiny brush inside of me as I willed myself to keep calmly breathing.
“Wow,” she said after a moment of hesitation. Her hands had frozen as she stared down at me. Trust me, that is not what you want to hear when your doctor is literally inside your vagina.
“Is everything okay?” I asked nervously.
“Oh, uh, yes, you’re just, um very sensitive so there’s a little bit of bleeding,” she said, with a forced calm voice.
A little bit of bleeding I could totally handle. I mean it comes out of the same place every month so what could a little more hurt? Then she took the brush out of my va-jay and put it inside the solution which instantly turned very, very red. It appeared to be more than just a little bit of blood. I tried to stay calm as I pictured what the lower half of my body must look like right now.
My doctor didn’t say much for the rest of the appointment. Once she was done she quickly scribbled some notes down and left in a hurry. I sat up, eager to put on my normal clothes and put this whole situation behind me when I looked down at my lap. There was blood EVERYWHERE. It was all over me, soaked through the dressing gown, and onto my chair. It literally looked like a murder had just occurred there. Worse, my doctor said nothing of how to clean up, what to do with the blood-soaked gown, or how to deal with the fact that I was still bleeding. Luckily I had a pad in my purse, so I threw that on with the rest of my clothes, balled up the gross gown and left it on the chair, and got the fuck out of there as quickly as possible.
To this day I wonder what the poor nurse who went to “tidy” up the room after my appointment was over thought when she went in there. Can’t wait to do it all again in three years..
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