My First Pap Smear

 Good Evening everyone! I hope that you all are doing well! One of my goals for 2017 is to focus on my well being. Health is a big part of well being. In the past, I have not paid much attention to my health because I lacked health insurance. I couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket for medical attention. Typically, by 21, a woman should have had a paps smear to check for cervical cancer and any other issues that may be present. I didn’t get health insurance until the end of 2014. From that point, I continued to overlook my health because overlooking it had become a habit. 
 My mother suffers from hypertension, diabetes, and is in the early stages of kidney failure. In 2014, she had a hysterectomy to remove uterine cancer. I don’t know much about my biological father and his medical history but he died in October from cancer. My dad has kidney failure. The people around me are sick.  That was motivation enough for me to take care of myself. I want to live happily and healthily. I want to be as healthy as I can for my future husband and family. I want to be healthy for myself.  Traveling with friends is something that I enjoy doing. I enjoy going to new places and meeting new people.  You only get one body and one life. 
Two weeks ago, I made an appointment with a nurse practitioner to evaluate my health. Because my mom has uterine cancer and has had fibroids in the past, I knew that getting a paps smear would be on  my to do list. The paps smear appointment was scheduled for today. During the past two weeks, I have been absolutely terrified! Dread doesn’t even begin to cover how frightened I have been about this procedure. Half of me wanted to cancel the appointment and hide but the adult in me wanted to be safe. 
I sat in my car for so long, terrified to go into the office. 

 This procedure was particularly frightening to me because I have never had sex. The idea of having a random object probing my sensitive parts did not sit to well with me.

 Here I sat in the front lobby of the office, deciding whether to go through with this or run. My nurse practitioner had a student that was learning from her. She started the examine by taking my weight, pulse rate, and blood pressure. After she checked my vitals, I had to disrobe. For some reason, the realization that I would be bare naked in a room with strangers never crossed my mine. For sure, I thought that I’d be able to leave my top on. She gave me a thing, pink robe to put on.  I was scared as heck! Beforehand, I explained to them again, that I have never been sexually active and that I was freaking the **** out! After reassuring me that everything would go smoothly, the main nurse practitioner told the shadow to begin my breast exam. While awkward, I learned that you should examine your breasts at least once a week to check for abnormalities. Checking weekly is a big helper for early detection and can save your life. She taught me how to examine myself. Also, she suggested that I examine after I get out of the shower because it’s easier to see if there are any changes in your breasts. The shadower said that my period and stress can influence my breasts. I didn’t know that at all.

 The moment that I had been freaking out about for two weeks was finally beginning. They instructed me to scoot to the very end of the bed and propped my legs up on the stirrups. They stressed the importance of relaxing. Then the nurse practitioner that was shadowing told the experience nurse practitioner that she had never used the kind of instrument that she had for the paps smear, which was not what I wanted to hear before my first time. The nurse practitioner tried to instruct her on how to use it and assured me that she knew what she was doing but was confused by the instrument. After two failed, excruciating attempts at viewing my insides, the main practitioner decided took over the exam. I have never experience physical pain that compared to the pain of this paps smear in my life. I was tense and scared. She stuck the instrument in and got it open enough to see what she needed, but something happened. She had to stick it in a fourth time. On the fourth time, she was able to go all the way in, open the instrument, view my cervix, and get a sample of the tissue.

Ya’ll, this was the most awkward experience of my life!!!  Some people think that virgins don’t need to have paps smears until after they have sex. That is not true. Every woman needs to have a regular paps smear.  Despite the traumatic experience, I am happy that I took a step forward. Ignorance is never bliss when it comes to your health. I am still sore for the experience but I should be fine by tomorrow.

What are your tips for getting through a paps smear? Do you have any health related horror stories?
How is your new year going so far? Have you began any of your resolutions?

Leave a comment below!

Until next time,
-Nora

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My name is Nora. I am a 28 year old Nashville native. By day, I am a #corporaterebel in the Talent Acquisition and Human Resources Industry, In my spare time, I am a plus-size blogger, Youtuber, and social media influencer. On my platform, I discuss beauty, fashion, faith, lifestyle, and everything that I encounter and experience as a young black woman who is building her empire. In my free time, you can catch me playing Sims, binging Netflix and Hulu, enjoying a bottle of sweet wine, enjoying #foodie life, getting my beauty rest, or out styling and profiling.

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