Jump to content


Some Tips before you att your Gyno/Ob appt


  • Please log in to reply
69 replies to this topic

#46 StayStrongSurvivor

StayStrongSurvivor
  • Member
  • posts: 137

Posted 05 January 2015 - 03:29 PM

I agree with gozorakgo, you should have been told before the appointment if anyone other than you dr or nurse would be present. I don't think all healthcare workers consider our reactions or the amount of time it takes us to prep for these appointment. Not to mention the time it takes us to pull ourselves together after an appointment.  This has happened to me before and I apologized, though I shouldn't have had to, to the medical student. Though I would have LOVED the medical student to have learned from me and my pain, that's not my responsibility. I also don't think its ethical for my dr/nurse to share my concerns with the medical student. A good dr/nurse understands this without explanation. So very sorry you had to go through this. In time you will find the ability to make a new appointment and hopefully have a better experience. GOOD for you for having stood up for yourself, the risk of not having done so would have probably have been far worse emotionally.



#47 RachelJohnson

RachelJohnson
  • Member
  • posts: 263

Posted 05 January 2015 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for the replies. I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking it was unfair for them to assume I would be okay with it, and that it's okay that I definitely wasn't comfortable with it.

They mentioned at the reception desk that the nurse had a medical student with her and would I be willing for the student to do it. I said I'd rather it was the nurse but they didn't mention it was a male medical student. So when I got into the room I was shocked to be faced with two people, one of whom was male and totally forgot about what I'd been practicing about explaining why this appointment would be difficult for me.

I was asked again about the med student doing it as reception obviously hadn't passed on my wishes. When I said no again I assumed he would leave the room but he stayed so he could give me 'moral support' and learn from how the nurse talked to me etc. Bless him, he was trying to be supportive but it was the worst possible scenario for my first smear test to be looking up at a man's face whilst in such a vulnerable position. I wish I'd asked him to leave at that point but I couldn't get the words out and didn't want to cause trouble.

She started trying to jam the speculum into me but it was all too familiar and I felt I was back there being raped again. There's something so powerless about the position and not being in control of what's going inside you. I tensed up and she couldn't get it in anyway. I was a crying mess by this point so she stopped and let me sit up. She asked if I wanted to try again. I said no and got out of there as quickly as I could. I partly wish I'd tried again but I doubt it would have been any easier as there was no way back from how I felt. I couldn't just switch off my thoughts and feelings.

I really hope this doesn't put anyone else off having a smear. Please learn from my mistakes and make sure you're comfortable in the environment before they begin. I can't help but think it would've been different if the medical student hadn't been there and I'd been able to tell the nurse what I'd rehearsed. She was lovely and the med student didn't do anything wrong, I was the only problem. However I can't help but feel angry that I had extra obstacles in what was always going to be a difficult appointment. I've not seen a med student ever before! Just typical!

I can't even begin to think about booking another test but I know this will be hanging over me if I don't do it at some point.

#48 StayStrongSurvivor

StayStrongSurvivor
  • Member
  • posts: 137

Posted 05 January 2015 - 06:22 PM

It wasn't your fault or anyone's fault other than the person who hurt you in the past. I have to keep reminding myself of that, its hard to do, but its true. Maybe some day you can call the nurse and discuss what happened if you are feeling up to it. That way when you go in again (no rush) you both will be on the same page. From what it sounds you seemed to like her so maybe you can work through this with her. Thinking of you (()) if you want them. 



#49 RachelJohnson

RachelJohnson
  • Member
  • posts: 263

Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:35 AM

Thank you. I think I'm going to leave it for now and try again at some point when I feel ready.

Thanks for all the kind words and reassurances.

#50 Hellothere

Hellothere
  • Member
  • posts: 2,033

Posted 07 January 2015 - 04:23 PM

-

Edited by Hellothere, 18 June 2015 - 05:29 AM.


#51 RachelJohnson

RachelJohnson
  • Member
  • posts: 263

Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:14 PM

Your giraffe comment made me smile :-)

I am considering changing GPs anyway so maybe trying again in a different location with different staff may be the way to go. I can't contemplate that right now though. Normally when I'm anxious about something I just get on and do it so it's out of the way. This feels different, not sure why.

I have a problem with asking for what I want or need and put the needs and feelings of others first sometimes. Even with everyone telling me I'm within my rights to ask the med student to leave, I still don't know that I could actually ''make a fuss'. I am so want to stay in control yet in that situation I was too scared (or at least wasn't brave enough) to do something to make myself feel safer. What's that about?!

#52 gozorakgo

gozorakgo
  • Member
  • posts: 741

Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:23 PM

Rachel, do you have a partner or close girl friend you could take with you who might be willing to go and advocate for you?

#53 RachelJohnson

RachelJohnson
  • Member
  • posts: 263

Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:59 PM

I don't have a partner but I do have some close girl friends, 2 in particular. One is not so close geographically but the other could theoretically come.

I don't know how I would ask her though. I wouldn't want her to feel she had to come. I find it difficult to ask for help and I would feel a bit foolish having to ask her to give up her time for me. I'm not sure she truly understands how I feel about it, though she tries to be supportive. I'm not saying I won't do it, it's a good idea, thank you. I just don't know how to suggest it to her!

#54 Hellothere

Hellothere
  • Member
  • posts: 2,033

Posted 08 January 2015 - 03:12 AM

It wasn't your fault or anyone's fault other than the person who hurt you in the past. 

^^^^This, a million times.



#55 Kara15

Kara15
  • Member
  • posts: 64

Posted 13 January 2015 - 12:27 AM

it's always ok for you as a patient to speak up for yourself, ask questions, say no. But, if you are comfortable and ok with it, I would advise trying to allow yourself to keep the med student in the room (not if it's not ok for you though). I still remember a lot of the patients I saw and took care of when I was a student and those experiences shape you and make you a better doctor.

 

 

- Kara



#56 RachelJohnson

RachelJohnson
  • Member
  • posts: 263

Posted 19 January 2015 - 05:09 PM

Hello all

I've decided I want to try again with the smear test/Pap smear. Partly I've been encouraged by one of my friends (who is far far away living in Aus at the moment, I'm in the UK) and somehow she's convinced me I can do it. (She's not convinced me that I want to do it, I did anyway, just convinced me that it may be possible).

Urgh! Now I feel sick at the thought of even booking an appointment! I'm still unsure whether to tell the nurse. I didn't before (though I had planned to) but others (non survivors) have said it makes it a bigger thing and gives me an extra challenge in having to tell someone. Though a lot of people on here say it's helped. Not sure if I'm just finding more decisions for myself to make so I can put it off until I've decided!!!!

#57 Hellothere

Hellothere
  • Member
  • posts: 2,033

Posted 20 January 2015 - 02:01 AM

-

Edited by Hellothere, 18 June 2015 - 05:30 AM.


#58 RachelJohnson

RachelJohnson
  • Member
  • posts: 263

Posted 21 January 2015 - 12:39 PM

Thanks Hellothere.

I'm not sure what the equivalent of Planned Parenthood would be here. I think there are other places I could go that might be more experienced but would need to find out where.

I think as I'm changing GPs (for other reasons not related to this) I'll try to start from scratch with the new Practice Nurse there and see how it goes. Thanks for the idea though, I really appreciate it. I'm not going to do anything until the end of January though as I'm so busy at work until 31st Jan passes. I can't cope with having to do this as well as all my work!

#59 Louise77

Louise77
  • Member
  • posts: 140

Posted 02 March 2015 - 04:53 PM

Wow I am glad o found this place. I m in England we don't do annual gyn examination and I've never had children. I have been having symptoms downthere for mmonths but I been too scared to ask my doctor or in fact say anything about that area. I have finally booked THE Appointment for 10 days. And the thought of being exposed touched and vulnerable is horrific. Any ideas on how even describing symptoms .

#60 Sugar

Sugar
  • "What big eyes you have!" Little Red Ridding Hood

  • Member
  • posts: 817

Posted 03 March 2015 - 12:04 AM

write things down beforehand that you want to say like details about what symptoms you are having or what you need/want out of the appointment and when you get there you can read from what you've written or even give it over to your doctor if you don't feel like you can talk about it out loud. Let them know you are feeling nervous, a good doctor or nurse will be able to help you relax so that the appointment goes much smoother. Try to remember that your doctor is there to help you take care of you. It is ok and so normal for survivors to feel icky about being exposed and being touched in that area. You can say stop at any time. Be proud of yourself for making the appointment and for everything that you do beyond that yay.gif




Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. is not intended to be a substitute for professional assistance. All members and visitors are encouraged to establish a relationship with a trained counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. offers rape and sexual abuse survivor-to-survivor support only. Despite any qualifications staff or members possess, they are not engaged in a professional relationship with any other member. Survivors in crisis are urged to seek local help by contacting 911 or their local rape crisis center. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service located here.