well, much to my surprise, there is not a thread already started (at least, not that i could find) about abnormal pap smears. this surprised me, because abnormal pap smears are frighteningly common, and very scary.
that being said, i'd like this to be a thread for people who have just had abnormalities found on a pap smear, or who have had abnormalities in the past, to share experiences and help eachother through an experience that doesn't have to be as scary as it becomes when you have no one to talk to. i'd like to note in advance that no one here is authorized to give medical advice, and given the wide range of abnormal results that can be found on a pap smear, it is critical that you follow the recomendations of your doctor or clinic.
----------- i have story of my own about pap smears and abnormal results. this summer i went to my pediatricians office, which also does pelvic exams for adolescent women (i'm 19, but i'm covered by my parents health insurance, and they won't let me switch to a different in-plan doctor, and planned parenthood won't take my insurance...long story, not relevent). when i got my pap smear results back, the doctor said they were abnormal, and that i needed to have another pap smear done as soon as possible. i promptly made an appointment at the queer clinic, which then got cancelled because the doctor was sick (don't ya hate when that happens). that appointment was scheduled for a few days before i left for school, so i decided to wait and brave the student health services, which are notoriously bad and unprofessonal about gynocological matters. i called and explained that i needed a pap smear because i had had an abnormal one a few weeks earlier. the woman on the phone told me i would need to stop by the office to make that appointment because they needed me to sign a release. that afternoon i walked over and asked for a release form to sign, and to make an appointment. in the waiting area (where there *were* people waiting) i had to explain to the woman behind the glass partition why i needed an appointment. it took a little while before she figured it out. i filled out the release, but didn't know my doctors fax #, so i gave them the phone number. they said i needed the fax number. i said maybe they could call and get it, since they'd have to call to explain which records they needed, anyway. then i had to explain the whole thing over again because it turned out that they thought i need them (the student health office) to send results to my doctor, and not the other way around. turns out i didn't even need the release. this was the first week of september. the first appoinement they had was sometime around the 20th. grr. long time to wait when you were told to do something as soon as possible, yeah? my appointment finally arrives. i get there, undress, and wait for the doctor. she comes in. she's very nice. there's a problem, though. turns out she has decided to blame me for the fact that my doctors office (which is notoriously horrible at sending out forms) never sent my results. i remind her that the office is in new york, and its less than a week after september 11th. by this point, i was already nearly in tears. i have to explain to her what i need and why (as i'm sure anyone who's had a similar medical experience will attest-- it sucks to have to explain over and over again what the problem is when you don't know and are scared about what it could be). she does another pap smear and an exam, and tells me my results will be ready in about 7-10 days. cut to 12 days later. nearly two weeks later, i still hadn't heard anything, and i was walking by student health, so i decide to stop in. i ask about results. they look me up. "oh, yes, your results came in. oh, we sent them to your mailbox" "how long will it take for them to arrive?" ask i. no more than a day. well, it had already been nearly three days since they said they had sent them. so i asked what they were. "it was fine" they tell me. somehow that wasn't very reassuring. i wanted details about what had been wrong last time, what they thought it might have been caused by, and i wanted to talk to someone who knew what they were talking about. a day or two later i get a result card in the mail---its entirely blank, and doesnt even indicate what tests they had done. if i hadn't stopped by their office, that card would have totally devastated me. they never told me any more details, and they didn't say whether i should get a pap smear done every three monthes (as is often recommended for women who have had an abnormal pap) for now, i consider myself lucky because whatever abnormal cells were chiling on my cervix have returned to normal.
in the few monthes since then, i've spoken to several friends and aquaintances who have been panicking after recieving abnormal results. anyway, that's my story. i'm sure there are other people on these boards who have gone through similar things or who are currently going through them. this is your place...speak up!
Posts: 72 | From: oberlin, oh / new york city | Registered: Dec 2001
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Well, I have an appt tomorrow for my yearly pap smear, so we'll see how it goes. I've never had an abnormal reading before, unless you count the "slight yeast infection" my doc told me I had last year. But that doesn't really count, since they knew what it was. Anyway, I'll be having fun times tomorrow afternoon!
------------------ Munchy, the Munchkin, the Monchichi
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