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To think my doc is out of order may trigger abuse related

25 replies

Natural36 · 13/07/2017 22:20

Long story but my last smear was after leaving abusive ex 5 years ago. Went to doctors for unrelated issue . got told o see you have ignored all the letters and not had a smear test when you should have 2 years ago. I explained (again) sexually abusive ex and the doc who did my smear after a sexual assault was rough and treated me like shit verbally asking why didn't I leave .. Anyway this doc a few weeks ago says I need to forget my abusive ex and the doc and move on. And get the smear . I know they are important but due to the abuse I have PTSD anxiety even the letters ( they have stopped sending now ) brought on panic attacks. I have explained this a lot . surely it is my decision . please dont hate on my post :(

OP posts:

SaucyJack · 13/07/2017 22:37

Of course you're not U. Your doctor sounds a bit of a nasty perve themselves TBH.

Don't have a smear if you don't want one. The odds are overwhelmingly in your favour that absolutely nothing will happen either way. Cervical cancer is extremely rare- with or without smear testing.

Of course, we live in a patriarchal rape culture as you well know- so expect the next 20 posters below me to tell you that you should just do as your doctor tells you and take your knickers off on demand.

Smear testing only works if hysteria can be maintained amongst the general population.


Booboobooboo84 · 13/07/2017 22:38

Totally with you here. After a rough smear the first time I'm simply never having one again.


Ginlovinglady · 13/07/2017 22:41

Same for me I had a horrific one after something had happened to me and I haven't been back
It eats away at me too.
Sorry it's such a horrid situation to be in


Justhadmyhaircut · 13/07/2017 22:43

Please please do rethink. . My dm missed a few and went to the Dr with a sore throat. Dr all but bullied her into a smear. . .
And found the dreaded C. .
She lived to tell the tale but only just. .
Seek whatever therapy you need to be able to have one. Find a nice nurse you trust. .


brummiesue · 13/07/2017 22:44

Saucy - are you serious?? Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer in young women and it is one that we can actually do something to monitor and prevent. It's completely irresponsible to try and downplay it like that Hmm Sorry for you past experience natural - do what you feel is right for you, maybe consider requesting a diff doctor or getting some counselling


Amanduh · 13/07/2017 22:45

The doctor is a nasty perve because he said she needs to try and forget the past and move on and have a smear test? Hmm


ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin · 13/07/2017 22:45

So sorry to hear this. It is your choice and your's alone. As a HCP I believe that we're there to facilitate your choice not dictate to you.
As a minimum I would expect that someone would take you through the pros and cons of a smear test so you can make an informed choice and for you to be offered the support you need to carry out your wishes.


MashedRockyRoad · 13/07/2017 22:48

YANBU OP. Do what you have to do to keep yourself safe.

If you want to have a smear and want to get support with that I hope someone can point you in the direction of supportive and helpful resources. I am so sorry that you've been so badly treated in a smear, that is just awful.


AnUtterIdiot · 13/07/2017 22:49

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Groupie123 · 13/07/2017 22:50

I find Smears horrifically painful. Last nurse got fed up after a while and pulled a bottle of posh gin out of nowhere (a xmas gift), opened it, and poured me a shots worth. Worked a charm Grin I always take a shot or two before them now.


MashedRockyRoad · 13/07/2017 22:52

I was going to recommend a GUM clinic as well but thought I might have had a one-off positive experience- the gynae there was fabulous dealing with my fears and I could see that they are very used to dealing with traumatised women. They were very supportive and it was all about feeling safe and secure.

It's a thought to tuck away and think about when you are feeling strong.


crocodilesoup · 13/07/2017 22:53

You don't want your shithead ex to be the reason you might one day be diagnosed with cancer. There are gentler nurses who could treat you with sensitivity. Is this something you could discuss with a counsellor? (Do you see someone for PTSD?)


GibbyS · 13/07/2017 22:53

YANBU. Have a look at this service where you can get a smear in a supportive place


LoupGarou · 13/07/2017 22:56

I've never had one, though its irrelevant now, for much the same reasons. Fortunately I've lived my adult life in countries who respect your choice when you say no and ask it to be put on your file that you don't want reminding, as any health service should. Or perhaps that was just the HCPs I have seen. Your body, your choice Flowers


ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin · 13/07/2017 23:00

Obviously the ideal would be that the OP feels supported to feel comfortable and confident having a smear but her mental health is just as important as her physical health.
At the very least we have to go for a smear every 3 years for 40 years, more if there are any changes. I take smears and I certainly wouldn't want to inflict that type of harm on a traumatised patient.
OP, we can help and most HCPs will be very willing to work with you, take our time together to get the best outcome, you've been unfortunate to come across a total twat. Trying a sexual health clinic is a really good idea.


WhatToDoAboutThis2017 · 13/07/2017 23:00

SaucyJack is talking bullshit, OP, so you can just discount her entire post.

Doctors aren't perves for wanting people to have medical procedures done that can save their life.

OP, it is your decision, of course it is. But I really do think you should listen to your GP because they are exceptionally important.


ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin · 13/07/2017 23:03

Groupie - I think you may have found me a new professional heroine, she sounds awesome Grin
Most of us are lovely, we're in the job because we want to make you feel better. Come and see someone and have a chat, OP, it doesn't have to be more than that.


rinabean · 13/07/2017 23:06

It's true that a smear test can help. But you're going to die anyway. It's one tiny thing. There are 100s of things, 1000s of things we "should" do for our health to be "responsible". No-one does all of them.

And I think you need to take the broad picture into account:

1 in 135 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer during their lifetime.

1 in 10 women will suffer PTSD

17% of women will seriously consider suicide

So your mental health is very important and unfortunately a far greater risk to you than missing smears. You must look after yourself, seek help if you can, and ignore people telling you you're being irresponsible. Your health is your own and you should manage it to suit yourself not strangers


becausebecausebecause · 13/07/2017 23:11

I don't think the GP was out of order to try to persuade you to have the smear test although I can understand your fears after what you have gone through. Smears are never the most pleasant way to spend a few minutes but they are over quickly (usually) and very important. I'm saying that as someone who will never go in an MRI scanner (not conscious at least, claustrophobic) or have a breast scan. Grin


Italiangreyhound · 13/07/2017 23:13

It's totally your choice.

Of course.

I am so sorry you have had both this appalling relationship and terrible treatment at the hands of a doctor.

Please can I suggest you look into counselling for your PTSD. At a time that suits you.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - Treatment on the NHS can include EMDR.

"Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new treatment which has been found to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
It involves making side-to-side eye movements, usually by following the movement of your therapist's finger, while recalling the traumatic incident. Other methods may include the therapist tapping their finger or playing a tone.
It's not clear exactly how EMDR works but it may help you to change the negative way you think about a traumatic experience."

I've just heard very good things about EMDR but not experienced it. Nor have I experienced PTSD, and you have my every sympathy for all this.



BoomBoomsCousin · 13/07/2017 23:14

I think YABabitU, at least if I'm reading this right that the current Dr. you're complaining about is not the one who treated you badly the first time. Your current Dr. Sounds like s/he needs more training on mental health. I DO think it's U that the NHS doesn't put more resources into MH, but your Dr. is truthfully explaining what needs ot happen for you to receive the best physical care you can for cervical cancer, which includes testing to increase the chance of early detection. S/he needs to be trying to address your PTSD stemming form the abuse in order to do that though, not just telling you you need to get over it.

So next time, is there anyway you could respond with: "How can you help me with my trauma so I can get the testing I need?"


Bugsylugs · 13/07/2017 23:19

OP the medical systems have an alert on them for cervical screen non attendees so HCP are primed to encourage people to have their smears. One of the reasons is women in this country are low attenders for smears.
The letters despite appearing to come from your GP surgery they do not they come from public health. The surgery cannot stop these requests only you can by filling in a form it is a specific form a letter will not do. If you do sign this you will not be invited for a smear again even if you change your mind.
Maybe if you can book an appointment when you feel ready with one of the nurses that do smears just to talk about the smear build a rapport and see?


AnnieAnoniMouse · 13/07/2017 23:28

Of course it's your choice, no one can make you have one 💐

However, deciding not to, is not a very good choice to make.

My very first smear was done by a very old nurse who made it very clear that unmarried young girls (I was 17) should not be having sex. She had the coldest hands known to mankind & she was brutal.

A much nicer nurse once told me it was painful for me beacause I have a tilted pelvis, others have said it's nonsense.

All I know, is that for me, it hurts. Quite A Lot.

I had been putting it off for a long time, a very long time. However, I promised our very own TheFirstMrsDevere that I'd go, it took me a while to fulfill the promise, but I went a few weeks ago. I won't lie, it hurt, BUT I felt good about going & actually relieved when it came back clear. I hadn't been consciously worrying at all, but clearly somewhere in my mind it had been bothering me a bit.

The nurse that did my last one was very kind. If I were you I'd go and talk to the nurse first.

I know your fears are more valid than mine, but you can do this. He abused you, don't let him risk your health as well.


LoupGarou · 13/07/2017 23:54

In the nicest possible way, it is not simply as easy as saying find someone understanding to do a smear test. PTSD is an extremely complex thing, when mine was at its worst I went into cardiac arrest a few times from trigger induced stress. Now, admittedly I do have heart problems, but PTSD can have extreme effects on physical health, not just mental health.

Yes there's a risk involved in not going for a smear test, but if you do go you may be risking your PTSD being triggered. Many people do many risky things - smoking, driving, skiing etc. If the individual is capable of making an informed choice then their choice should be respected.

Trying to coerce someone into going for a smear test to me feels like someone trying to coerce me to allow my body to be subjected to something I don't want it to be, and that starts drawing nasty parallels.

To be frank even discussing smear tests makes me tense and grit my teeth, and its be quite a lot of years since I overcame my PTSD, I've had all the counselling under the sun and I'm as recovered as I'll ever be. That said, in truth I don't think anyone ever overcomes PTSD fully, its shadows stay with you forever, and however much you can overcome your responses to triggers, I still flinch involuntarily, or find myself irrationality, albeit mildly irked when I encounter what used to be a trigger.

I've known an awful lot of people with PTSD and I don't know a single one who has ever fully and completely overcome it, scars may heal but the marks stay.

OP - your body, your choice. If you don't want to have it done and the letters are making you feel stressed, go and fill out the form a PP mentioned and opt out. If you feel that in time its something you may feel able to consider then you can go to a sexual health clinic or similar, but in the meantime the lack of letters and HCPs mentioning it may help.

As a separate issue, if you haven't already counselling can really help, and hang in there, its a long hard road but it does get better, just take it one day at a time Flowers


Natural36 · 14/07/2017 07:04

Hi just to answer the questions re PTSD and counselling I have had two years of therapy one to one and will be going back I hopefully. I am under the mental health team also . most days I can't even bare someone simply touching me . someone did yesterday a mum at the school and I jumped so much and felt terrible for the whole morning. On medications too everything helps but a little bit.

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