Let’s talk smear tests and well everything lady parts!
Im going to do a two parter post, The why I had to have an operation and the hospital ward I spent 24 hours on.
On Tuesday the 23rd April I under went surgery where I was put under General anesthesia.
If your unsure what General anesthesia is, it’s an anesthetic used to induce unconsciousness during surgery. The medicine is either inhaled through a breathing mask or tube, or given through an intravenous (IV) line. A breathing tube may be inserted into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing during surgery aswel.
Your always going to face risks when under going any type of surgery able-bodied or Disabled. Having Muscular Dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting disorder, anesthesia doesn’t mix well together but with careful assessment and planning before the operation, can make the world of difference plus if your unsure or don’t understand anything ask as many questions as you need to.
I’m sure by now you’ve read and seen on the news or even posted your own story on clerical screening. With screen testing at it’s all time low the NHS have pulled out all the stops to get woman to be more aware with a new advert, and every news outlet doing story’s about why women aren’t attending appointments.
But that’s not the case for someone women what about the thousands of disabled women that can’t access their local GP surgery!?
My last smear test was over 10 + years ago with my results coming back with abnormalities. Yes, I here you all asking why did it take so long, simple ACCESS due to me moving and having to change my GP Surgery I was now out of “The Catchment area” leaving a surgery that was very accommodating when it came to my disability and needs was a hard move.
With my new GP surgery saying ‘No we’re unable to cater for your needs’ everytime I asked it was the same answer year after year, what’s a girl to do when nothing else is offered to help no matter how many times you ask. You become very num to the whole situation pushing it further and further to the back of your mind with the hope your ok. If I didn’t do that my mental health would be at an all-time low.
Last year due to an unrelated issue with my GP I had a meeting I told him everything I was unhappy about including that I couldn’t get access to a smear test, with that the doctor said I’ll get a referral to Milton Keynes university hospital gynaecology department, it was as simple as that so why hadn’t it been that case before!?
There was some confusion to begin with but after a few attempts I finally got my appointment to see a gynaecology doctor.
Appointment day had arrived nervous but glad this was finally going to be over, thinking it was going to be a simple and pretty straight forward in out (no pun intended!) It definitely didn’t end that way. I was called into see the doctor after explaining everything, how long I’d wait to see someone that my last test had abnormalities plus another issue my coil was 5 years out of date her face quickly changed from smiling at me to a more concerned look she followed with ~
‘Kerry this is what I want to do get a smear, biopsy, insert a camera to have a good look around make sure everything is ok plus your coil removed and new one. I think the best option so not to cause you undue stress and giving you different appointments to get everything done we will get you in for an operation to have everything done all at the same time, you will be put under general anesthesia, I’ll get the pre-op nurse to see you now.’
Paperwork in hand I went back into the waiting area where hubby was waiting, he asked if everything was ok but in all honesty I wasn’t sure how I felt so the first thing I said was I have to have an operation. I know I felt like crying the reality had hit me there could possibly be something wrong after all this time of putting it to the back of my head a simple smear test had now turned into an operation.
The nurse called me did the general checks of blood-pressure, weighed me and my height, then said we’re going to call you tomorrow and get you in for a double appointment to see the anaesthetist as well as the pre-op nurse. It wasn’t until January 2019 when i had my pre-op where I spoke to a anaesthetist again thinking it will be a simple you’ll be in for a few hours recover then we’ll send you home, but no the realisation of just how serious when your told just how dangerous being put under can be and I will be taken from theatre straight to the high dependency unit where I will be monitored for 24 hours.
April operation day it was an early start I was to check in at 7.15am to ward 22 but when I arrived there was no bed so I had to go to the treatment center and they will check me in, I didn’t wait long before I was called as turns out I was first on the books, checks done even got a pregnancy test (was a first for me and hubby even after 13 years!)
My surgeon and his team all came and spoke to me including the anaesthetist she explained everything again, with everyone happy down to theatre I went.
What did I have done ~
- Colposcopy Procedure
- Hysteroscopy procedure
- Mirena coil removal (was meant to be changed in 2014) A new mirena coil
Coming around in the recovery ward all I remember Is being told a tube was being fulled out of my mouth and I was ok. My sats where low so I was hooked up to be monitored every half an hour, a towel was wrapped around my head as I was reading cold then moved to the high dependency unit where I spent 24 hours before being told I could go home.
The sad thing is this is this could have all be avoided if only had access to something as simple as a smear test. this is just my story there are hundreds of disabled women out there that have their own stories to tell.
So please ladies don’t take for granted something you have access to use it make that appointment get checked out.
Back In march in support of my good friend Fi Anderson who’s made a potion for access to be made more readily available for disabled women, i shared my story with Jo’s trust