There I was, high on muscle relaxants, cracking one joke after the other (trying desperately to make one other person smile besides my own supportive man-friend - who was really only smiling because he wanted to make me feel better). Seriously, I was about to fall asleep when the nurse (who was wearing a fabulous black outfit vs. those stupid baby powder coloured smocks with little kittens on them - I mean really....how is a smock covered in kittens going to make me feel better?) called my name. I have to admit, there was a bit of dissonance between the drugs sedation effect and my fear....I didn't know which way to go, so I just fell onto the table and waited for the inevitable (legs in stirrups; blue cloth smock on).
The LEEP (Loop Electro Surgical Excision) procedure went something like this.....
First, after a few post surgery directions (no working out for at least 10 days, no sex for 3 weeks, no fun of any kind until I heal........) the doc came in and did a routine colposcopy (checked out the area with a micro-camera thingy - you won't be getting the appropriate jargon here...it ain't necessary). It was fine and painless. Then came the needle. Um...ya...they literally stick a needle in your cervix to numb you (it) and you know what? I only felt a little prick and it was gone (too many jokes, too little time). If it wasn't for my damn anxiety level, I wouldn't have felt a thing.
The fun part came when the epinephrine started circulating (the stuff they inject into you along with Novocaine)...completely harmless but got my legs and arms shaking like I lifted a weight that was way too heavy for me. That was it. I little bit of a heart palpitation, but it was absolutely nothing....no more than the palpitations my man-friend gives me when he shoots me his killer smile. So that part was done faster than you can say "I wish they had the HPV shot when I was a little girl".
Next, came the LEEP. I chose to look away and talk about the latest movies (I just saw "The Change Up in the movies and really loved it - very funny). My man-friend was fascinated by the procedure and watched every step on the monitor (colour and I'm sure in HD....you had the option to purchase the video once it was done....kidding...but that would be a great way to make extra cash). The doc took this ....if you have ever played with clay you may have used a tool with a wire loop at the end...the very same tool. With the grounding pad placed on my thigh (cause he is playing with electricity) he basically shaved off the pre-cancerous cells in less than 20 seconds while my nurse joked with me, talked with me, and coached me through some visualization and breathing exercises. It was absolutely nothing to worry about. I felt a little ache but nothing as bad as wearing tight jeans whilst you have gas (sorry, it's what I have to compare with).
After it was done, he cauterized the area to prevent bleeding and placed some liquid bandage on there and I was good to go. Except for the fact I was still kinda drugged up, stressed out, and not fit for walking. I was able to lay there until I felt ready and off I went (not before telling the girl after me that it was fine and nothing to worry about....she looked like she was heading to the chopping block...well, I guess she kinda was but whatever).
The entire procedure took about 20 minutes from start to finish. On a pain scale of 1-10 I would say it was a 3-4. If there's pain it came from my stress and anxiety and not the actual procedure itself. I have felt more discomfort from a teeth cleaning....seriously. If you are waiting to get this procedure please please please believe me when I say it isn't worth your worry. Visualize yourself walking away from it saying "that's was nothing!" and you will do just that. It is safe, quick, painless, and a very important medical prevention that could save a life.
Now my cute little sample goes to get tested. If it comes back cancerous...I will be blogging about it I assure you (the chances are very small it is). I will have to go back to the clinic for another colposcopy in six months and another six months after that. Once I clear...it back to normal, baby! As for me now? I have to say I'm a bit freaked out about moving funny for fear something will fall out....but nothing has yet. There may be some carnage occurring in about 10 days once the scab leaves the area, but that's it. Nothing to be concerned about....that's real life health, right? Sometimes it ain't pretty but we have to do it anyway.
I have to say, I have never been under the care of a nurse/doc team that was so relaxed, professional, caring, thoughtful, and fun. Yes, they were fun. The doc talked about his favorite TV show and the nurse started talking movies and they made it enjoyable. Hey...when was the last time I was the center of attention like that???? Thank you for your kindness.
Again, try not to loose yourself in the stories that people share about their experiences. I am all for research but try to keep a level head when you read all the horror stories around this procedure. The Internet is great, but sometimes it can do more harm than good. I was one of many women yesterday going through it and not one left looking horrified...they just went in that way. I highly recommend practicing some visualization exercises every day before your appointment...maybe before you fall asleep. Visualize the entire (painless and easy) procedure and you walking away thinking to yourself..."OMG...that was absolutely nothing to be concerned about!"
That's all I got....oh except for pictures. Sorry, I was too high on muscle relaxants to take pictures. My bad.
PS. If I didn't cover what you are most concerned with, please feel free to leave a comment and I will respond. I know when I was surfing I was always left with a question that was never answered.