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That Dreaded Trip to the Doctor
I hate checkups.

When I was a kid I hated them because you got needles. I remember when Rebecca was turning 5 and it was time for her booster I made an appointment for the two of them to get checkups. She asked me, "Is it going to hurt?" I couldn't lie to her, so I said, "well, it won't hurt Katie." Probably not the right thing to do.

She started crying, and it was 7:30 in the morning. Still five hours until her appointment. So I went down to the doctor's office and asked them to give her her needles now. We'd come back later to see the doctor. So they did, just so that I didn't have to listen to her cry all that time.

But it's way worse when you're an adult and the doctor wants to get way too personal with you. I am just not good at Pap smears. They can tell you to imagine you're on a beach all they want, but you're not on a beach, and if anyone did that to you on a beach there would be a major incident.

The problem is that I don't actually need Pap smears. When they do one they're looking for cancer. Cervical cancer is caused by HPV, an STD. Really. If you've never had HPV, your chances of having cervical cancer are around your chances of winning the lottery.

And the gynecologists know it. At least in the United States the guidelines are that if a woman has only ever had one sexual partner, and he's only had one sexual partner, and you weren't sexually active until you were an adult, every three years is fine.

Canada's guidelines aren't so kind, but I've tried to convince my family doctor that I really don't need to be examined like that every year.

Unfortunately, I do need the mammogram. My mother had breast cancer at 41, so I need to be checked.

Happily, my friend Kelita explained to me how to prepare for mammograms. So if any of you are scheduled for one soon, and you're worried, here's some great advice.

Go down to the kitchen naked in the middle of the night. Open your fridge door. Insert one breast right up against the fridge, wedged in nicely.

Then, as hard as you can, slam the fridge door on your breast. Now you are ready for the appointment!

If you're afraid you can't manage to slam the door hard enough to get a true feel of what it will be like, another method is to find two metal bookends. Go outside and ask a complete stranger to come into your house. Give him the bookends. Take off your shirt, and ask him to slam the bookends into your breast as hard as possible. Now you have simulated the mammogram experience and you're ready to take on the world!

In all seriousness, it's not that bad. It's one of those times, though, where I'm really glad I'm an A cup and not a DD.



At 12:24 PM , Blogger Terry said…

I haven't started mammograms yet, as I'm still a few years from 40 with no family history. My job now is to forget everything you've written in this post (very funny, post BTW), so that when the time comes I'm not so afraid that I avoid the mammogram at all costs.


At 2:11 PM , Blogger Fuschia said…

The last time I went for the dreaded trip, she tried to kill me. For some very mild mid-month spotting she prescribed a medication that is given to post-menopausal women to help shed the uterine lining. I almost bled to death...not kidding. I had to go to the hospital for an emergency transfusion!

Not my favorite person!!


At 7:58 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

I am horrible about going to the doctor! I avoid it at all costs (well, not ALL costs..if I REALLy need to I go). But recently my mom went in for her prescription check up. The doctor decided that at her age, she needed to get a colonoscopy. She is only 55. She politely declined and the doctor declined to give her the meds she needs to help deal with the early menopause (induced by a much needed hysterectomoy). Medical blackmail! I kind of think the doctor was just looking for something else to do to get paid more for her visit. At any rate, I am with you...why get it done if your risk in almost zero?!
I will however be getting mammograms done when I reach the age at which I begin needing them.
But as for Paps...WHAT IS THE POINT???? Not to mention, why can't they prewarm the instruments? Even women doctors don't think to do that!
OK, done ranting now. Such a *ahem* touchy!



At 12:16 AM , Blogger Becoming Me said…

You are so funny. And I didn't know that about the Pap test. I am going to apply that three year rule.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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