Um, this is an ‘interesting’ one………
For those of you with a ahem, ‘delicate’ disposition, I’ll put a spoiler alert on this one, this is all to do with a more um ‘intimate’ part of a ladies’s day out!
This is the type of subject that old ladies leaning across the garden fence would cross their arms beneath their ample bosoms and talk about without actually saying the words out loud in case there may be fragile men around……..
Come on ladies, you know the day I’m talking about, it has to be arranged once every couple of years and it always seems to be the thing we keep saying “I really need to book that” ……
In case you haven’t guessed yet, I’ll put it into song to save embarrassment….
🎤 Yey hey, it’s smear test day…………!!! 🎤
It was a big week for awareness of this issue last week with the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust doing their best to get us all to get on with it by roping in celebrities and us normal people to share its message on social media using the hashtag #smearforsmear. It was hugely successful in the ‘virtual’ world but there’s still a long way to go to make sure that women attend this all important test. All the doctors tell us that regular smear tests prevent 75 per cent of cervical cancers from developing, yet unbelievably, although smear testing coverage in Wales is the highest in the UK, the figures show that out of 264,700 women aged 25-64 invited for screening in 2015-16, 60,600 did not attend. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said this meant one in five women were not receiving the “life-saving test”. Their campaign was to try and encourage all women, especially younger ones to see their gp and actually turn up for the test.
Us slightly ‘older’ ladies I think understand how important this is but that doesn’t mean we don’t also dread it or find any excuse to just do it another time. I also know that many of my own friends have also been guilty of putting it off so when the letter arrived on my doorstep reminding me that my own smear test is overdue (well over 2yrs overdue!) I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and made the appointment. In advance, I asked to speak to a nurse at the practice and explained to her what my difficulties are and after some tutting, ummming and aahhing, we eventually came up with an idea on ‘how’ we were going to get this done.
Ok, so combine an inability to walk, lift your leg, get onto the couch, bend your knees or perform any kind of wild position without help and extreme pain and an extremely important vital female test and you have an ‘interesting’ combination so having given prior warning, this is what happened in my day out today…..
Into the treatment room we went, parked the wheelchair next to the couch and the struggle began. Now obviously, my dearest P was there as I can’t manage or do anything without him and even more obviously, he really really didn’t want to be in this situation but as usual he just got on with it with no fuss. Unfortunately for both me and the nurse, it was also accompanied by his very corny sense of humour so every time something embarrassing or awkward came along, he had a joke or an innuendo which really helped to break through the total awkwardness of the moment! So, after P got me up onto the couch, discretely removed my drawers (clean, white, lace, the nice ones reserved for hospital visits, the ones your mother told you to wear, you know the type, we all have them!) in his totally mortified state, he turned away but managed to drop my crutches on the nurses feet!
Bless her, she was a good sport and with a little bit of ingenious thinking on her part, some rather painful manoeuvres on mine, the deed was eventually done. She gave me a good pat on my shoulder and said I’d been really good so I was well chuffed. We then turned to the other side of the treatment room where P had been hiding in a corner, playing cards on his phone, trying so hard to ignore all the girlie stuff going on behind him. Over he came, helped me put the aforementioned pants back on without maiming the nurse again and with all clothes tucked back in and a swish of the hair to try and regain some of our dignity, out of the door we went.
There was a look between us as we left the room, a look that said ‘we won’t talk about what went on here, agreed….?” Think this must have definitely been the most interesting appointment the practice nurse had had in many a long year……
Now, harking back to my last blog about what we call love, I don’t know what your definition of love is in your world, but holding your loved one’s undergarments whilst assisting her during her smear test then helping her dress whilst still making her feel like a princess, is most definitely mine……❤