Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trip to the family planning...

A letter from the NHS came through for me on my 19th birthday. It simply states:

please come for a free pep smear test. (I guess its free because its covered by the NHS)

I wasn't sure what it meant, as I have never done it before, though I have heard about it.

The letter immediately made me knock on Lucy's door. We had a "mother-daughter" chat. Once which I would not have gotten if I were to knock on my mum's door.

So the next Monday, I made an appointment to see a doctor at the family planning clinic. It was quite full- for a family planning clinic. Of course later on, I realised what "family planning" clinic actually means. Its not a place where people go to plan for a family. Its quite the opposite, really. Well, in another acceptable way of explaining it would be: a place (sponsored by the government to help young adults with any issues of family planning, safe and healthy sex, unwanted babies etc)

I had to fill in a form, as it was my first visit, which all the history of my mom's, dad's, grandma's, granddad's ec cetera have to be precise.
Anyway, after waiting (and waiting and waiting)- but I guess it wasn't as bad as it would be if it was in my own country (if they even had such place) I was finally called by. Just before I entered the room, I thought to myself "what if the doctor's a man? Would he think my knickers was a tad too much? I is new- which I bought just for the smear tests. Will he think I'm flirting with him, since its a bit too nice as its lacy pink and black with a matching bra?"
Before I had a chance to chicken out, the nurse got my weight, height and gave me a container to pee in. Right....this confused me a little... Anyway after a few minutes, the nicest lady doctor Ive ever met, walked in.

Doctor: "hi Miss Wen"
Me: "Hi. I'm hear for the free smear test"
Doctor: laughed. "OK, before that, Ive got to ask you a few questions"

And the questions came....
Doctor: "When was your last period?"
Me: I answered my dates.
Doctor: "When was your last pep smear?"
Me: "Never done it before. This is my first time"
Doctor: "Oh? Okay. So, have you been pregnant before?"
Me: "No, I'm only 19"

She laughed.
Doctor: "Are you sexually active"
Doctor: "okay...hmmm, let me see.... we'll skip this one, and this one, and this one... ahhh. okay this one you can answer... Do you get cramps during your period?"
At this point I'm wondering...what if I said Yes to the question before? What would she have asked me? I'm curious now. Maybe next time I'll say yes to see what she'd ask...
Me:"Yes, sometimes unbearable"

and then she says "Okay, we'll do the smear now. It wont hurt...much anyway"

Oh My God...

Anyway, as she was doing the process of what I call the most painful thing Ive ever experienced, she smiled, and tried to calm me down. The nurse even held my hand and even said "bless you"
She needs more then to bless me- my god, the pain- which was soon forgotten.

Upon leaving, the nurse at the counter gave me a reminder card of when my next appointment would be and that they will send the results to my home address. Oh, also, they gave me a bag of free condoms. She said "this is a month's supply"

Now I understand why the clinic's always full...