Back in February, the same time I started on here, I had an abnormal Pap smear. I also started spotting before my period at the same time, which really, really freaked me out because it was not usual for me, and with the abnormal Pap . . . .
I had to wait until this month to get a follow-up Pap to see if the abnormal cells were still there. I was sticking to Sparkpeople pretty closely, but eventually I felt I had to back away a bit, to see if going back to my "normal" (read, bad) eating and exercise habits would maybe help the spotting to stop. I was getting too scared every time I saw it. I didn't completely fall off the wagon, but I did take a step back. I didn't want to, but I had to see if that was contributing to the spotting. I had dropped 10+ pounds, quickly, and was under a lot of stress, after all.
On my follow-up visit, I talked with my doctor about it. She said that I had been right to think my efforts to lose weight were contributing, and that it was normal and nothing to worry about. But it's hard to get back on the horse, and I was under even more stress then, waiting to find out if the cells were normal or not.
So I waited. And waited. And waited. The doctor had promised to call when she got the results, whichever way they went. The time came, one day shy of two weeks later, for my husband to have his usual visit (he has to have blood tests every few months for diabetes and other conditions). We see the same doctor, and I usually go with him. At the end of the visit, she turned to me and said the Pap had come back, abnormal again.
She had known Friday, and waited until my husband's appointment Monday to discuss it with me. Grrr. But at least I got to have a face-to-face talk.
Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance is the term. And it required a referral to an OB-GYN for further care and possibly more invasive tests.
I make an appointment to the new doctor. Go to see new doctor. Appointment is at 2:40. We are there 15 to 20 minutes early. Fill out paperwork. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Add about a dozen more of those, and with each one, get more and more anxious. More scared. Not really sure what is going to happen.
Finally get to see the doctor. Guess what? She doesn't have my test results! Regular doctor and staff have not sent them to her! Grrrr, again.
I tell her what I know. ASCUS. Two paps. Not HPV, according to my doctor.
What I come out knowing: I will have a test called a colposcopy IF it turns out I have HPV, or if my type of ASCUS is "high grade", which is actually a different result -- ASC-H -- and might mean precancerous changes. Otherwise, I will have another Pap next year, and if that one is abnormal again, then we go to colposcopy (she said it was a bit like a Pap, but with cramping because they actually take a piece of cervix instead of just a scraping).
She also says the spotting might be a sign that I need a stronger birth control pill, and she wants to test my thyroid function because of the weight gain I had when I moved in with my now-husband. I have my first blood draw in years knowing it will come back fine, because I just like to eat and that is why I put on so much weight in such a short period of time. I had lost it rapidly while living with my aunts, and put it back on just as rapidly after I moved out. Also, I need to follow up with my regular doctor because my blood pressure is high. Of course it is high! I spent the whole time in the waiting room getting more and more anxious, then scared, then terrified. My blood pressure is usually good, so I am not worried about that, either.
We get out of the doctor's at almost 5, not having eaten all day. We had slept in, and did not have time before the appointment. And I just didn't have the stomach, anyway.
In short? I'm probably just fine, and can get on with my life. I am still waiting for my test results to reach my new doctor, and she promised to call if she got them and they were worse than simple ASCUS. I have a follow-up scheduled in July, anyway. Will probably go even if it's okay, just to find out about my thyroid (not worried) and to see if she thinks I do need stronger birth control. It's worked very well for four years, so I'm not worried about that, but I'd rather be safe than sorry there. Worth a discussion, at least, when I'm in a less frantic mood than I was in her office the last time.
I feel much calmer now than I did before her visit. For the last few months, this hasn't left my mind for more than few minutes. It's always been there, worse at times than others, and every little thing down there has freaked me out. I am hoping now to get back to a more normal life, and to return to my weight loss efforts without this black cloud over me.
Should have known something would happen. Every time I make a strong effort at losing weight, I seem to get very sick within a week or two. This was way worse. But it is hopefully over now.