pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Taking a LEEP

Taking a LEEP

Because of some lesions found during a recent Pap smear, on Monday I'm having a procedure done called LEEP to remove them for biopsy.

My lesions are high-grade, not low-grade as was initially thought. They are still not cancerous, but they do need removal nonetheless.

The procedure will be done in the doctor's office and I can go home right away afterwards. That's not the part I'm apprehensive about.

I'm apprehensive about the days and weeks to follow, primarily about how much pain I will be in. Having fibromyalgia has lowered my pain threshold to begin with, plus being in low-grade pain day in and day out makes it that much harder to deal with any additional pain on top of that. Things that other people can shrug off and that go away quickly for them can be excruciating for me and can linger on and on.

I'm also apprehensive about having complications of various kinds. Having CFIDS/ME and fibromyalgia puts me in a slightly different class of patients who go through that procedure with hardly any consequences, because my immune, endocrine and neurological systems are all slightly out of whack. So all the info on the web about what to expect after the procedure may or may not apply to me. All bets are off, basically. The norms really don't apply, so I can't assume I'll do okay. I've made the mistake of "assuming" too many times before.

There are about a dozen other things I'm apprehensive about to one degree or another, but it wouldn't feel therapeutic for me to list them here. I do have full confidence in my doc, though, so the actual procedure doesn't scare me. It's all the unknowns afterward.

D. will be by my side the whole time, which will make things a lot easier for me. His presence will reduce any out-right worries to lesser apprehensions, knowing I won't have to go through this all alone.

ETA:  The procedure went well today, all things considered. I have a low tolerance for the discomfort caused by a speculum, and that was the worst part of it, having that damn speculum inside me for 15 minutes, pinching and poking the whole time. Getting the anesthesia injected into my cervix wasn't a whole lot of fun either, but not as bad as I was expecting.

Since the doc couldn't see inside the endocervical canal itself to look for abnormal cells that may have spread in there, she also performed an endocervical curettage to collect a sample after she finished the LEEP. I couldn't really feel anything since that whole area was anesthetized, but thinking about it now makes my skin crawl.

After it was over and I sat up, shortly I felt a growing wave of nausea rise up in the pit of my stomach. The doc said it was a vasovagal reaction and had me lie down again for a few minutes. I felt like such a wuss. D. said I'd begun to go pale, but my color came back after lying back down for a few minutes.

Well, pain is not turning out to be the issue for me now. It's how much I'm bleeding. It seems like an awful lot, seeing as the doc cauterized the area. I'm not a happy camper, but I'm going to wait and see how I do this evening.

As I've gotten older I've gotten a lot more squeamish. My tolerance for things like needles (and blood) has decreased almost to the point where I'm ready to say, "Never mind about the procedure, it'll be easier for me just to leave the lesions be." (I said "almost to the point" of doing that, so no lectures, please. Especially since the lesions have been removed today anyway.)

Having D. there holding my hand the whole time made it enormously easier to endure.

Tags: disability/medical, leep

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