My Smear Experience

My Smear Experience

My Smear ExperienceI know for some this will be majorly TMI but I trust that those people wouldn’t have clicked on the post or at very least as they’re reading that yes, this is in fact going to be about cervical smears that they will make their exit now. It’s not something people talk about but it could save your life.. we SHOULD be talking about it. When people say ‘you should go for a smear’ it conjures all kinds of images in your head, legs akimbo and major embarrassment so I thought I’d share my personal experience for those who might be nervous.. it’s not the most dignified thing you’ll ever do but it’s probably not the least either 😉

I only recently (as recently as last weekend) went for my first smear, my Mother (who screens them for a living) has been hounding me for years so it’s shameful that I put it off for so long BUT I had a reason. I first got my invitation when I was pregnant with Milo, I called the clinic and informed them I wasn’t able to attend and they said they’d make a note on my file to follow up after the birth. I then received 3 further ‘invitations’, each more menacing than the last.. they actually got quite threatening (as the NHS goes) and given my irrational delicate emotional state it made me want to throw a chair at someone quite angry and just totally put me off the whole thing.

When you’re going in for something a bit intimate you want to feel comfortable and if you’re on the fence even the person on the phone when you call for an appointment can push you the wrong way. Now I didn’t put it off because I was nervous or shy but because it’s so damned awkward to get time during the week (doctors office hours) without one or both kids in tow and BELIEVE me when I say they do NOT need to see THAT! I discovered that my local family planning clinic was open on a Saturday for drop in appointments so turned up first thing, no waiting, straight in. Dunzo! I would 100% recommend your local family planning clinic over your GP for ANY ‘womens issues’ purely because it’s what they do day in day out and if we’re talking about something a bit more invasive I want someone who knows what they’re doing!! Of course knowledge and experience don’t always come in a super friendly package however, I’ve had exams from nurses who barely said two words to me but then some people might like that. I’d rather have some light conversation with a person before they enter me with a foreign object but hey.. that’s just me.

So when I rocked up on Saturday morning I wasn’t sure what I was going to get, I was lucky and the nurse was lovely, EXTREMELY helpful and forthcoming with lots of advice and info on what would happen not only during the exam but once the sample was sent to the lab. She told me what to expect in terms of how long for results but also prepared me for the eventuality in which the result may not be what I was expecting. Given that my Mum IS the lab I knew a lot of it anyway but was pleasantly surprised at how far she went to put me at ease without me having to ask a single question. Now in the past I actually had the contraceptive coil (mirena for those wondering) so I’m all too familiar with the speculum and internal inspections of this kind, FYI – if any of you have ever had ‘swabs’ taken and are nervous to go for a smear – it’s pretty much the same thing so you needn’t be. For me the most uncomfortable part is the insertion of the speculum (if you’re drawing a blank here’s google images – you get the idea) but it’s not at all painful. Not to be crude but unless you’re a virgin this wont be a totally foreign concept it’s just a totally bizarre situation in which it’s happening and it’s ONLY uncomfortable if you can’t relax – ie: me. Have you ever tried to MAKE yourself relax? I swear to Lucifer it’s IMPOSSIBLE! Anyway.. so the speculum is in there and they can see what they need to see, from there they basically brush your cervix, imagine if you will that you’re cleaning a glass.. similar thing – they twist a little to get the sample cells and they’re done. That part is a really odd sensation but again not painful and apparently some people can’t even feel it – those people probably have painless child births too so whoopeedoo for them!

To recap with a TOUCH more detail for those who have NO idea what a pelvic exam involves, you’re clothed from the waist up and covered with paper towels to protect your modesty (you have NO modesty, this is clearly so you don’t make awkward eye contact with the person doing the exam), you bend your legs and ‘RELAX’ while they insert the speculum and adjust so that they have a clear shot at your cervix then they sweep a brush around for a second and your done. It’s quick and painless and you have almost as much control of your comfort as the nurse does, if you’re a naturally relaxed person you can probably take a nap but for the rest of us it’s an odd 5 minutes that isn’t the way we’d choose to spend our Saturday morning but that might just save our lives!

If you want to share your experiences (I know not everyone had a good one but we generally learn from the bad ones so pass on your wisdom) feel free and if you have any questions I didn’t cover already let me know and I’ll do a follow up. As is the minimum age for a smear test is 25 (controversial and I wont even get in to it but that’s the current law) but if you have symptoms or cause for concern your GP can refer you at any age so don’t let that stop you from attending if you feel like you need something checked out! You can find lots more info online here and I hope my experience and the limited info I have was useful for some.

Oh and you can find your local family planning clinic here

Miss BB

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The Hottest Day

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fffYesterday was supposedly the hottest day of the year. I was in the office most of the day but managed to snap these pics with Lee after work and it was seriously sunny.  I’m fairly certain is was also the ‘Day Of The Ants’ (look it up) I swear they were in full swarm mode it was horrendous. Needless to say I didn’t spend much time in the sun.. hopefully those of you that were off to enjoy it weren’t chased inside from your plans.. let me know if they were crazy near you too.  I’ve been considering setting up a ‘closet’ area in the spare bedroom to inspire me to shoot more outfit pictures, would you like to see more? As a reader I do tend to spend more time on style blogs than I do on beauty ones.. with beauty reviews etc I’m usually looking for something particular whereas I feel like I can scroll through and read years worth of fashion posts. Is it just me? I think it’s something to do with actually seeing a face.. I like to see how said blogger has evolved over the course of their blog.. it’s tough to see that from product pictures etc. I think I connect more to a blogger when they actually pop in and say hi regularly enough. I’ve been really enjoying Bows&Sequins recently but I’d love to hear who your favourite style bloggers are as I’m always looking for new reads!

IMG_1133jjj*What I’m Wearing*

Top – Next / Jeans – Topshop Joni / Shoes – H&M / Sunglasses – RayBan / Bag – LV Neverfull MM / Watch Michael Kors Lexington / Bracelet – Stella & Dot / Nails – China Glaze Highlight Of My Summer

ggghhhOn another note, the heat has been KILLING me lately. I am SO not a Summer person but this new Brita Water Bottle* has helped encourage me to stay hydrated. I’ve been putting in a drop of juice here and there to make it a bit more interesting (not sure if that might mess with the filter but tbh.. not hugely bothered about that) but I’ve been drinking so much more water now I have it. I try to remember to refill the bottle and pop it in the fridge so when I want to go in and reach for a diet coke I have the option of ice cold water instead.. any little push away from the fizz is welcome.. I’m very much an addict. One thing worth mentioning about it is that it’s not like a regular water bottle, I really struggled to drink from it at first but once I figured out that the nozzle is actually attached to a STRAW and you don’t have to tip it up to get the water out it was plain sailing. Well.. I say that but it’s a pretty bizarre concept to get used to. Have any of you tried One of these bottles?

Lastly I just received this new Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Cannes Crush*, this is the first time I’ve worn it so I’m not ready to say yay or nay yet but gotta be honest.. first impressions weren’t great. The texture is very odd and although it feels balmy on the lips it seemed to bleed and not really stick around or stain.. I’m hoping that more time and more colours will win me round because I was SO excited about this launch. For those wondering they’re going to be available in August.

I’m praying for a spot of rain to bring the temperature down a bit now, we have the sofa coming tomorrow (still very, very excited) and a trip to IKEA in the afternoon and I REALLY don’t fancy the IKEA warehouse in this heat!

Do any of you have exciting plans for the weekend?

Miss BB

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#SlimmingWorld Quiche

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 This is one of my favourite dishes to make on Slimming world because it’s all inclusive (I don’t have to add veg) so I can grab a slice anytime I’m feeling snacky and not worry about adding in healthy extras.. it’s also REALLY filling on account of the eggs and (for those of you following the plan) totally syn free. I can see how those of you who aren’t on Slimming World might not see this as an uber-healthy dish but the bacon is without it’s fat, the cheese is minimal and low in fat. Most versions of the Slimming World Quiche involved cottage cheese and I cannot abide that stuff so this is my non-cottage cheese version

slimming world quiche no cottage cheese

First I grease a dish (I use fry light but you can use whatever you wish) and then line it with bacon (again I use lean bacon but you can use regular if you prefer) and bake it for 10 minutes. I do this because I don’t totally trust that it will cook underneath the eggs etc, I’m sure it would but y’know.. just to be safe. I then mix together 4 or 5 eggs (yolks and all) and a handful of a light mature cheddar. If you want to measure it and you’re on the plan just be sure that you account for your healthy options worth of cheese and how much of the quiche you will be eating in a day. I might eat half at most. I add in a vegetable of your choosing.. I usually use mushrooms as it’s a breakfast dish for me but broccoli worked really well and I’ll make it with it again. Once the bacon is pre-cooked I pour the mixture into the ‘crust’ and bake for 20mins on 200.. that’s it. It’s so easy to make and SO yummy.. if I make it with just egg, bacon and cheese the whole family will eat it but given that I follow the extra easy plan I have to get in my veg in each meal so for me it’s better to include them so I can go grab a slice whenever I’m feeling peckish.

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If I’m having it as part of a meal I add beans (super speedy – ie: they help you lose weight faster) and it really fills me up, if I eat this at 10 I’m good til tea time which works for me cause I’m often too busy to worry about lunch.. although I’ve been really into mugshots recently – has there ever been a faster, tastier food? I don’t think so.. well.. maybe chocolate 😉

Hope you enjoy!

Miss BB

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