Thursday, 11 January 2007

No one looks classy in stirrups...

It's Thursday. I like Thursdays. Tomorrow's Friday (always something good to look forward to), it's my last day wearing business attire 'cause tomorrow I get to pull out the jeans, and there's a new episode of Grey's Anatomy on tonight. All in all that ain't bad.

Too bad I still have to get through the most fun part of my day.

In just under an hour, I'll be hoisting my diva-esque carcass onto a pleather slab o'fun in the colposcopy clinic of the hospital I work for. I will then proceed to do the butt shuffle slither to the end of the slab until it feels like I'm going to fall off, then I must firmly plant my tender tootsies into the most humiliating of inventions - the stirrup. I don't care how cutesy you make them by dressing them up with cartoon cat oven mitts - they're still metal torture devices designed to give me nothing but leg cramps and a serious case of the embarassments.

You see, a few years back I got one of those calls - your pap results came back and they were abnormal. Please come in for some more tests. Gasp. I work in a cancer hospital for pete's sake, I understand the process, but that only happened to other people - NOT ME!! And horror of horrors, they referred me to my own hospital, to a doctor that I work with on an almost daily basis! Lemme tell you, it sure does change a working relationship when your co-worker gets an up close and personal view of la cooch, both inside and out, every six months. Just as soon as they've started to erase the visual from their brain, you show up for your next appointment! But, as always, I digress.

So I showed up, had more tests done, and was diagnosed as having one of the high risk strains of HPV, the human papillomavirus. Say it with me kids. Stupid virus. I couldn't believe it! How was this possible? While 'chaste' would never be a word used to describe me, 'safe' would. I'd always been good, always been careful, and here I was with an STD? Diva says whut?

I've since found out that 80% of women will contract HPV by the time they're 50, and that even if you use condoms, you can still get it (apparently the little buggers can hang out at the base - of the penis, that is, not military - although I'm sure there are a couple of them there). Good times. Many of us will get the virus but fight it off just like the common cold - but after 30, that's not as likely, so if you get an abnormal pap and you're over 30 years old, ask them to do an HPV DNA test to see if you have the virus and one of the high risks strains.

You see, my fellow diva ladies, HPV is THE cause of cervix cancer. Yep, you heard me. Now, there are well over 100 strains of this beast and only 16 or so can cause cancer - the others cause genital warts. So it makes sense to find out if you have one of the high risk types, or just a regular, lower risk strain which will likely not develop into anything anyway. Helps make you vigilant, like me, and keep going for the checkups every 6 months if you know you're at a higher risk.

So I'll march over there, health and hospital cards in hand, in time for my appointment. I'll also bring a book because I know this great doctor I'm seeing will likely be running late, and I hate being bored and staring at walls. And then I'll begrudingly shed the clothing currently covering the lower half of my body, hop up onto the pleather, and quickly drape the powder blue modesty blanket over myself to stop from catching a chill.

And then the real fun will begin!

Fortunately the procedure's relatively quick and this should be just routine, making sure that all is well (I had the bad cells lasered off a year ago, you see) and I can go on with my day. But no matter what happens, at least I know that I'm on top of it, I'm taking charge of my own health, and no cancer cells are gonna get past me!

So my lovely diva friends, get your pap smears every year. Be an advocate for your own health. Don't let the stirrups intimidate you and keep you away from getting screened, 'cause while no one looks classy in stirrups, we'd all look a hell of a lot less classy in a pine box.

And that's your daily dash. How's your diva doin'?

4 comments on "No one looks classy in stirrups..."

Anonymous said...

Divajen! Loving the blog, keep it coming!


Marlene on 12 January 2007 at 12:52 said...

Thanks for a much-needed dose of information. This stuff is not talked about enough.

Shoe_Gal said...

Divajen, I LOVE your blog and I look forward to reading it everyday.

(Please don't say that makes me look like a loser!?)


SandyB said...

Divajen i wasn't aware you had a blog. I'm so glad you you blogged this cause not everyone knows about it. Now I know to ask next time I have an appointment! keep up the good blogging I love it




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