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Old 11-25-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
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Past rape = fear of gynecologist

Hi,

I'm 22 years old and have an appointment to go to the gynecologist for the first time in about 2 weeks. I was raped over 2 years ago and when I went to the hospital I had the rape kit done. It was awful... the staff at the hospital seemed slightly confused. Well mostly the nurse. She told me to bare with her because she wasn't sure how to do the kit as she read the directions. Finally the doctor came in but thinking back on it, this makes me not want to go to the gynecologist more and more. I know I need to go but I don't want to. I was tested for several things during the rape kit but it was all a blur. I was told to come back to the hospital for a follow up that week but I didn't. Instead I went to the police station to report the crime. That hospital or any doctor for that matter was the last place I wanted to go and I feel like I'm facing this again. I have the papers from the hospital... but I find it too painful to look at. I honestly don't know if they found anything and I chose to block it all out. I know I need to see someone because I have a cyst on the hymen/vagina opening that has been there for quite some time. After doing research online I'm 90% sure based off of pictures and symptons that its a Bartholin cyst. (of course I'm not a doctor so I can't be sure.)

This past two years have been a blur. The rape led to my uppity family kicking me out because I was "disgraceful"... so my main concern wasn't my health. It was to find a place to rest my head at night. Due to recent unemployment I've had no choice but to return home and the rape is never spoken about. So clearly I have no one to go to when wanting to discuss this issue.

Should I bring these papers to the gynecologist? Should I tell her about the rape? I feel like I will be judged...

 
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:57 PM   #2
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Re: Past rape = fear of gynecologist

I am so sorry for what has happened to you. I truly don't believe anyone in the gynecologist's office will judge you. You will probably see a nurse or medical office assistant first, to go over you medical history. Stress to her how anxious you are about the exam and what the past 2 years have been like for you. They will know how to proceed with the exam to make it as comfortable for you as they possibly can. They may also recommend rape counseling for you (and your family, they NEED it!)

Take care of yourself.

 
Old 12-02-2009, 12:48 PM   #3
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Re: Past rape = fear of gynecologist

Ar, I am so sorry for what has happened to you.

Yes, tell your doctor about the rape and how traumatized you have been. It can only help her understand you better, and also help you understand yourself better.

Many women have been raped. It is traumatic, but does not have to control the rest of your life. It is possible to heal, it is possible to face it and go on, even to forgive and choose to live well. Your life can be full and meaningful, you can be happy and well. You can go on.

While I was not raped myself, I was severely traumatized and suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But I got well. You can too.

 
Old 12-02-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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Re: Past rape = fear of gynecologist

I'm also sorry to hear this happened to you. *hugs*

I don't blame you for not wanting to see a doctor under your circumstances, but I think if you ask nicely and explain your fears, you might be able to be put under anesthesia or something similar during the exam. I've heard of many women who get so nervous and scared during their well-woman exams that they have to be knocked out, and if it means more money in the hospital's pockets, I'm sure they won't object (unless you have an allergy to whatever they'd use). Because even if you ask them to be gentle, a lot of doctors are insensitive to their patients' needs and may not listen anyway, so being knocked out might be a better option than depending on the doctor to care (some do, but many do not, sadly).

 
Old 12-03-2009, 07:06 AM   #5
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Re: Past rape = fear of gynecologist

I too, am sorry for what you went thru. I dont think anyone is going to suggest knocking you out for any type of exam...it would be conterbeneficial. You need to be aware of what is going on so that you can get thru this and eventually come to terms with it; however, there are drugs, like Xanax, which are often prescribed for anxiety which keep you 100% awake and alert, able to answer questions and know what is going on...but will take the edge off the anxiety.

Meanwhile, your questions were more geared towards how to handle it. No, I dont think you need to take the papers with you...if they need them, you can always bring them back with you. A rape kit, basically only shows what is being done,it doesnt necessarily show any answers to what they found. AND, asssuming you had this done locally, the doctor can always call for any results she needs.
What you do need to do is either take a trusted friend, or someone who can help you thru this (for suppport) and be ready to tell the doctor the truth. As was said earlier, someone, probably a nurse, will take a history and physical before you even get undressed. At that time, its really important that you tell them how nervous you are- and why.....they cant treat you with the special type of consideration that you deserve, if they dont know what happened.

You might also consider (since the appt is two weeks away) calling back and asking if you can come in first or last appt of the day to MEET the doctor and staff, prior to the exam. That way you have time to simply sit down and explain your fears and anxiety and tell them WHY. They might prescribe that Xanax to take 1/2 hour before your actual exam ahead of time, to help you get thru it...or you might just feel so much better that when you go back, they will already know what to expect from YOU, and YOU from THEM- that youll be better prepared to handle things.

I do agree that rape counseling would be a good idea- not for your family- but for you. You have to move on at some point and talking about it, and your fears resulting from it, wil help you.Once you get to that point, maybe some family counseling might be advisable, but right now, sweetie- this should be all about YOU.

I wish you the best....stay strong. GYN exams are NOT scary and NOT painful- however, under the circumstances, I certainly understand why it would be scary for you. Dont let fear take away what you obviously know is the right thing to do- go get checked and let yourself see that this is normal, and unfortunately necessary for us girls!
Nikki
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: Past rape = fear of gynecologist

ar1986

I agree with the response from MSNik, especially about possibly having a first appointment where you simply sit down with the doctor and talk about your experience and fears. You can than make a second appointment once you feel comfortable with this doctor. Was this doctor recommend to you or did you simply choose the first name you saw on the list? The rape kit is only used to collect evidence. The personnel at the hospital only perform the test, they then hand the kit over to the police investigating the crime. The information contained in the kit, if the procedure was done correctly at the hospital will hopefully give the investigators some DNA to work with. I know to much information for a simple response to your fear of going to the gyn. Think about the gyn visit as one to help you stay healthy. You can not let the vile person who hurt you to prevent you from living a happy and healthy life. You do need counseling to help you deal with the affects of this crime. Unfortunately your family is not there for you, so you must seek out help elsewhere and believe me it is out there. By sitting down with this doctor and telling her your whole past history, she should be able to refer you to the proper type of counseling and even possibly set up your first inital appointment. MSNik also make a great suggession of bringing a close friend with you to this exam. If you have someone who you feel comfortable with, ask them to come with you to not only this first sit down appointment but to your subsequent appointment. You can also ask your counselor to accompany you on your second gyn visit. Anything to help you get through this initial visit. It is a long process to get your life back but I can tell by your post that you are ready to take it back.
Good luck and know that we here on healthboards.com are always here to help you when you need to talk.

Brenda

Last edited by shisslak; 12-04-2009 at 12:58 PM.

 
Old 12-04-2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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Re: Past rape = fear of gynecologist

Thanks for all the replies. I've actually had rape counseling and was told I didn't need it anymore. My issue isn't with the rape... just going to the gynecolgist but my appointment in this coming Monday and I'm just doing my best not to worry about it.

 
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