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    Old 01-15-2004, 10:03 PM   #1
    txcoolchic
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    Coloscopy & LEEP

    I went in for my annual pap on Jan 6th and the doctor said she saw something "funny" on my cervix and wanted to take a biopsy. Well, my pap came back clear, but my biopsy came back as severe cervical dysplasia. My doctor now has me scheduled for a coloscopy & LEEP on the 29th. I am absolutely terrified about these procedures and I feel emotionally dead. I went through some sexual abuse earlier in my life and completely freak out about anyone looking at me or touching me. I'm trying to deal with this the best I can, but I'm having an extremely difficult time. I'm so stressed out that I get very little sleep & my appetite is pretty well gone. I asked my doctor if I could have something to help me calm down & sleep, but she refused to give me anything. Is there anyone else out there that has been through sexual abuse and then had to deal with these procedures? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

     
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    Old 01-16-2004, 03:33 PM   #2
    SDCNC
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    Fortunately, I have never experienced any sexual abuse but I can tell you that you have absolutely NOTHING to worry about with these procedures. I just had the LEEP last week and was amazed at how painless and quick it was...and I'm not just telling you that to make you feel better. Make sure you follow what the doctor tells you to do and try and find somebody to discuss your issues with to help you. I too asked my doctor for some valium b/f the procedure b/c I was so freaked out but he wouldn't prescribe any. Afterwards, I can see why...you don't need it. It feels like a papsmear that just takes a few minutes longer. This is really an emotional issue for all of us so don't feel like you are alone. As soon as I was diagnosed with Mod. Dysplasia I swear I was consumed with it for about a month...I lived & breathed dysplasia info...I was a worried & depressed mess. But believe me, it does get better. I think it sinks in and then you just start dealing with it as best you can. Good luck and make sure to keep asking questions!

     
    Old 01-16-2004, 03:54 PM   #3
    PaNik5717
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    txcoolchic:

    Here is a thread that is all about me.
    [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=25058&highlight=panik57 17[/url]

    And here is another one:
    [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=25085&highlight=kaesle[/url]

    You will see from these that you are not alone. I have to say that I am doing much better than I was back then, sometimes. I haven't had any added therapy except for this board. I met Willow and Reze and they were here to listen any time I needed them. Typing out all of my feelings has been a big step. I went to therapy all last Spring and I still have the bills, but my therapist never made me feel. Having cervical dysplasia did make me feel. And, instead of a journal, I have used this forum to get it all out there.

    You have been through the pap and the biopsies very recently. How did it go? I can tell you that it does not get worse than that. Can you bring yourself to type it all out and what it felt like - physically and emotionally? You can type it here and hit send or not. Reliving that experience which can feel like a major violation can help you prepare yourself to go through it again.

    I am sorry your doc wouldn't give you anything to relax. I know many doctors have. Call back and explain - does the doc know your full history? I know mine has forgotten on occasion and I had to remind him how I ended up in his office so often and how he needed to treat me. If your doc is reminded of your sensitivity and still won't give you anything to help you relax, maybe you should look for a new doc. I know it isn't easy to let a new person in, but it may be necessary for your mental health.

    We are all here when you need us...

    Hugs,
    Nicole

     
    Old 01-16-2004, 10:43 PM   #4
    txcoolchic
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    SDCNC & PaNik5717:

    Thanks so much for the responses. It helps so much to have a support group that knows where you're coming from.

    Yes, I did the pap & biopsy on Jan 6th. It was more emotionally hard than physically. It took everything I had to even go in for my annual. When it's over, all I want to do is go home and shower because I feel so dirty, nasty & violated. My sexual abuse was back in 1991 and I was really hoping to begin to deal with it, but at times like these my feelings just seem to intensify.

    I hear that the LEEP is actually not too bad, but that the coloscopy is torture. Is this true? I hear that the vinegar solution they use burns like hell.

    Another fear I'm facing is I have a huge needle phobia. I'm absolutely terrified of feeling the needle from the shot.

    I'm just so tired of being stressed out. I get very little sleep and I have to make myself eat. My whole body just aches. My period barely started & then stopped immediately. I'm sure it's from stress. I'm just physically & emotionally wore out and I'm so tired of crying all the time. My doctor does know my history, but not in total detail. She still refuses to give me anything to help me relax. She did tell me that I could bring my cd player & headphones in to help drown out the sounds of the equipment. Is it true that there is also a smell of burning flesh?

    Thanks again for the replies. I truly appreciate them.

    Hugs,
    txcoolchic

     
    Old 01-17-2004, 01:31 PM   #5
    PaNik5717
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    Hey txcoolchic,

    If your doc did a biopsy when you had the pap smear, you have been through the worst. That is the part of the colposcopy that hurts.

    I can tell you that my mom was distracting me and I didn't feel the needle at all. Some women think it hurts, but the pain will be gone as soon as the numbing agent inside the shot kicks in.

    Listening to soothing music may help. Sometimes, my doc will explain each step to me and it might be alarming if you are listening to music when you are feeling them insert the speculum, etc. It is reassuring to have the warning.

    As for the smell, some people notice it and some don't. Many docs use something to ventilate and suck out the smoke.

    Have you talked to your doc about having this done in the hospital with you being put to sleep? Many women have it done that way and it might help you. If you keep bugging your doc and reminding her of how terrified you are, perhaps she will re-think things.

    Otherwise, keep asking questions and venting. The anticipation is often the hardest part.

    Nik

     
    Old 01-17-2004, 10:24 PM   #6
    Kimmiejune
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    txcoolchick,
    Like your last responder, I'm wondering why your doctor can't do it under a general anesthesia where you'll be totally asleep. I'm an ob/gyn myself, and we do all our LEEPs in our short procedures unit (separate building from our main OR's) and all the patients go under general. They wake up feeling refreshed, as if only 3 minutes have past and they don't feel a thing, except some mild cramping (perhaps) afterwards. Does your ob/gyn not have the facilities/staff to do the procedure under anesthesia? You should definitely inquire about it. If I were your doctor, I would prefer to do it under general, seeing how apprehensive you already are about the procedure and considering your past history.

    If you have already had the biopsy, that IS the part of the colposcopy which hurts. LEEP takes 5 minutes once the patients are under anesthesia and positioned and prepped.

    Hope this helped. Good luck.

    kim

     
    Old 01-17-2004, 11:33 PM   #7
    txcoolchic
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    PaNik5717 & Kimmiejune:

    Thanks for the replies. I truly appreciate it.

    My doctor did mention using general anesthesia, but she said it would be through an IV. I know I could never handle that because of my needle phobia. I had a C-section with my son and the IV is what stands out the most to me. Also, there is a greater cost doing it that way. I'm a single mom and barely getting by as it is. She told me that this would be outpatient surgery and it will be done in the office. She just told me to take the Valium and something for cramps before I come in that morning. I've had several friends tell me that I should seek a second opinion because this is the very first time I've been to this doctor and she's new to our area. I have absolutely no idea about her experience with LEEPs at all. Are there no alternatives to LEEP?

    Kimmiejune: What is involved with prepping for a LEEP?

    Thanks so much for everything. I just feel so out in the dark because my doctor has not explained things to me yet.

    Thanks again.

     
    Old 01-18-2004, 09:22 AM   #8
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    txcoolchic,
    I'm new to the site too. I really feel for you and your situation. Just try to focus on the positive. At least they caught the severe dysplasia and they are going to look after you. A lot of women on this site say that they didn't even feel the needle and the vallium should calm you down a lot. My procedure is Jan. 21 and I'm going to be awake for it. I could have been put to sleep for it, but I would have had to wait 3 months instead of 3 weeks for my leep. I decided that the quicker, the better, awake or not! Just think, soon it will be over for both of us and then we're past the first hurdle! I keep telling myself that we don't live in the days of gladiator! They aren't going to give us a shot of wiskey and leave us screaming in pain! It can't be that bad or their waiting rooms would empty out everytime they are working on someone new! My doctor hasn't mentioned anthing about vallium. He just said take 2 advil one hour before after I went back to see him to tell him how sick and nervous I feel about this procedure. But after reading so many experiences on this site I feel so much better about everything. Again, it just can't be THAT bad! One thing I noticed about your situation is that you said your pap was clear, but the biopsy showed severe dysplasia. The same thing happened to me. What is it with these ridiculous pap results? The worse part is that most doctors brag about its effectiveness and base their diagnoses solely on it! What a joke! Well, thank god for good gynecologists who biopsy when they feel it's necessary. Again, try to focus on the positive and keep yourself busy. This site is a huge support and I'm going to use it to the max!
    Take care and write anytime!
    Bumble_Bee

     
    Old 01-18-2004, 09:50 AM   #9
    PaNik5717
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    txcoolchic:

    I am so happy your doc did give you the valium. I didn't have to wait for mine - it was done the day we decided to do it - but I know I would have been an emotional wreck. I can tell you that I have had to see the gyn on average twice a month since last February. So, the exams are no big deal now, but I do understand how you feel about it. Please remember that this is a healing process. There is nothing dirty or shameful about this. I know it is hard to feel that way, but if you start thinking it, eventually, I hope you will feel better about it. And, showering after is perfectly OK, but no baths until you are healed. If you feel like it, maybe you can write more about how the exam makes you feel and why it feels dirty. I know, actually writing it hurts a lot and you may shed some tears. It may be too personal to send, but I know it will help. The more you make yourself feel the pain, the sooner the pain will sibside.

    As for the LEEP, having it done in the office isn't bad at all. With the valium and the pain pills, you probably won't notice much. It will take about the same time as the pap and biopsies did. Don't look at the needle and you will be fine. They will put a sticky patch on your leg to ground you. This will keep you from being electrocuted. Then, they will open you with a speculum just like they do for the pap. They may use the vinegar or something to numb you, then they will numb you with the shot. You may feel the epinephrine in your heart and your entire body, but most people don't. Then, you may feel a warm sensation or some pressure - it's a little weird because you can hear and feel things outside of you, but you don't feel your cervix. They stick the electric loop in and burn out a small chunk. I would advise you not to look at the biopsy in the cup. It burns the tissue so you won't bleed very much if you do at all. This can smell bad, but most docs will use soemthing to suck the smoke out of the room.

    It is all over in less than fifteen minutes. You know, I was even wearing a dress the day I had it done and I didn't even get undressed.

    Do you have someone who can go with you like a close friend, partner or mom? My mom was there and she squeezed my hand so hard, I could hardly think about anything else. She was joking with the doc and the nurse and it was over very quickly. They didn't tell me not to drive, but the shot made me jumpy and I didn't want to drive so it was good to have family there. If there is someone with you, you can tell them about the process ahead of time and say that you don't want to see the shot or the tissue sample.

    I was totally exhausted from the emotional side of it. I hadn't expected it and I sat and cried in the exam room for about an hour while the doc finished with some other patients. I just could not believe that this one experience with this icky man could have such a physical impact on me. So, I was totally drained by the time we got home. It would be a good idea for you to have a make ahead dinner or have someone come home with you to pamper you for the rest of the day.

    When is this scheduled? I hope it isn't too far away. Please, try to find some fun ways to relax until then. For me, it has been baking. You can read some hilarious stories about me in the kitchen. This weekend, I made popcorn balls and peanut butter cookies. Of course, I can't eat everything I bake, so I give a lot of it away. I try to find people who could use a little pick-me-up.

    Let us know if you have any other questions.

     
    Old 01-18-2004, 10:04 AM   #10
    txcoolchic
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    Bumble_Bee,
    Thanks so much for the reply. It's good to hear that I'm not the only one with the clear Pap & bad biopsy. I totally agree with you. Those Paps are not very reliable. You think they'd come up with a more effective way. I have been told that the LEEP procedure is not that bad, but I am still alittle terrified about it. My doctor didn't offer the valium to me. I had to beg to get it. I know she probably thinks I'm crazy, but I don't think that she truly understands my situation. This is the first time that I've been to her, so our relationship is not very strong yet. My biggest struggle right now is the emotional side. To know that I have to go into a room & take off my clothes & let someone violate me kills me emotionally beyond belief. It just gives me an extreme feeling of being dirty & nasty.
    I just started seeing an awesome gentleman and I finally thought my life was beginning to look up & start mending and then I get slammed with this. He's a great support for me, but I only get to see him maybe twice a month if I'm lucky. His job keeps him constantly on the road. He's great support over the phone, but there's nothing like having someone hold you and tell you that everything's going to be alright. I just hope he makes it home before my procedure so that I can get that support. I know that would help more than anything right now.

    Thanks again and take care. Good luck with your LEEP.
    txcoolchic

     
    Old 01-18-2004, 10:36 AM   #11
    txcoolchic
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    PaNik5717:

    I'm so glad that my doctor gave me valium as well. I know I won't be able to make it through this procedure without something. I totally understand it's a healing process, but any unwanted touches just flood my mind with memories of the abuse. The no bath thing is really going to be hard on me because right now my bath is the only relaxation that I get.

    I feel like my time in the office is going to be longer because she is doing the coloscopy & LEEP back to back. My doctor told me that my Mom could go in with me, but emotionally I think I will do better if she's not in there. My doctor did tell me that I will have to have someone drive me home though because of taking the valium. I have talked to the nurse already and explained to her that I do not want to see any of the equipment or the sample.

    My procedures are scheduled for the 29th, so I only have 11 days left. The closer the day gets though, the more my anxiety & stress grow. I'm just so ready for this nightmare in my life to be over. It's amazing how one person can affect your life so much. Because of him, I now have to deal with all the abuse issues (not just the sexual abuse), being a single mom (my son was a result of this abuse) and the struggle of not fearing and totally hating men.

    Thanks again for listening. The support means more than you could ever know.

    Take care,
    txcoolchic

     
    Old 01-18-2004, 07:36 PM   #12
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    Hi txcoolchick,

    When I say 'prepping' a patient, it really means just preparing them for the procedure. After they are under the general anesthesia, we place their legs in the cushioned stirrups, then we sterilize the area (called prepping) with betadine. This includes the inner thighs, vagina, and cervix. We insert the speculum, rub some acetic acid on the cervix, to visualize where the dysplastic areas of cells are, then we burn the cervix off in one small slice. That's it. It takes only a few minutes.

    Perhaps you shouldn't think of this procedure as taking off your clothes and letting someone "violate" you. You are in the office of a doctor who is only trying to help you, not violate you, although I know it may bring back feelings of the such. Try to visualize what the procedure... then switch immediately to some good memories you had of a fun time. Do that repeatedly. Maybe this will help condition you out of this fright response you have to undressing and being examined down there.

    good luck

     
    Old 01-18-2004, 09:11 PM   #13
    txcoolchic
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    Kimmiejune:

    Thanks for the explanation. I do appreciate your response.

    I truly wish that I could look at going to the doctor as a non-violation, but I honestly can't. I had quite extensive abuse and any unwanted touch is absolutely a violation to me. After having a pap, I will have nightmares about it for quite awhile. I just can't emotionally handle it. I've always had a hard time with doctors. As soon as I enter a doctor's office, patient or not, my blood pressure & heart rate go sky high. I truly wish I could change these feelings, but I see no chance of that happening.

    Thanks again,
    txcoolchic

     
    Old 01-22-2004, 07:38 AM   #14
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    txcoolchic,
    How are you doing? I've been thinking about you. I know your LEEP is coming up soon. I just started a new thread entitled "Another LEEP Experience" that goes over how my went. It was WAY better than I expected. Actually, it was no big deal at all. I know you are bringing other issues to this that I couldn't even try to identify with, but at least from a pain standpoint, I can verify that you will be fine. I especially wanted to let you know that the needle part wasn't bad at all! I was surprised. With the vallium you should be relaxed enough that the spectulum will go in without causing unnecessary discomfort and then you quickly get frozen and after that you won't feel a thing. Just sit back and try to go to your "Happy Place"! I wasn't given any vallium or anything, I just took a couple of pain killers beforehand "just in case". Take someone into the room with you if you can, it should provide a good distraction and will help you maybe disassociate the situation from being like a violation. Tell them to keep talking to you and letting you know what's happening and making small chat! This really helped me keep my mind from wandering to unwanted thoughts.
    You will be in my thoughts on your big day. Hang in there.

     
    Old 01-22-2004, 12:05 PM   #15
    txcoolchic
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    Re: Coloscopy & LEEP

    Bumble_Bee,

    Thanks for the message. That's very sweet of you. I'm doing better. I think it's finally sinking in & I'm trying to deal with it now. I did go in for my consultation yesterday. She did give me some medication to try out for anxiety, but she said it would take 2 weeks to kick in, so it's not going to help me for my procedures. I did take it yesterday and it made me really sick last night, so I don't think I'm going to be able to take it. I feel like my anxiety level will go down a lot after the procedures are over. She did tell me that the bad spot she saw was pretty much all taken out with the biopsy. I thought they used the colposcopy to figure out how much of the cervix they needed to take, but she showed me how much she's planning on taking...I'm just getting confused. She also told me this was really just to get a bigger piece of the cervix for biopsy...is this not also a treatment for the dysplasia? Emotionally I feel like I'll do better without anyone else in there with me. The less number of people in there, the better for me. The doctor told me that I could bring my walkman & listen to my music to help me relax. I'm truly hoping that the valium will put me where I need to be. She also told me that I have to take a mandatory pregnancy test before the procedure...that caught me off guard. I know for sure I'm not, but she said I still have to take it to cover herself.
    Thanks again for the message. It truly helps having the support from everyone on the board. I'd probably go crazy without a place to vent like this.

     
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