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I have always been a strong believer in looking after my own reproductive health. I get my pap smears done, I make sure nothing’s abnormal. I check my breasts for lumps.
So when I was twenty-three, and the doctor called, saying that there were ‘abnormal’ cells on my cervix, I freaked. Dr. Dunn and I have a pretty good relationship, so she was really matter-of-fact about what we did from there. “Elizabeth, we are going to laser them off.”
She was going to put a laser up my business?
When she explained further, it didn’t really sound too bad at all. No day at the beach or anything, but it wasn’t going to hurt, even. It would take fifteen minutes.
So the day of the surgery, I was pretty relaxed. Lasers? Okay. Not thinking about Star Wars. Not thinkiiiing…
I was hoisted up in stirrups and the surgeon explained. It was largely what Dr. Dunn had said. No pain, no problem. Okay. But then she asked if a couple of students could watch. I thought about it. Hmm, students watching as they laser my cervix? Well. Okay. Because they are going to need to know. It might as well be anyone’s cervix.
Then they asked if I wanted to watch on closed-circuit tv. Really. I said yes, because how many women get to see their own cervix? It was pink. A pink doughnut. I was fascinated, and not as grossed out as I thought I should have been.
They went in with the laser. It didn’t hurt. I couldn’t see a beam or anything. It just zapped the bad cells. Turned them black, and they flaked off like ash, leaving light pink patches. It was really cathartic for me. Goodbye, abnormal cells! I am going to have a normal cervix!
That was it. No mess, no fuss. Just…done, and done.
But if I hadn’t been up on my reproductive health, if I hadn’t been getting checked regularly, who knows where it could have led. So today’s PSA: Get your parts checked, people. Get it done.