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This is part of our “How it works now” series, aiming to help you navigate how our healthcare system works at the moment.
I had my smear test right before lockdown started. I got my results during the lockdown, and they showed high-grade cell changes. 6 days later, I went into hospital for a LLETZ procedure. Thankfully, I found out by post recently that they found no evidence of cancer.
I wasn’t allowed to take anyone to the hospital with me but the nurse who stayed with me during the procedure was really nice and made me feel so much better. The unit I went to was empty apart from me. Mine was a 9am appointment.
During the procedure there was a nurse in the room and the doctor who was carrying out the treatment. We all had to wear face masks. I was okay about the mask until I had the local anaesthetic. It made me feel light headed, so the nurse let me remove it until my breathing went back to normal and then I had to put it back on. The nurse made sure she was 2 metres away from me throughout but kept talking to me and offering reassurance.
I felt really safe going in. They rang me beforehand to let me know about the appointment and how it would work. Communication from the hospital was excellent.
The doctor explained everything to me that she was doing whilst she was carrying out the treatment. They couldn't give me any aftercare leaflets after the treatment, as they had been made to remove them all from the unit, so instead they gave me a contact number to ring if I had any worries or concerns. They said I could stay and have a brew afterwards to make sure I felt okay before I went home. The treatment was uncomfortable but not as bad as I had imagined. They said the results usually take 4 weeks but that they may be quicker, and mine arrived 2 weeks later.
I'd tell ladies to try and not worry and that you're in safe hands with the NHS. Even with all this going on they made me feel like they really cared.
I looked at the Jo’s website when I got my smear results and it made me feel so much better, it was a massive comfort to me. I would recommend it to anyone who has questions about any aspect. I really hope this helps women who have to go into hospital at this time.