Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The fear...


Hi, my name is Chloe, I blog over at Chloe Likes To Talk. I’m 23, I probably drink too much Diet Coke and Coffee for my own good, and have a mild to middling love of Miffy, my taste in television is probably questionable. Yes, that’s me below... 


I am a logical person. I like logic, and it’s a quality I recognise and praise in others too. Which is probably amusing to many as I’m an Arts graduate twice over. As a love of logic, I find it difficult to sympathise or empathise with people who have fear after fear. I’m truly terrified of only one maybe two things- falling- which incidentally is one of only two fears we are born with, and I am also scared of masks, mostly people wearing them. If you can’t see someone’s face, you can’t identify them.

Falling is an easy one to rationalise- if I’m falling it means I’m going to land, and chances are I have no choice in that landing. And along with loud noises, it’s one of the only things we as human beings are programmed to be frightened of from day one. At this stage it’s also fair to point out that friends and family take great amusement from watching me jump out of my own skin at sudden loud noises... but I wouldn’t call it the same terror that sinks right into the pit of my stomach and takes over when I think about things like skydiving.... *shudders*

But I guess the real question, is what do you do, if like me, you pride yourself on logic, when you hit a fear you’ve never had  before, and you don’t know how to make it fit with your reasoning? I’m sure some people would call it a test of character, I call it really damn stressful!
Like many young women, I try and live my life healthily and cautiously, in particular I practise safe sex, I try to exercise regularly and eat healthily, I don’t play in traffic (often) and I try not to stick my head in the sand if I think I might be ill or injured. Except.... this week I’m not sure I did such a good job of that.
Brace yourself, this is about to get girly...

Having found that I had some unusual bleeding- and by that I mean bleeding that was not a period, I knew, in the deep dark recesses of the thing I hope is my brain that I should really go see my Dr. I did, I really did. But I picked up the phone, was fobbed off with an appointment a week later, and was actually kind of relieved to have an excuse not to go. Why? Because I was scared.

In recent years, there has been massive emphasis on the importance of woman exercising caution with regards to breast and cervical cancer, and rightly so- knowledge is power so they say, and where cancer is concerned, early knowledge means early treatment, and can save lives. But when you’re 23 years old, and your experience of gynaecological matters is by and large limited to intimacy between you and your chosen partner, and you don’t really know what’s coming, the logic that dictates a 10 minute appointment, maybe 30 seconds of embarrassment and a few reassuring words from a Dr are probably all that’s required, and even if it’s not the case, it’s better to know there’s a problem in order to find a solution rather than ignoring something that could, maybe, might be serious, yeah, that kind of goes out of the window.

I KNOW, a hundred times over, that to solve a problem, you have to identify and explain it first, but you know what it still took some hand holding from a close friend, and a bit of a backside kicking to go back and actually insist on a more urgent appointment, and to make sure that I went, and to make sure that I was truly, wholly honest about the WHOLE LOT. It didn’t stop me feeling what I think I now understand to be The Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of something bigger, badder and nastier than I can deal with alone.
So the moral of this story? Well there are two. First up, fear, whatever you happen to be scared of, is as real as you allow it to be, and sometimes you have to steel yourself, and face it, because deep down, you know you need to in order to be a functioning, healthy, happy, successful adult- however you define those adjectives. And it’s ok to need help to do it. It’s ok to freak out and panic and text your friend with simply the words ‘I don’t know what to do’. But you have to do something, even if it’s admitting that you need someone to tell you what to do.

And secondly, ladies. This has been a personal post for me, and when Maria asked me to write a guest post for her, this wasn’t what I had in mind, it just kind of flowed from me through the keyboard. But allow me to remind you of this. Causes of unusual bleeding can be: pregnancy, a build up of uterus lining, sexually transmitted infections, polyps, cervical infections, and lastly, cancer. If in doubt, it’s surely, surely better to endure a Dr’s appointment, because ultimately, the chances are that it’s nothing to worry about, but not knowing is neither good for you, nor conducive to staying healthy. And, my experience of my own Dr, is that they will understand that you’re scared. They will understand that although they’ve seen it all before, you’re probably not accustomed to anyone with rubber gloves poking around below your waistline. And they will understand that you’re not trying to waste anyone’s time, and that you aren’t wasting anyone’s time, you’re just trying to do your best to keep healthy. 

Chloe

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3 comments

Alice, Pretty Confused said...

This is a great reminder, it's funny, I'm pretty useless with some stuff but when it comes to my health I'm always on the ball, to the extent of getting pushy if I can't get appointments or something. I hope everything was ok with you xo

danniekate said...

this is really brave, and i love that. xx

Sarah Rooftops said...

Well said. I have some gynae issues and spent years seeing doctor after doctor getting them diagnosed - I *never* wanted to go to any of the appointments, but rather that than not know what was wrong with me. When it comes to your health, it's always best to risk sounding like an idiot/being a bit embarrassed/finding out it was nothing by going to the doctor than letting the fear eat away at you.

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