Notes on Surviving Your Pap Test

What is a Pap smear? 

A Pap test, commonly referred to as the Pap smear, is a medical procedure that screens for cancers or precancerous cells in the cervix. Cells collected from the cervix with a mascara-like brush or swab are spread (smeared) on a microscope slide for lab examination.

Pap test

Why do I need a Pap smear?

Getting a Pap smear can save your life as it finds abnormal, cancerous cells. When caught early, successful treatment of cervical cancer is high. A Pap test “can also detect changes in your cervical cells that suggest cancer may develop in the future.” Cervical cancer is a preventable disease. Mayo Clinic

Who needs them?

Pap smear screening usually begins at age 21 or within 3 years of becoming sexually active. Most women over 30, who have had normal test results can be screened less often than yearly. Women 60-70 years old, who have had regular pap smear results may forgo screening. Medicine Net

paps

Rookie Tips on getting a Pap smear

Breathe. Feeling nervous about the exam is totally normal. Taking deep breaths before and during the Pap test can put you at ease and help the procedure go smoothly.

Relax. Stressing over the Pap smear is no bueno. Being tense will cause you do squeeze those muscles in your vagina making the process traumatizing. When you are relaxed, the doctor can quickly do what they need to do with minimized pain/discomfort.

Eyes open vs. closed. This is a personal choice. During my Pap smear I focused on a spot on the ceiling. Some people prefer to keep their eyes closed. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Talking. Again, this is whatever makes you feel comfortable. For some people talking is a distraction. Don’t be afraid to make small talk with your doctor if that helps you get through the test. For me, I worked on breathing deeply.

Doctor choice. It is important that you are comfortable with your doctor; after all, you are in a pretty compromising position. When you feel at ease with your physician, you are more likely to relax.

Research. My first Pap test was traumatizing because I didn’t know what to expect. My second time around went smoothly (no screaming and hysterics involved) because I knew what to expect and had done reading about the exam the night before.

Experiences. To put your fears to rest, talk to other women who are close to you. Hearing from others will put the examination into prospective. Remember, almost half of the world’s population are women. Thus, you will not be the first, nor the last, to get a pap smear.

To hear about my experience please click here

In case you’ve missed it, check out:

My Pap Smear Experience

History notes: This Week in Black History (Oct. 26th-Nov.1st)

22 Things I’ve Learned by Age 23

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Early Morning Notes

A bright light flashed before my eyes. No, I didn’t see Heaven.

It was 2:45 AM and my mom, who was coming home after working the graveyard shift, turned on the hall light, unintentionally, waking me up.

Instead of going back to sleep, my mind was flooded with thoughts including about my blog and the direction its taking.

I dwelled on my mistakes that I’ve made on social media, how I am not properly honing in on my message and delivery, bla bla bla.

Since I couldn’t go back to sleep I pulled out my book and began planning, scratching out ideas, adding new ones. Reflecting on my mistakes.

I didn’t stay stagnant. I realized that Rookie Notes, my brand, will take shape over time. And in the beginning, in these initial stages there will be a lot of mistakes made. Especially, considering I didn’t go to school to learn how to write, market, utilize social media effectively. Everything up until now has been trial and error.

My mistakes are my biggest lessons.

Have your mistakes ever pushed you closer to your goals/dreams? Comment below.

Rookie Notes

In case you’ve missed it, check out:

My Pap Smear Experience

History notes: This Week in Black History (Oct. 26th-Nov.1st)

22 Things I’ve Learned by Age 23

For more posts like these, follow me on:

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History notes: This Week in Black History (Oct. 26th-Nov.1st)

October 26, 1952: Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, passed away on this date. The Oscar winner won for her role as the Mammy in 1939’s Gone with Wind. In addition to appearing on the big screen, McDaniel was also a singer/songwriter, comedian, and radio performer. She is credited with being the first black woman to sing on the radio in the U.S. Photo

Ms. Hattie

October 27, 1973: Gladys Knight & the Pips were definitely in the fast lane as their hit, “Midnight Train to Georgia”, reached #1 in both the R&B (four consecutive weeks) and Pop (two consecutive weeks) charts.

October 28, 1798: American abolitionist, Quaker, and businessman Levi Coffin was born. Coffin, nicknamed the “President of the Underground Railroad,” helped thousands of slaves as they passed through his care while escaping from their masters. For this reason, his homes in Indiana and Ohio were also nicknamed “The Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.” Coffin, who also worked as a businessman, used his profits to supply food, clothing, and transportation for those using the Underground Railroad. When slavery was abolished following the American Civil War, Coffin traveled around the United States and abroad to Great Britain and France to form aid societies which provided food, education, and clothing to freed slaves. Photo

October 29, 1929: The stock market crashed which ushered in the Great Depression. The Great Depression affected the majority of Americans hard, but it especially had adverse effects on blacks. Black Americans received less government aid and suffered unemployment two to three times that of whites. It was during this time that a large number of African Americans switched their political affliction from the republican to Democratic Party for the first time. The effects of the Depression would last until the beginning of World War II which created many industrial jobs and was the start of the second Great Migration for blacks moving south to north. Photo

blacks

October 30, 1974: The boxing match that took place between undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman and challenger Muhammad Ali, a former heavyweight champion has been called the Rumble in the Jungle, as well as, “arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century.” The event, which took place in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) ended with Muhammad Ali defeating George Foreman in a knockout just before the eighth round. Photo

EbonyOctober 31, 1950: Earl Lloyd, a retired basketball player, became the first African American to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the 1950-1951 season. Lloyd, a forward known for his defense, played collegiately at West Virginia State College and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1950 NBA Draft by the Washington Capitols. Lloyd’s first game was against the Rochester Royals.

November 1, 1945: Ebony Magazine, a magazine marketed to African Americans was published for the first time on this day. Since its debut, the magazine has consistently written articles on topics concerning issues facing blacks in America, as well as, “black” pop culture. African American celebrities and politicians such as Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Barack Obama, Dorothy Dandridge, and Tyler Perry have been featured in EbonyPhoto

In case you’ve missed it, check out:

My Pap Smear Experience

History notes: This Week in Black History (Oct. 19th-25th)

22 Things I’ve Learned by Age 23

For more posts like these, follow me on:

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