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Good for you being so brave! I've been going to different doctors since I can't even remember when. What's weird is I actually had an easier time finding a GYN than finding my primary care doctor. I just turned 26 and I also JUST found a primary doctor after going about 5 years without (after a devastating experience with one telling me that everything that was wrong with me was because I was fat basically) It's hard to find the courage to try again (or try at all) but I encourage everyone to be as brave as you, no matter what your age, and look (or keep looking) WE know there is a way to live as healthy as possible while still being overweight and there ARE doctors out there who may not agree, but can be respectful because it's my body and my choice what I do with it.

Thanks for sharing for those who are scared!
I've been getting paps since I was a teenager because my period is never normal. That said, I am not very flexible and I'm deathfat, so I sometimes find it hard to get in the stirrups and scooch up to the end of the table for the doctor to do the exam. Usually I just force myself to do it and stay there until cramps, but this past time I couldn't even force myself all the way down to the end of the table.
My doc is super cool though, and the only reason you have to be to the end is because the speculum has a screw that hangs down, so she flipped the speculum upside down and did it that way. Just an idea for others who might have that same problem.

Please remember that you don't have to see an OB-GYN for appointments like these. You have other choices too.

Midwives do well-woman care as well as maternity care, and are often quite a bit more size-friendly and woman-friendly than doctors.

Nurse-practitioners are available in many doctors' practices as well, and many do routine things like pap smears, breast exams, routine physicals, etc.

Nothing wrong with seeing an OB-GYN if you know a good one, but it's not a requirement. And in fact, many women find much more size-friendly care from midwives or NPs, and these are usually covered under most insurances as easily as OBs.

Good for you for finally getting this done!

Mama, I totally agree. I just like to go to one doctor for as much as possible. I'd go to her for a teeth cleaning if she offered it ;)

It is so strange that you posted this today. I have my first pap in 4 years scheduled on Oct.1 I woke up in the middle of the night last night in a total panic attack because of this.

The last time I went in for a pap test, the Dr. (a stupid, insensitive man) freaked out told me I probably had cancer, my husband was in Canada and I was home by myself. He told me that my husband had to come home from Canada right away. He also told me I couldn't drive??? But I needed to go see a Gynocolgist Oncologist, right away, that day! I called a friend, who took me to the other side of town, waited for hours, the oncologist took one look at me, took some samples and matter-of-factly, like it was no big deal. Said "you don't have cancer".

After this horrifying experience I have put it off for too long. I found a woman Dr. don't know if she is good or not. But I am already scared to death and spent last night crying because I always think the worst and can't imagine my children growing up without me.

Then I logged on and found your calm email, thank you (even though I'm still scared) I'm a little calmer.

I've never gone to this appointment either, and I'm 27! I haven't told anyone because I find it to be embarrassing and a sign of how little I must care for myself. I found this post very encouraging, and I'll try to take the plunge soon :)

Good for you! I also get my routine gynecological stuff from my regular doctor. She, for the record, has never once said a word to me about my weight. Given that I do not now nor have I ever had any health conditions that are likely to be due to my weight, I see this as just perfect. (I'm a 22/24.) I do get weighed, though, because I'm still a little too screwed up weight to trust my own judgement about whether my body has changed, and do want to know if there are drastic changes that could mean something is wrong.

Anyway, the pap is a little uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally, but not that bad for me in the grand scheme of things. Flu shots hurt a lot more, and cancer would be infinitely more traumatic, so in my book it's well worth it. Having a compassionate doctor and nurse handling this for me makes all the difference.

I'd strongly, strongly urge anyone who is holding off on getting any kind of health care due to concerns about weight discrimination to reconsider. It's daunting to think of facing potentially rude doctors, but knowing that you really are healthy and that you can get effective treatment when you need it grants SUCH peace of mind. Just like looking for a job, it's a collosal, enormous aggravation, but is well worth it in the end. You are worth it.

everything's scarier when you don't know what to expect. i am glad you detailed your story for others who haven't gone yet. sounds exactly like all the paps i've had. i hope this encourages women who have been putting it off to schedule a pap today, especially if you are sexually active, or ever have been, you NEED to do it, no matter what your age. Any amount of potential embarassment for 10 minutes is completely worth having your sexual health peace of mind.

It's very hard to find the courage women but I encourage everyone who are very brave ..Very Happy that you detailed your story for others who haven't gone yet...http://www.facebook.com/pages/Viva-Magazine-Your-Premium-Womens-Natural-Health-Magazine/262734921452?ref=ts i can manage any scary situavation ...

As strange as it must have felt to post this out to the world, it is definitely the right thing to do. This stuff needs to be done and demistified for other people to know its ok.

Thanks for the (over);)share Colleen!

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