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Another visit to the doctor

Going to the doctor, for yearly check ups, is uncomfortable for all women. For women who have been sexually abused, it can, and has been traumatic. I don't fear it, as I have most of my life; triggering flashbacks and getting small, but making the appointment, and getting there, staying present... staying adult, and being able to function, the rest of the day, has gotten easier for me. At one point, I waited 8 years between check-ups. Not smart, or advisable, but I just couldn't do it.

I went to the doctor yesterday, for my Pap smear, and, "I am so lucky to be a woman", checkup. The doc that I have seen a few times, with minimal trauma, retired, and I had to find someone new. My husband is a RN, at the local hospital. He works in day surgery, and was impressed with a new gynecologist. I figured SHE, might be a good option, because she is young, and up to date on women's health issues. I have never seen a woman GYN before. It was a good choice.

I walked in to her office, and was greeted by a very cheerful woman. She introduced herself, as Joy (perfect name for her) handed me an attractive bag, telling me it was a bag of goodies for me, just for coming in. That appealed to my inner child:). I glanced in the bag, and saw a pink water bottle, and several other items, and had to restrain myself from going through it right then. I filled out the required paperwork, and was lead to an examining room (after getting on the scale, one of my favorite things, first). The nurse came in and introduced herself. Hmmm first Joy, and now Misty. I was impressed. I have never had health care professionals do this before. Misty took my blood pressure, asked me a few questions regarding my paperwork, and then asked how I was referred, or learned about the new doc. When I told her my husband referred me, and told her his name, she said,"I love Doug, he is a great nurse." She went on to say that she even requested to have him, as her nurse, when she needed surgery. It makes me feel good to hear good things about people I love, so with the exception of having to get on the scale (I really need to get serious about losing those 20 extra pounds) I was at ease, feeling cared for, and cared about.

I was told the doctor would want to talk to me before I undressed. This is a big thing for me... I feel less secure wearing a paper gown. When the doctor came in, she shook my hand and introduced herself... Dr. Amber Bradshaw 3 for 3:)... And with her first and last name. She is young... I would guess mid thirties, she is confident, and looked me right in the eyes. I knew, she knew what she was talking about. After asking me several questions, and about any concerns I have, about 20 minutes went by... She left to let me get undressed. She had cloth gowns... Not the cheap, small paper ones. Of course the Pap smear, and exam was a little uncomfortable, but it was just uncomfortable, not mentally agonizing, and physically painful. She explained things to me in a way no one else had before, even giving me hope that a physical issue, I have due to the sexual abuse, can be improved, and maybe even rectified. (I have nerve damage, that causes me pain ). NONE of my previous doctors, even asked me the right questions, in order for them to find out I had this problem... I was told that some pain is normal, and I figured it was.

I am glad this doctors visit is behind me again, for another year. But, this time maybe it will be a year when I go again... Not a year and a half, or two years, or eight. I need to go back in 3 months just to check if a medication, and other suggestions, work to lessen, or eliminate my pain. I am 46 years old, and didn't even know it was a possibility. I can do this.


You have the guts of steel my sister!!!!! I am so proud of you for going to the doctors!!!! I am almost 46yrs old,and NEVER been to a gynecologist . I haven't seen a doctor since I was 21 . I just CAN'T do it!!!!! Back in August,I popped out my pelvis just siting on the floor to play with a puppy. I heard it,I felt some pain,it took a while for me to be able to get back up. Walked around with my pelvis out for almost 4weeks . Didn't feel it,but kept getting spasms in my lower back. Then ,one day,I went to sit down in a chair and I got this sever pain . So,I eventually called a chiropractor. Well,between the pain of being put back together,the fact that I have a guy touching me,and a bunch of strange women watching and then they had to touch me,well,can't even tell you where my head went. I have been back there twice since,and I go back in a couple. Of weeks,and I have to say,it is getting harder and harder for me to continue to go. I dissociate as soon as I get there,then I'm in and out of my head while I am there,wishing it to be over so I can go home and shower!!!!!! So,be proud and look at how far you have come in your recovery!!!! I am proud of you!!!!Im also glad your doing well. By the way,how is your new puppy doing? Been meaning to write you and ask. Talk to you soon my sister,Sue.

I like the way that sounds:). I am so sorry to hear that you can't go to the doctor. Several years ago, my therapist somehow got through to me just how important it was. I would go, but not as often as I should. I would just suffer through it, and then be incapacitated for the rest of the day, or even a few days. I would just stay in bed. I don't know what the answers are, I just took it a checkup at a time... Some worse than others. I did accept it was my responsibility to take care of myself... No one else will. There was/is a part of me who refused to totally accept I didn't deserve to be healthy, and happy even. One thing that is helpful, I always tell my healthcare provider that I have an abuse history in my childhood. Sometimes I elaborate, sometimes I don't... But it seems to go more smoothly... Even if doctors, nurses, technicians etc. only have basic knowledge, I don't have to explain myself, as much, if I get anxious, or small. It does get easier as I continue healing.

I love my little dog...can you call a 50lb dog little? He is very shy, but he is slowly coming around. He doesn't know how to play, and a lot of the time he seems so afraid. We know how that feels, don't we? I just ordered a new book, that teaches techniques for helping shy, abused, puppy mill dogs. He is a little love bug though. He loves to get kisses, and returns them human style... He rubs his lips on my cheeks. It is very cute. He loves walks, and I am trying to expand his world as much as possible. Thanks for asking:)

Maybe, if you visualize me sitting with you, when you go back to the doc... Sitting with you holding your hand, it might help. Just know I have been there, and got through it. Please take care of yourself though... You deserve it.

I like the way that sounds also,!! Pretty cool!!!! So,doctors,well,let's talk about that. Well,I its not that i don't feel like I don't deserve to take care of myself. It's also not that I don't get the risks with cancer and stuff like that. Basically,my issues with being touched are still so deeply rooted into me. It's the shame of me,of my body,of not being in control of my body,the shame of someone looking AT me. The dirty filthy feelings behind it. When I was with my ex., we where together for almost 17yrs. and the first time we almost slept together,I couldn't. I had to stop him. I never put it together why,but,about a year later,we finally did,but I was SO SO drunk. So,it developed into a pattern of me needing to be COMPLETELY drunk,to the point where I was numb and out of my head,and in the complete dark so he couldn't see me to sleep with him. Then ,I would spend the next many days pushing him away because I couldn't stand being In my own skin and couldn't even think about what he may have thought about me afterwords. I don't know if I really have the right words to explain how I really felt with being with him. I do know that my drinking became a BIG problem . I was drinking 7days a week,didn't matter. Would put down 5-6long island ice teas in an hour or so,and still be able to walk. Things where just messed up for me. Now,I haven't had a drink in,it will be 7years this January ,but I haven't been with anyone in about 7-8 years . I couldn't let my own boyfriend,who I loved with as much of me as I could touch me,so,to let a complete stranger touch me,I just can't. I do wish I could and I do totally appriciate your incouragment ,but,I just can't. If something happens ,then oh well ,. I'm just not in a place in my head to go. That's why I feel like you are SO SO brave to be able to go and take care of yourself,and why I'm SO SO proud of you. I can't imagine how hard this was for you. So, I also wanted to say,I am so happy for you with your new baby!!!!! He is the luckiest dog in the world to be with you and your are so right about the fear,we do know how that feels. I never played when I was a kid,wasn't safe!!! So,Malathon has my email address,feel free to get it from him and email me anytime about the doggie and questions on him. I would love to help you. Dogs like him are why I do what I do!!! Good luck with all!!!! Take care.

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.