Limbo

Yesterday, I had to do something I’d been putting off for awhile. I had to go to the ob-gyn in relation to the HPV. I’d had a pap smear in July which of course came back abnormal with HPV and was told to have a colposcopy but I didn’t want the rest of my summer ruined.  Supposedly, 90% of those who have active infections clear it within 2 years. It’s been 4 years for me and I’m in that lucky 10% where it hasn’t cleared. But then, even though most people supposedly clear it, a number of experts think that the virus simply goes into a dormant state and doesn’t really leave the body, so it’s best to think that once you’re diagnosed, you’ll have it for life. The virus has caused me to have dysplasia, which are abnormal cells in the cervix. There’s no symptoms with it. There’s a mild form, a moderate form and a severe form and also low grade and high grade forms. Mine happens to be mild and low grade and supposedly, in most cases, it would have regressed and cleared itself by now, so there’s no real treatment for it except to monitor it. Every few months, it has be monitored by way of a colposcopy. It sounds scary, but it’s basically a microscope that looks into your cervix. They take cells for a biopsy and if they still indicate a low grade dysplasia, nothing further is really done. I’m simply told to get another pap smear within six months, because my condition is supposedly mild enough to have cleared itself by now. The colposcopy isn’t exactly a picnic as there is mild cramping with the procedure. Yesterday, I did ask if I could get a LEEP procedure, which is a little more invasive in which the abnormal cells are scraped off by radio waves, but my doctor said my condition isn’t severe enough for it. The advantage to a LEEP is that the abnormal cells would at least be gone for a while and is actually a treatment, which I’m not getting now. Another way to actually treat this is a hysterectomy, but that usually isn’t done unless you actually have cervical cancer. IMO, there’s no need to do something as extremely invasive as that unless it’s really necessary. I get the results within 10 days. Usually, I’m told that there haven’t been any changes and that my condition hasn’t gotten any worse but it’s frustrating because it’s not getting any better either. There’s no medicine that can cure this and the vaccine they have now was developed around 20 years too late for me as I’m 42 years old and it’s only given to girls from ages 9-26. The vaccine doesn’t protect against all 100 odd strains of this virus anyway. It only protects against the 3 or 4 high risk strains, like I have. Personally, if I were young enough to get the vaccine, I’d think twice because what good is it if it doesn’t protect against everything? And no, vitamins don’t work and I already exercise 3-5 days a week and I eat healthy most of the time, which are usually most of the things that people suggest you do to clear the virus. There’s nothing else I can do outside of what I’m already doing. So, I’m in limbo.

I don’t have the words to describe how frustrated I am. Even though I am frustrated, I have to keep being vigilant about getting checkups because I don’t want to have my life to potentially end up being cut short because I slacked off. I have found some YouTube videos where some people discuss living with HPV and I’ve been finding that more helpful than online forums, because the people doing them aren’t faceless. They’re normal everyday people like myself who weren’t promicuous or prostitutes but got something as common as the cold. Yet because it involves sex organs, there’s a stigma behind it. I’m not a religious person, so I don’t find much comfort in trite religious sayings such as, “God won’t give you more than you can bear,” or “God is testing you,” or some variation. Right now, I feel like the universe is playing some cruel joke because just when I thought I was at a point when I felt at peace with myself, I have to experience more emotional pain. And I’m tired.

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2 Responses to “Limbo”

  1. You have brought up a very good details , thanks for the post.

  2. It’s really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

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