Tuesday, 16 April 2019

MY FIRST SMEAR TEST

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I have to admit, I thought I’d have more to say writing this post. I thought I’d be able to write paragraph after paragraph of useful advice, intimate details of every moment of what I expected to be an uncomfortable and mildly traumatising experience. Instead, I’m going to tell you all about the reality of my very first smear test. If you’re squeamish about reading about lady things, I suggest in the kindest and sweetest way possible that you get over it and keep reading because this sh*t is important.

So, a little over a month ago, rather aptly on International Women’s Day, I was booked in for the appointment every girl in her mid-twenties absolutely dreads, my first cervical smear. While I’m super aware of the importance of these and just how lucky we are to have such a service provided for free, I was so nervous. Like, 14 year old me getting braces nervous. I spoke to my friends, my Mum, my work colleagues and pretty much anyone else who would listen about how nervous I was. I’d taken to the internet and read up about how it worked, I’d watched videos and encountered some very scientific looking diagrams and still, I was scared. None the less, I left work at lunch time, gave myself an hour at home to pull myself together and headed off to my appointment. The nurse was running a little late which admittedly didn’t help my increasing nerves, but I just sat and read a book and tried to chill (definitely recommend having something to distract you beforehand if you’re a little nervous!) and then it was time.

So I went in, the nurse very quickly went over how it all worked, showed me the speculum that’d be used and that was that. I laid on the bed undressed from the waist down (I was luckily wearing a dress which I’d also recommend!) with my knees bent and legs open in what I’m sure was only a very flattering and classy position and she got started. It took a little wiggle (her) and a couple of deep breaths (me) to get the speculum in there but almost as soon as she had, she told me it was done.

I don’t think I’ve never had a more ‘was that it?’ moment in my life.

I wouldn’t even go as far as to call it uncomfortable, it was just a bit weird. Too much information incoming so fair warning – I am fairly tight down there, I was terrified that this was going to feel like I was being ripped apart, it’s not often (it’s never) that I stick anything more than a tampon up there when I'm not 'in the mood' if you catch my very obvious and possibly inappropriate drift. But it was nothing. I know everyone’s different and perhaps I got lucky, but I won’t lie, I was tensed up, in theory, I was probably making things slightly difficult for the nurse but it just felt a little odd then it was done. I was super squeamish about the idea of the little brush wiggling about but I didn’t even feel that part happening so that was a pleasant surprise. She asked if I'd bought pads or liners as there was a little blood (I hadn't, because a Girl Scout I am not), but it was fine and this is totally normal apparently. Overall, the idea of it and the waiting around was much, much worse than the reality.

I then trotted off for lunch and a cocktail with my bestie to celebrate this important female milestone and then forgot about it for four weeks. The nerves hit again when my results letter came through in the post but it was normal so nothing to report there. I’ll definitely be booking again right away when I’m next summoned that’s for sure!

Short story even shorter, it’s fine. Do it. Go.
Even if it is a little uncomfortable for you, it can and does save lives all the time. We are so lucky to be provided such a service and you’d be mad not to take advantage. IF you’re currently putting it off, level up your Girl Power and book it in.

Until next time Angels!

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Monday, 21 January 2019

REVIEW: THE GIGGLING SQUID, BISHOP'S STORTFORD

 
Happy New Year! Okay, so we’re a bit late for that, but as I haven’t posted yet in 2019, we’ll say it anyway! I hope you’ve had a fab January so far. This year, I decided that January wasn’t going to be dull and miserable as it so often tends to be, but instead, it’s been filled with lots of cosy nights in, day trips to different Cities and a whole lot of dining out and trying all the good vegan food. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I was invited along to try out The Giggling Squid, a new Thai restaurant right here in my home town. It’s somewhere I’d been meaning to try anyway and I’m pretty obsessed with Thai food so it couldn’t have been more perfect! So, last Thursday, Jack and I went along to give it a go and it’s safe to say I was pretty excited.
 
 
The first thing that struck me on walking into the restaurant was just how pretty it was. The D├ęcor is all pastels and florals and it’s incredibly light and bright which I just loved. It’s super quirky and just so instagrammable! I didn’t take too many pictures as the main part of the restaurant was pretty busy and I didn’t want to be snapping photos of poor unsuspecting people trying to enjoy their dinner! I’d definitely recommend checking out the Giggling Squid website though, as all their locations are just gorgeous.

 
Before we were sat down, we were asked if we needed any alternative menus, which is a huge bonus for me. A lot of restaurants offer a vegan or at least vegetarian menu these days, but many won’t offer it unless you ask. I said that I was vegan and was given a vegan/ veggie menu with lots of completely vegan options, all clearly marked with a VE so I knew exactly what I was looking at. There were a ton of options, but I decided to go classic and had a starter of Spring Rolls and a main of Vegetable Red Curry. I wanted to go for my usual favourites to see how they compared to other Thai places I’ve been to. I can honestly say the Red Curry was the best I’ve had. The portion size was a little big for me, but that could’ve been something to do with the three spring rolls and two glasses of wine I’d already had before! It was super creamy, but not too rich and fragrant without being too strong. Jack isn’t typically a fan of creamy Thai curries as he finds them too ‘perfumey’, but even he approved, high praise indeed! The spring rolls were lovely too, super fresh and full of flavour.


The staff were just wonderful, they were super attentive and well informed. The service was quick, but with enough time between drinks, starters and mains so that you didn’t feel rushed, despite the restaurant being fairly busy. Something I particularly liked was the layout of the tables. There’s plenty of space in the restaurant and lots of tables, but they’re not too close to one another. Someone elses chair practically touching the back of mine during a meal is a huge bug bear for me, so this is a huge bonus.


Overall, I couldn't recommend The Giggling Squid enough, the food, staff and restaurant were all just wonderful and we had a lovely evening there. We will absolutely be back!

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