Hi, Tricia –
I know it is hard to have worries such as this weighing heavy on your mind. To answer your question, yes, there are other women who have waited a long time to get a pap smear and whose results were fine. Like you, the longer they waited, the more scared they became. The more scared they became, the more shame they felt. The more shame they felt, the more anxiety they experienced and the cycle of fear-shame-anxiety goes round n’ round. It’s a horrible feeling that is never far from your mind.
I see you’ve already received some very informative responses, so I will refrain from reminding you why it is important to have regular pap smears. Besides, I already know that you know that you need to get yourself in to see someone for and a pap smear/pelvic exam. So, let’s try to come up with some solutions.
Can you talk to some other women and ask them for recommendations for a medical professional? Ask them what they like about their physician: Are they kind? Are they understanding? Do they have a tendency to lecture their patients? Make you feel stupid? Because I can tell you this: there are a lot of kind compassionate medical professionals out there who want to make sure you feel at ease.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to other women face-to-face, I have a great suggestion for a website for you: mamapedia.com. You do not need to be a mother to join this site and you can conduct your research by State/City and then by specialty. You can also post a question on that site similar to the one you posted here, asking for a kind, understanding physician who won’t make you feel bad for not having had an exam in 6 years. Be as honest as you can in posting your question and I am confident that you will receive some very helpful replies.
Finally, once you decide on which medical professional you are going to see, sometimes it helps to get a close friend involved in a) picking up the phone and making the appointment for you; and 2) picking you up and going to the appointment with you for moral support.
I hope that just posting your question here on Yahoo will help to ease your anxiety and help you take the next step in getting in for a check-up so you can put your mind at ease. Good luck and I hope everyone’s been helpful to you!