I was at the gynaecologist’s office joking around about how I have never had this sort of check up in my life. He took some medical history and then asked me to lie down on the examination table. My palms were sweaty and my heart racing a bit as I was dreading what was to come. Pap smears and internal examinations are just not very comfortable and since this was my very first time having a smear I was feeling a bit embarrassed.
To break the ice a bit I thought I would chat about something unusual that I had noticed in my body. When I lay on my back and my bladder was a bit full my lower abdomen seemed to be swollen. Thinking this was just my full bladder I made a casual joke about it and pointed it out as my bladder was getting quite full at the time of this examination. He had a look and remarked that it did seem rather swollen and asked if it would be alright for him to do an ultrasound scan so that he could take a closer look at it. I was thrilled to delay the internal examination so jumped at the opportunity to have the scan!
What happened next was not quite what I expected. The gynaecologist was shocked at what he found saying that he had never seen anything like this before. I could see all sorts of thoughts were running through his mind and when he finally spoke he seemed very worried. All I heard was the part where he said he wasn’t going to do the internal examination and Pap smear today so I was thrilled!
The details after that were a bit blurry as everything happened really quickly, emergency surgery was scheduled and fear didn’t really set in until I was at home waiting by the phone for the call that would say that a theatre had been freed up for my surgery. The lump that was discovered was a very large cyst in my womb! It was about 14cm by 15cm and then still about another 12cm deep. I did look a bit pregnant and there were moments before my visit to the gynaecologist when the thought had crossed my mind that maybe I was.
The reason I said previously that it was a miracle is because the ONLY reason I went for this check up at all was because I was being obedient to what I felt God was telling me to do to lead a depression free life. One of the steps was to go for all my routine check-ups. I had no symptoms that caused me to go for a check-up; I was simply following the process that I believe God was guiding me in. It's possible that I would not be alive today if I had not had that check-up.
The journey after that was one miracle after another. The way we managed to raise the finance for the surgery, the way the surgeon and anaesthetist volunteered their services for FREE as they knew I had no money. The way I was taken care of after surgery and the way I recovered and healed afterwards. The most amazing miracle of all was that the doctor that did my operation was determined to save my womb and not do a hysterectomy! I wasn't bothered at the time as my first husband and I had already decided not to have any more children! I did say to the gynaecologist not to worry if he can’t save anything as I didn’t plan to have any more children.
Looking back makes me want to weep! God knew! He totally knew that I was going to re-marry and have my precious Daniel and Amy, so He guided the doctor. Surgery to remove the cyst took over four hours. One ovary had to be removed but he did manage to save a part of the second ovary. This healthy ovary was enough to give me my precious babies nearly ten years later. So as you can guess, one of the steps I found helped me walk away from a life of depression was to have a check-up. I shudder to think what a mess that huge cyst was making of my hormones which could easily have caused depression.
There may be something physical going on in your body that you are not aware of. A medical check-up may help or even solve your depression. Unbalanced hormones can cause depression - older women often need hormone replacement. The intense hormone changes during and after pregnancy can also cause depression. Vitamin deficiency can cause depression too. Some medication can cause depression and so many more other physical factors can play a part in depression. Having a physical check up will do you no harm at all but could find the source of your depression.
I have heard of people with a mild nagging toothache becoming depressed and as soon as the toothache was sorted out the depression went too. One of my friends thought he was depressed for several months and after a check-up it was discovered that he had glandular fever. There is simply no harm in having a check up if you are concerned about something or are feeling depressed.
Most importantly if you hear this quiet but persistent voice telling you to have a check up then just GO! I did and I am alive today because of it.
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.