Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

I welcomed the inane chatter during a procedure

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l443 (Published 20 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l443
  1. Rhiannon De Wreede
  1. Find Rhiannon on Twitter at @DrRhideWreede

Rhiannon De Wreede recalls the importance of inane chatter and encouragement while going through an uncomfortable procedure

I have just had my coil changed. The first one was fitted five years ago and because of a routine smear the “mystery of the missing threads” was discovered. After several attempts from healthcare professionals to find them and some ultrasound scans the problem was still unresolved. So, I booked an appointment at a sexual health clinic to have the coil removed. I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect.

Entering the office, we had small talk about how my “womb was on the big side.” I translated this new knowledge of my body into my own words—I now had a “cavernous uterus.” They reassured me that this didn’t mean anything, other than the doctor might have to “roam around a bit.” With my nether …

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