24 July 2008

Adventures In Colonoscopy

As my friends know, I had a colonoscopy on Tuesday. No, wait, please don't tune out! I'm not going to do a Katie Couric on you.

No full descriptions, no grossing out. Promise. I couldn't if I wanted to because I was fully sedated, quite unconscious of the whole procedure. I want to talk about what happened before.

I was all (un)dressed and (re)dressed for this when the nurse, a sweet, young thing wanted to take my blood pressure. Instead of using the big pressure cuff I'm used to, she used a small wrist device. Because the stroke had affected my left side, she needed to use my right wrist. And on my right wrist, of course, my kara. I half-expected her to ask me to remove it, but I was totally surprised when she said, 'Oh, are you a Sikh?'

Of course, I answered , 'Yes.'

She must have heard the question in my voice because she went on, 'I like you Sikhs. You guys never make a big fuss and usually smile.'

She then helped tie my kechera firmly but not tightly around one leg. Then my kirpan. 'You'll need to arrange that thing you don't call a knife -'


'Yeah, keerpaan. 'Cause you'll be lying on your left side.'

So that was done.

She also made sure my kangha was firmly in place.

Then she stuck the IV needle in my arm.


The next thing I was aware of, it was all done. She helped a very groggy Mai get dressed, all the kakkars properly arranged, none having left my body, and returned me to my waiting husband.

BTW, the test came out clean. No polyps, no cancer, see you in another 10 years.

So why this story here?

I know this post is a little more light-hearted than most posts here, and maybe better belongs in sometimes - 2, my personal blog. But hardly anyone reads that blog and I like this story and want it to be read. (On the other hand, a couple of my sometimes - 2 readers wouldn't think of reading a blog with Khalistan in the title. Oh, well, their loss.)
I read - and write - so much about Sikhs being mishandled, disrespected, and just totally mistreated, I thought this story of a sweet, young gori nurse might brighten someone's day. An occasional day brightener is good for the soul.

And if anyone is hesitating to get this procedure, it really is painless. A little gross and unpleasant the night before, but nothing major. And it might save your life.

Top - Colonoscope. I promised nothing gross, so just use your imagination.
Second from top - Katie Couric, newswoman. She's not really a tart. Her husband died of colon cancer and she's become a colonoscopy advocate.
Second from bottom - Wrist blood pressure monitor
Bottom - Five kakkars. I know we all know what the 5 Ks are, but I used this picture because the person on the left might be a woman. And her kesh isn't any longer than mine, which still hasn't grown out properly since being destroyed by that defibrillator a couple years ago.