Singing the service provider blues, - from the frosting cap to ...

Janet's World

September 14, 2008|By JANET GILBERT

Why is it that I can't seem to shake problematic service providers - from my head down to my ... colon?

Let's start at the top. Several years ago, I had my hair highlighted at a salon. The stylist said that because my hair was short, she could achieve a nice result by "pulling it through the frosting cap."

Unbeknownst to her, another stylist already had used the cap. The bleach bled through the larger holes into an almost geometric, chunky pattern all over my head.

In short, I entered the salon as Nancy Pelosi, and I left as Courtney Love. I had to go back the next day so the stylist could put my natural color, Redken's "Drab Rodent No. 16," back into my hair.

Naturally, I did not return to this stylist. My hair broke off, so I didn't need a haircut for about four months, anyway.

And yet, in the quirky way that Janet's World turns, I seemed to run into this particular stylist constantly during my haircut hiatus, far more than I ever did when I was her customer. I still can't get away from her - in the deli line, at the gas station, in the movie theater. It is as uncanny as it is uncomfortable.

We make pleasant conversation, but I always feel vaguely guilty, as if I were responsible for my hair emergency. Though I was the victim, I somehow feel I should apologize for not returning to the salon. But what could I say?

"I'm sorry I didn't remain your customer, but just seeing you makes my scalp burn."

Now let's move on to my colon.

That is the kind of sentence I have been hoping to publish for years.

When I was 30, someone recommended that I have a colonoscopy because my parents' doctor discovered that both of them have significant colon issues that could be inherited. I can only imagine how thrilled my folks will be that I have revealed this.

But unlike Katie Couric, who had an uneventful colonoscopy on national television in 2000, I didn't have the standard experience. It didn't go well. The doctor explained that I have a kind of convoluted colon. I believe the medical term for it is "an Old-Fashioned Auntie Anne's Pretzel Colon."

So when it was time for me to have another routine colonoscopy at age 40, I sought out a new gastroenterologist and told him about my unfortunate past experience. And let me just say it is not easy to discuss one's colon. A colon is a very personal body part, as well as the butt of many jokes. At any rate, the new gastroenterologist was largely dismissive; leading me to believe that whoever did my first colonoscopy was just plain incompetent.

Well, you guessed it - at my second colonoscopy, I experienced the very same unpleasant complications, which I will leave to your vivid imaginations.

During a routine physical three years ago, my internist recommended that I have yet another colonoscopy at age 45. I told her my sad tale, and she gave me a list of several new gastroenterology practices. I dutifully promised to make an appointment. But by this time, you see, I was very busy. For three years, I just never had a moment to make the appointment. I fell seriously behind in terms of my colon screening needs.

Finally, last week I called the first gastroenterology practice on the list. And wouldn't you know it: The practice has a different name, but it turns out the receptionist had my records - it's the same practice I went to eight years ago!

My appointment is in two weeks. I'm looking forward to running into my old hairdresser in the waiting room.

To contact Janet or hear podcasts, visit http://www.janetgilbert.net.

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