Saturday, October 23, 2010

When on the Lower Ketchup Level

In which our Lady Looks at Things Aslant. 

                The post two days about me being on an operating table reminds me of a few of the ways I’ve seen the world from a new viewpoint lately.  The particular one mentioned in all it’s blogness two days ago was the interesting view of looking at things from the top of the gurney/operating table.  (As we previously learned, this is the position aliens use to run tests on human beings and one of the prime ways that they gain supremacy over the human race).  There are usually bright fluorescent lights over head that burn shapes into your cataracts so you can't see your doctor clearly, and the bed is inevitably uncomfortable.  Even worse is the strange angle from which you greet people in this position.   Just think, normally a person stands across in a position of equality from the other: two strong vertical lines able at any point to move how they will.  As seen from bed position, the nurses and doctors look literally down on you from above, their heads haloed by fluorescent glow.  Meanwhile, you lie prone in sleeping position—the most vulnerable of all poses.  Being wheeled around the hospital on a bed is bad too.  You end up coming against people for the first time in that utterly powerless position.  Maybe at that point you shouldn’t be surprised because you know you’re there in the first place because you are sick and therefore defenseless anyway.  (Either that, or you’ve been beamed up and are now residing on a spaceshipin which case you are still defenseless). It reminds me of the dentist’s office, except that all those pointy and scrapey tools jab into just your mouth rather than all over every other part of you.
                Not that the table on wheels is always terrible.  Your caretakers are usually kind and happy to say nice things.  Sometimes you get heated blankets thrown over you when you’re in shock.  Although even then my tangential brain waves wondered whether there was some giant blanket microwave oven in the linens closet.  Still wish I knew the answer to that. 
                Giant microwaves aside, the wheelchair is also an interesting place from which to look, especially when grocery shopping.  Suddenly you’re down on a new level.  Are there really different products down there, you might ask.  Yes.  Toys live down here, along with the most tooth-rotting of all candies—huge bags of them in one place, and strange combinations of toy and candy in another (Pez, etc…).  Meanwhile, back in the condiment isle, you realize you’ll never again reach the vinegar on the top shelf and are hereby relegated to a life of ketchup and mustard.  Grocery stores are no place for the wheelchair-bound (or for midgets).  And unless you’re willing to jump into one of those huge grocery cart cars, which rarely have fully-charged batteries and only have brakes on the left hand grip, you’ll have to use your lap as a grocery basket.  There’s nothing like balancing two boxes of cereal, really cold ice cream, cleaning supplies, tortillas, bananas, and a jug of milk on your lap as you wheel through the store.  But the best part by far is when you get to the counter to pay and have to apologize and explain to everyone around you that you are going to stand now so you can slide the card and pay as a feeble excuse for the miracle that you are suddenly able to stand whereas you could not do it before!  You know, people are never in awe, but only cynical at those moments.      


  1. We call it a blanket warmer. Ours looks like a fridge but when you open the door you're greeted with warm air instead of cool.

  2. Does the blanket warmer live in the linens/supply closet or perhaps the kitchen? And can you use it for anything else--lunch?

  3. The blanket warmer looks like a big microwave and is metal on all the inner walls, which are all heated. It is usually next to the linen, and can't be used for food. It stays on continually, like a fridge and holds a "pile" of blankets (12-20). It doesn't turn on periodically like a microwave.