I thought I might need a heating pad, but was reminded in the drugstore yesterday that technology marches on — BenGay patches, these one-time-use thingies that wrap around the afflicted area with the help of velcro. Oh brave new world, etc.
Still, I felt wistful for the heating pad we had when I was a child. I think it was used for mild earaches because I didn’t have a lot of other aches as a kid. That treatment has probably gone out of fashion, along with taking Coca-Cola syrup for an upset stomach. (We’re from Atlanta and although my mother has never baked a ham in Coca-Cola, she does make Coca-Cola fudge cake which is simply divine.)
So, to summon up from memory: The heating pad was off-green, with a white control box with four plastic buttons — black (off) yellow (cool) orange (medium) red (hot). Red was intense, a region one visited only briefly. Yellow was worthless. Orange was the place to be. The pad had a medicinal smell, like the pharmacy near the doctor’s office, or did I assume its smell was medicinal because its purpose was medicinal? And while it only came out when one was feeling pretty punky, it was somehow cheering, too. That rectangular piece of off-green, positioned beneath one’s head, promised much. The ache would pass, life would resume.
Other childhood sickness rituals — snowballs from the Windsor Hills Pharmacy and having the television brought to one’s room. (A TV in a child’s room, how novel that was once upon a time.) Lipton’s chicken noodle soup with oyster crackers.
What was sick bay like in your youth?