I have quite a bit of arthritis in my hips and back, and some bursitis as well. The Dr. has given me meds and pain patches to wear. But, sometimes, nothing works as well as plain ole aspirin and a heating pad. I think heat can work wonders….well, it does for me.

I have just bought a new heating pad because I had used the one I had until it was about falling apart. I could turn it on HI..MED…LO…and there it would stay till I decided to turn it off. Not so with the new one. I turned it on HI yesterday…well, it got warm, but never really hot like my old one. But, I placed it on my hip anyway thinking it may just take a while to warm up. In about 10 minutes, I realized that I was not feeling it at all. I looked down and sure enough, the red light had gone off. I must have turned it off accidentally as I turned in the bed. So, I fired it up again….it got warm….it got cool….light went out. So, I figure I’ve got a defective heating pad here…and start to put it away to return to the store. Oh, can’t forget to put the instructions back in…I mean, really, how hard can it be? You plug it in and turn it on Hi and turn it down when it gets too hot…right?

So, just in case there was some new fangled way to regulate the heating pad…I’ll take a look at the instructions. I will read the instructions. I will try to figure out what the instructions mean. I see that the instructions say that this $13.95 heating pad from Wal-Mart is smarter than I am. It will do the thinking for me! It will decide when I have had enough heat on my whatever…and it will turn itself off! IT will decide!?! I am the person in pain…I am the one who is taking medication and applying heat. I am the one who goes to see the DR. and THE HEATING PAD WILL DECIDE WHEN I FEEL BETTER?!? It states that all the danger is taken out now; just apply the heat and wait for it to tell you that you feel better. And, really, I don’t even think you should call it ‘heat’. Something is very wrong with this situation.
It reminds me of an iron I bought a few years back, an expensive iron, an iron said to be one of the best. But, it never got HOT! It would get warm, but never really hot enough to destroy the wrinkles on those 100% cotton Ralph Lauren Button Down Collar Long Sleeved Dress Shirts that everyone in my house but me wore. Now, you need some serious heat when you have 4 of those to iron before church on Sunday morning. That iron lasted about a week before it went to the place where irons go to die…under the bathroom sink, with about 5 others. Why do I keep them if they don’t work? Because it had only lived at my house for a week, and I spent too much money on it to throw it away, that would totally tear my dear frugal hubby out of the frame. So, it quietly moves to the under sink burying grounds. Somehow, DH feels better about the situation if it can continue to live with us for a while. At least the money we spent on it gave it a nice sink to live under. What good is an iron that cycles itself to cool when it reaches a certain temp? Does it not realize that I need to iron more than just the sleeves on 1 shirt? 4 men waiting…not patiently…don’t understand, either.
I had a very similar experience with an electric blanket I bought last year. It would heat for 10 minutes, then turn itself off until it somehow discerned that I was cold enough again and then…AND ONLY THEN…would it turn back on. UGGH!!!
It found a new home for $5.00 at my last garage sale. Which is where those irons are going to end up, too.

However…the heating pad will not make it to the garage sale. And it will not clutter up the table beside my bed. It is already out of my sight! I wrapped it up nicely in newspaper, and put it on the bottom of the outside garbage can….just in case anyone was curious…they’d never take anything out of there! When the big garbage truck came by today, and picked up our can and slowly lifted it into the air over the big hole in the middle, and ever so gently emptied the contents into it, I saw the neatly wrapped package of frustration fall into the pit of the garbage truck. And soon, someone else’s garbage fell on top of it. And, LO, I rejoiced with exceeding good cheer! It got its proper reward. Yes, maybe I should have let it live under the sink with the irons for a while, but, I’m just thinking of it as sending it away…on a paid vacation to that big land fill on the outskirts of town. I just think it’s a kinder, gentler way of letting go.