Friday, February 8, 2013


Looks like I'm gonna have to change my shopping destinations.

Very, very near my home, is a Vons, and not that much further a perfectly friendly Trader Joe's, which has recently remodeled itself. Both of these places are quite wheelchair-friendly.


The Vons is having some construction for the next few months (the area that's getting rebuilt used to belong to the Helms-bakery corporation, which those of a Certain Age will remember), and the parking spots that were ever-so-wheelchair-friendly aren't available, for now. So, they've lost four handicapped parking spots, plus a lot more of them that weren't placard-restricted but were nevertheless very accessible, and the parking lot that is available is sorta-kinda up a hill from the store. And yeah, I know, the more I'm in the chair the better my chair-pushing muscles will get, but I'm not there yet, and sometimes (like these days) I'm feeling not particularly strong. So, to make a long story interesting, I wonder whether I've got to go to a different basic-grocery store.

The Trader Joe's problem is also a hill, between the door to the store and the parking lot. It's about a 25 or 30-degree slope; doable with a walker, but not a wheelchair. Fortunately there are a few other Joe's around, but their parking lots are even less friendly for cars; friendly for me in a chair, fortunately, they are. And that's one of the two cardinal rules of Trader Joe's shopping; the parking lots suck, and whatever it is you came there specifically to get, they don't have today. I've only been to a couple of TJ's that didn't have full-suck parking lots; Monrovia, California; and Henderson, Nevada. Both are too far away for casual, quotidian shopping.

So, two favorite and otherwise-fantastically-convenient and close-to-home stores, I can no longer frequent, because they're wheelchair-unfriendly when it's time to leave. Oh, they're easy to get into. But to get back to your car once you leave the store? You have to go up a hill. You're hosed.

And, to add to the "fun," I appear to have caught some sort of throat "thing," some sort of vaguely-actually-sick thing. I've got a kinda sore throat, and the whatever-it-is sickness thing is starting to sink into my lungs. I used to get a classic Chinese disease pattern called Wind Heat this time of year (Wind and Heat being two of the Six Pernicious External Influences) when my throat was dried out by the heater and not enough moisture in the air in general, and a couple of days of Yin Ciao would get me through it very quickly. And, by the way, the "king herbs" of the Yin Ciao formula, forsythia and lonicera, are at the heart of the health-craze-medication "Airborne." (Yin Ciao is better, at least for me, I've tried both of them.) But this time, whatever it is, it's not Wind Heat. It's something else. Oh well, I'll be seeing my herbalist Monday, I'll see what he says.

Great. I spend years and years surrounded by hundreds of adorable disease vectors, which stint included another flu-of-the-century scare a couple of years ago, and I catch nothing from them. Now, I do pretty much nothing besides sit at home, often lying in bed, make the weekly run to the doctor, and the occasional visit to a Taiwanese tea emporium, and I get sick. It's not "the flu," fortunately, but it is quite definitely "sick." Maybe. I think I'm sick. Maybe.

"Is that fair?" I hear someone ask. Oh, let's not go there. Besides, as one of the characters in Babylon 5 said, "Just think of how horrible a place the universe would be if it was fair." A place where everybody, including you, got what they deserved.

The universe we got will do fine, thank you very much, M.S. and all.


Muffie said...

When I taught, I very seldom caught sicknesses from my little human petri dishes. However, when I changed schools and became a principal, I caught every bug that existed there during my first year. New school, new germs! When I disabled retired, I got colds and other illnesses the first year, but since then, nada. By next year, you'll be fine (my prediction.)

nicole said...

I guess it is easier to stick with what you know.