Divisive Devices

When you hear the term ‘medical devices’, what kind of imagery springs to mind? Do you think of, like, medieval torture chambers complete with spiked wheels and racks? Or do you get more of a sci-fi vibe, with tubes full of neon liquid and blinding overhead lights? Perhaps your mental image is more realist, with a cool-toned, clinical aesthetic and lots of surgical steel.

That’s a bit of a weird question, I know. I’m asking because it came up at the family barbeque last night. In fact, there was a bit of a row over it. It started when Uncle Jeff got on a rant about Uncle Jack’s new at-home treatment device for his circulation problem – I think it’s called a portable hyperbaric chamber. Melbourne hospitals have them, apparently, but it’s expensive to get the treatment on an ongoing basis. So Uncle Jack found this company that sells demountable versions for home use.

Jeff was all up in arms, saying that he wouldn’t come to Jack’s house anymore if it was going to be decked out like a horror movie. Where he got that idea, I really have no idea, but I’m thinking that his mental image of ‘medical devices’ must be something along the lines of medieval dungeon meets alien abduction lab. That’s the only explanation I can think of. He did have some invasive medical procedures as a child, from what I understand, so maybe it comes from that.

Anyway, that got Grandma fired up. Naturally, she had to say her piece about her colostomy bag, and that we’d all better get used to medical equipment or there’d be no pocket money at Christmas. My rude cousin Tina started acting all grossed out, and Grandma biffed her with a sourdough roll. Dad then got involved, shouting down Tina and Grandma simultaneously before announcing that we were all behaving like animals and disappearing for the rest of the night.

Medical devices are divisive, it seems. I’m keen to find out how much this applies outside my dysfunctional family.