$168 Speeding Tickets, Walmart Employees Who Make You Cry, and Frostbit Toes

Do you ever have experiences or days where the universe feels off kilter? Where you proceed with your normal routine but everyone and everything around you is a couple beats behind or ahead of where they normally are, resulting in a mish mash of confusion and chaos?

I have had one of those weeks.

Starting back with my Iowa Hawkeyes reference in my last post.

$168 Speeding Tickets

I took lead on driving the second part of the trip up to South Dakota. After crossing into Iowa from Nebraska I noticed white horizontal lines painted on the road and was wondering what they were. I didn’t ponder too long over the subject and I never considered they were for aviation patrol since I did not even know such a thing existed. I let the thought pass and I kept motoring along while I asked Levi to look up a song on iTunes to download.

“It kind of sounds like an Irish pub song and they go ‘CARRRRY ON CARRRRY ONNN’” I sang to him.

“’Carry On’ by FUN ?” he asked then played the sound byte.

“Yes!”

Levi went on to download the song and hit play as I proceeded to clip through the endless cornfields at a steady pace.

The song was halfway through when we saw the cop.

I slowed down and held my breath.

I glanced to my review and saw him pull out behind me.

“Shit.”

I continued to hold my breath and noted he had not turned on his lights or sirens and for a brief second I thought he was going to let me off the hook.

Wrong.

His lights turned on and he came right up on my rear bumper. I knew I was going to be getting a ticket.  I pulled over and starting digging for my wallet. Mr. Cop walked up to Levi’s window, asked for my license, registration, and proof of insurance, then went on to tell me that an airplane had clocked me going “XX” in a “XX” and here was my $168 ticket.

I was angry… no… I was LIVID.

I had NEVER been pulled over before and he could not even let me off with a warning?! If I was going to get a ticket I wanted it to be the right way, by a cop on the ground using a radar gun to catch my speed. Not some pilot in the sky using a stopwatch against some white lines painted on the road and mathematical equations who then radios ahead to the guy on the ground.

The rest of the trip and upon our return to Illinois I have been driving with what I call my “training wheels” aka cruise control set on the speed limit.

Lesson Learned: When you see the white horizontal lines in one of the 19 states that employs aviation patrol: slow down.

Walmart Employees Who Make You Cry

While in South Dakota I started watching Season 1 of Downton Abbey on Netflix. I finished the first season this Sunday afternoon and decided to run to the store to purchase season 2. Four stores later, all of which were sold out, I walked into Walmart and noticed the bare hole where the DVD set should be resting. I walked up to the electronics service counter with a smile on my face and before I could utter a word, the man behind the counter looked up and snapped at me. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?! IT’S GOING TO BE AWHILE BEFORE I CAN HELP YOU” venom dripped off his every word.

I was taken aback.

“I’m sorry, I was just wondering if you could please check to see if you have an item in stock” I replied politely.

His eyes burnt holes into my forehead “WELL I’M HELPING THIS LADY FIND X, Y, AND Z RIGHT NOW SO NO, I CAN’T HELP YOU.”

“Alright, I will keep looking then.” I mustered a smile, walked out of the store, got into the car, and burst into tears.

First, I thought it ridiculous that this old troll caught me off guard enough to lead me to tears. Second, I was angry that THIS guy made the list of people who have made me cry.

Lessons Learned: Downton Abbey is truly one of the most popular shows in the world. Don’t shop at Walmart. Ever.

Frostbit Toes

I have been having problems with some of my toes after runs since December. Post run they would be swollen, red, and burn, but eventually these symptoms would subside so I figured it was not a big deal.

One morning in South Dakota, Levi, Gunner, and I went on a 45 minute walk. About halfway through I noted aloud how cold my feet were getting and that they hurt. It didn’t feel any different than when you play outside in the snow when you are little and come inside and your toes and feet hurt, so once again, I figured it was not a big deal.

Upon returning to Illinois and jumping right back into work my toes were more painful, swollen, and red than they had been, but I still considered them not of huge concern.

After work yesterday, I headed over to the YMCA to get back on track with my half marathon training since I missed four runs between traveling and working this past week.

My run went great and I felt loads better afterwards. I felt like I had finally gotten the toxicity from the Walmart troll, stress from crazy Super Bowl customers at the bakery, and lingering negative speeding ticket vibes out of my system. I had the next day off and I felt GOOD!

Levi and I threw a pizza in the oven for dinner and sat down to picnic on the couch. I kicked my shoes off and went to tuck my feet up underneath me when I saw that one of my toes had turned black.

My toes were not in pain, but I knew a black toe was certainly not a good thing. I sent a picture to my parents and my sister who lives with two almost graduated RN / BSNs.

“GO TO THE DOCTOR NOW!” they all said. So Levi and I bundled up and headed out in search of an Urgent Care.

Once we located an urgent care the receptionist asked what brought us there.

“Possible frostbite” I replied laughing in my head at how bizarre it seemed.

She phoned back to the doctor, explained the situation, then placed the phone back on the receiver.

“You are going to need to go to the Emergency Room, there is nothing we can do for frostbite here” she stated with a smile.

Levi and I looked at each other.

  1. I did not even want to go to the doctor in the first place.
  2. Why would we go DOWNTOWN to the ER to sit with the drunks and sick people if we do not even KNOW if it is frostbite????

We asked if they could just look at it to let us know if it was actually frostbite.

45 minutes later the doctor said it was indeed frostbite and that we needed to go to the Emergency Room to have dopplers done to see if there was still a pulse at the ends of the toes.

WHAT???

I thought only the insane who climbed Mt. Everest and those who got lost while on extreme hikes in the North Woods got frostbite. And now they are sending me to the Emergency Room to see if any blood is still reaching my toes?!

Apparently, I had a mild case of frostbite which was exasperated in South Dakota, then when I went on my run that evening, circulation was further pulled away from my extremities (like it is in all forms of exercise) which was the nail in the coffin and resulted in the blackening.

An hour later we were sitting in the ER waiting room with the seriously ill and the handcuffed.

Every nurse that completed paper work / admitted me / took a patient history all had the same response “HOW DO YOU GET FROSTBITE!?”

I WISH I KNEW LADY! YOUR BEDSIDE MANNER IS DOING NOTHING TO ASSUAGE WORRIES OF ME LOSING MY TOES!! was the response that chimed back in my head.

They called us back and we waited some more until the M.D. could see us. The doctor examined my toes and said while they are indeed frostbitten, and I may not regain feeling to part of the blackened one, dopplers would be unnecessary and that I would not lose my toes.

AHHHH THEN WHY DID THEY SEND US TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!

The doctor who examined me at Urgent Care told us she was from California. Levi and I knew that she had probably not seen or diagnosed many cases of frostbite and that she was probably covering herself by having us sent to the ER.

The good news is my toes will be fine, I am just supposed to wear socks as much as possible (which if you know me is a near death sentence. I ABSOLUTELY HATE socks and ONLY wear them if I have shoes on). The doctor said in the next couple days my toes will probably be painful to the point where I won’t want to walk, but I think he was being a bit dramatic. It was also implied that it would be a good idea to cut back on the running until my toes have time to heal.

Levi and I walked out of the Emergency Room and headed home bone tired. We joked in relief about how I would thankfully not have nubs for toes and laughed in our exhaustion.

Lessons Learned: 1. I have a kind and  caring husband who has helped me with ALL of these bizarre, off-kilter-universe experiences! 2. Time to go shopping for socks that I might be able to tolerate. 3. Start looking to relocate SOUTH.

P.S.

Frostbitten Toes
The frostbitten toes on one foot. They look a lot worse than they feel!
Football eclairs for the Super Bowl!
Football eclairs for the Super Bowl
Military Cake
Military Cake
White cake with raspberry filling and whipped lemon icing
White birthday cake with raspberry filling and whipped lemon icing
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