It was only by chance that we came to Blue Earth, Minnesota. Exhausted after a long day’s drive, we pulled into the small charming town in search of the park listed on: http://freecampsites.net. Tired and ready to rest, we hope the park is everything the website promises.
We find the park easily. It is absolutely beautiful. Lush and green, it is better than we imagined. It is the perfect place for us to camp for the night.
Little did we know that we would need to stay longer than the one night.
In the early hours of the morning, I’m abruptly torn from sleep by an intrusive nauseating pain radiating from a right upper molar. Stepping lightly, I make my way to the bathroom trying not to disturb my slumbering family. Confronting my early morning image in the mirror, I am horrified to see that half my face is swollen. The tooth I’ve been babying for a couple of years has suddenly become an angry throbbing entity threatening to kill me from within. Needing to take the edge off the pain, I take a couple of ibuprofen before reaching for the clove powder. Mixing the cloves with water to create a thick paste, I apply it liberally around my infected tooth and gums. This home remedy has served me well in the past, and I’m praying it’ll provide me with the relief I need now.
My trusted home remedy doesn’t work this time around. The pain is all-consuming. I can’t rest. I can’t eat. I can’t think. Admitting defeat, I know the time has come. I have to go to the dentist. We call around hoping to find someone who is open on a Saturday and willing to take a walk-in. Miracle of miracles, we find a dentist only two hours away in Minneapolis.
We debate for a minute or two, but the decision was easy. Driving our beast of a motor home to Minneapolis was out of the question. Traffic on a Saturday in a big city would probably be horrendous. We hadn’t researched Minneapolis to know if there would be any open campgrounds available for the night, or if city ordinances would allow us to boon dock in a pinch. Leaving our beast at Blue Earth would be our best option. It would allow us to make the trip much faster, and it would guarantee us a safe place to stay for the night. Hopping in the car, we drive the two hour trek.
After arriving, I nervously sit in the lounge filling out the paperwork while waiting for my turn. I don’t hate going to the dentist, I just hate the cost. Visiting the dentist is expensive, and it becomes more so when you have to have an emergency procedure done like what I’m having done. As I wait, I watch as a couple of people are turned away because they don’t have dental insurance or the money to pay the steep required price. My heart goes out to them. Fearing the price myself, I know this little adventure will definitely cut into my savings. I just hope it doesn’t deplete it.
The dentist gives me Nitrous Oxide and numbs the affected area before pulling my tooth. Thankfully, it was a back tooth, so it didn’t affect my appearance. Superficial as that may be, it’s how I feel. Sucking on gauze to soak up the blood from the extraction, I’m extremely groggy but I’m feeling no pain. Weaving my way out to the waiting room, I’m greeted by my concerned family. It’s times like these that I feel extremely lucky to have them.
With a prescription for pain medication in hand, we head off to the nearest Wal-Mart. Waiting on the pharmacy bench, I’m overwhelmed with the need for air. Asking the family to grab my prescription for me when it’s ready, I head outside. Crawling into the car, I sit there in a daze as my world begins to topple. Everything is spinning. Opening the car door, I breathe deeply hoping the air will help. It doesn’t. The world is now turning at an alarming rate. I need help. Moving to get out of the car, I can’t stand. I simply slide down to the pavement where I sit up against the car. I need help.
“I need help.” I tell a lady as I see her moving towards her car. She doesn’t hear me or ignores me. I can’t be sure.
An employee collecting carts comes into my view. Again, I try to reach out. “I need help.” Busy working, he doesn’t seem to hear me or see me.
I’m not going to last much longer with the world spinning this way. Suddenly, a familiar voice. My family is beside me. That’s all I need. Laying down, I know I can rest now. They are here, they will help me. Face down in the Wal-Mart parking lot, I’m happy to find the cement is a cool compress against the raging heat of my face.
Shocked to see me laid out on the ground, my family tries to get me to get up. I warn them not to touch me.
“Just let me lay here for a minute,” I mumble. I never want to move again. I’ve finally found a place where the world doesn’t spin.
They try to reason with me, but nothing they say has any affect. I refuse to move. The pavement is my own little piece of paradise. I don’t need to get in the car to go to the hospital, I’m fine where I’m at. I don’t care if I’m making a scene. I don’t care if the woman who parked beside us had to step around my body to get to her car. Faintly, I hear talk of an ambulance.
Now, I’m on alert. It’s time to get up. “No!” I protest. Riding in an ambulance is one adventure I don’t intend to have. Slowly, I pull myself up to my hands and knees. As I’m kneeling there, my stomach heaves. Violently, I loose the contents of my lunch. Thankfully, I hadn’t been able to eat, so my lunch was only a ginger ale hours earlier. After purging the poisons from my body, I gathered what little strength I have and stand. I’m shaky, but I’m happy to see the world has stopped spinning. Climbing into the backseat of the car, I lay down and promptly nod off to sleep.
Living life on the road, you never know what to expect. One day you may find yourself in a charming little town like Blue Earth, and the next day you may find you are in Wal-Mart parking lot making a spectacle of yourself.