After a few fantastic days at Riding Mountain National Park, I was getting antsy to pack up and drive. It wasn’t because I wanted to leave the park. I could easily have spent a few more days there, but I had noticed a painful bump on my low back near my waistline. It didn’t matter how hard I tried to look at it, or how many iphone selfies I got of it, I still wasn’t satisfied that there wasn’t a tick from Buffalo Pound’s tick metropolis riding on my back.
I asked Sophie to have a look but she would just describe it this way, “Well Mom, I don’t know. I don’t really know what a tick looks like in your skin but there’s a black dot at the middle of a pretty big red bump.”
Gee, thanks Sophie.
I was sure that the sweats would kick in any minute and that a bull’s eye rash was going to appear any day. I was convinced that I had Lyme disease.
And the kids were convinced too.
Ben asked, “Mom, if you have Lyme disease, can you give it to us if you kiss us?”
Suddenly, everyone was worried about the tick that hitched a ride on my back.
So I knew that once we left Riding Mountain, I had to find a town with a doctor so that someone other than my kids could have a look at the bump. We were planning a longer driving day too. We were aiming for the Lake of the Woods area in Ontario. We got up, packed up, and hit the road the next day. I looked at the map and we were going to follow the Yellowhead Highway #16 to Portage LaPrairie. The town of Neepawa was enroute. Surely if they made yummy beer, they probably also had medical doctors there.
I googled Neepawa’s walk-in clinics and lucky for me, they had two. That’s where we detoured on our way through. I was figuring, a small town, probably an hour wait tops. A quick look and we’d get back on the road.
But when I arrived to the clinic, indicating on google that it was open, it was actually closed. There was a sign in the window that said they were closed for construction and would re-open the next day. Crap. So I searched for the other office’s address and as luck would have it, it was around the corner! We walked over but our luck ran dry because the only doctor who practiced at this location wasn’t working that day. And I swear I could feel Nick the Tick burrow a wee bit deeper into the small of my back. Dang.
Since I’d gone this far to have it looked at, I couldn’t stop now. Besides, Ben was sure I was looking a little feverish. So I went to the local emergency with 3 kids in tow. This was around 11 am. It wasn’t until two in the afternoon, that I saw a nurse. She had a look and said, “Something got you good but I don’t see a tick.” I was relieved. But then she told me that she couldn’t be a hundred percent sure, so I should probably wait for the doctor to have a look.
Ack! I waited another 10 minutes and asked the staff if they had any idea how long it might be. I was fully aware that I wasn’t an emergency and so when they said it could be awhile still, I decided that the nurse’s word was good enough. Already, our long day’s drive had been interrupted by a 3-hour delay in Neepawa…and sadly, it wasn’t for the brewery.
We got back in the van and pressed on.
The kids were super troopers.
A few hours later, just as we were approaching the Ontario border, the dashboard glow was flashing a warning that I needed to stop for DEF. What the F was DEF? I don’t know anything more about vehicle than fuel it up, push the gas pedal, and on you go. Already I’d had an engine light issue, now another warning! I was unimpressed.
I phoned Matt. He assured me that the van wasn’t going to blow up and that it would be okay until the next fuel stop. I could probably just buy some DEF at a gas station. That was more than fine with me. I was tired and at that moment, I was rather fond of the idea of ignoring it and leaving it for later. Plus, not far in the distance I could see the Ontario border approaching.
And we had to stop!!
We eventually made it to Kenora, but boy did we have a long day. I was too tired to even think about finding a spot to camp. I was cashing in my ‘by’ card and checking into a hotel.