WARNING!!! If you only access this blog for the pictures, you might as well skip this one – ’cause NOBODY would want to see pictures of the story I am about to tell – trust me on this.
On Saturday of Tommy and Sandi’s visit, I made the HUGE mistake of wearing different shoes when we walked downtown. Now I had worn those shoes all last summer – no problems. In fact, I had left them up here over the winter just so I wouldn’t forget to bring them back (forgetting important things seems to be an escalating problem for me). Since I arrived though, I had been wearing some VERY comforable Easy Spirits that I had found at Belk’s (that’s a southern department store). Belk’s is like Macy’s – minus the Thanksgiving Day parade. My Easy Spirits were so comforable (and so moderately priced) that I bought them in two different colors and brought both to the island.
Anyway, for some reason I just slipped on my old shoes from last year and went to town. I noticed on the way down that the little toe on my left foot was getting rubbed a little, but didn’t think much about it. We “did our thing” all day, and then I volunteered to come home, let the dogs out, and feed them so everyone could enjoy staying downtown a little longer. The plan was for me to come back down and join them. Did not happen folks.
I took the shortcut up Turkey Hill coming home, and about half-way up the “little bit of rubbing” had become full-blown pain. Now I birthed one of my children sans pain-killers, so I am NOT a wimp in the pain department. But my little toe was rapidly edging ahead of that glorious event in the “not feeling good” department. I finally stopped, held on to a fence, and took off my shoe . . . . and here’s the reason why there are no pictures on this post. My little toe was SHREDDED – it was bleeding, it looked like one of the Mackinac horses had chomped on it thinking it was a carrot. GROSS!
Well, let me tell you – you DO NOT just leave off your shoes on Mackinac roads. I will not even go into what you might step in. So I had to put the shoe back on and limp home – I will admit to you that the tears were flowing when I opened my backdoor. By the time I had let the pups out to do their business and fed them, I was on the cellphone to Ted telling him there was no way I was coming back down.
Bedtime was a nightmare Saturday night. I knew I should leave the blister uncovered so it could get some air and start healing. But every time the sheet brushed across my foot, I let out one of those childbirth yells (for anyone reading this who has not yet had a baby, and plans to (without drugs), you really don’t yell that much. Sorry, I can’t lie – you yell a lot. I couldn’t not have the sheet (and blanket and comforter) over me because Ted is one of those nature lovers who leaves the doors and windows open even when it is 12 degrees outside. So finally, at 2:13 a.m., I asked Ted if he would get me two aspirins, and that helped – nothing like a little morphine would have helped, but better than nothing.
Sunday was the day we hiked up to Fort Holmes, then downtown for the parade, then I went back home to let the dogs out and feed them, then went back downtown for dinner, then walked back home. There was no way a real shoe was going on my toe, so I used an iodine pad out of Ted’s trusty First Aid Kit that contains enough supplies to do brain surgery. Then I wrapped it in a BandAid and put on a pair of $6.95 flip-flops that I bought 22 years ago at Eckerd Drugs – pure rubber, very flat, no cushion – I’m talking shower shoes here. Like bare feet, flip-flops on the island are not a good thing, but I had no choice. Again, pictures of the bottom of my feet at the end of that day would have been too graphic for a family-oriented blog.
When the BandAid came off Sunday evening, the blister was no better. It was still gross with no sign of healing. The next day was “ride around the island” day. Flip-flops do not work on bikes (at least I have not mastered that skill yet). So I wrapped TWO BandAids around my toe and put on my good ole Easy Spirits. I figured as long as I was pedaling and not walking, I was ok.
Do you know how much walking you do while bike riding around this island? We stopped and took pictures every two minutes. We spent 30 minutes on the shore with Ted and Tommy trying to prove who could skip rocks the most times and throw rocks the fartherest (macho, macho man syndrome again). We explored Devil’s Kitchen. By the time we got back to town, I was in a gosh-awful mood and limping again. While they went to turn in their bikes, I stopped at Outdoor Outfitters and bought the most expensive Merrill flip-flops I could find. They are great – they have supported arches, they have cushioned soles, they have everything – except closed in toes to keep out horse poop.
So to make a long story short (not real good at that, am I), on Sunday evening Ted was talking to daughter Julie in Arkansas and telling her about my blister from H…(the bad place). She said there was a blister BandAid out now (Julie runs a lot and knows about these things) . Of course our drug-less drugstore on the island did not carry them, but when Ted took Sandi and Tommy to the airport on Wednesday, he bought a box of them at Wal-Mart’s. Well, let me tell you folks – they are the best things since an epidural. You just wrap one of those babies around your blister and it cushions it and protects it. It seals out water, dirt and germs that can cause infection (I’m quoting right off the box). I have been wearing one for over 24 hours now, and have not even known I had a blister. For you mothers out there, you remember that feeling of absolute euphoria that comes after childbirth when they put that precious child in your arms? That’s what a blister BandAid feels like. OK – not really THAT good – but a pretty close second!
The Moral to this Story: If you plan to visit Mackinac Island, buy 12-15 pairs of shoes three months in advance. Wear each pair for a week and walk at least 10 miles each day – preferably on a road with lots of hills and some horse poo . If there is even a hint of pain at any spot on your foot, or if the bottom of your feet resemble the inside of your chimney after a long, cold winter, immediately throw them away. Pick out two pairs of shoes that are pain-free and keep your feet clean, and bring ONLY THOSE to the island. My blister and I know what we are talking about!