Cruisin’ with Carrie #5

Carrie at The Slow-Dripped Life is having a travel contest. This is “Week 5”. Each week a question is posed and it is our task to answer the question. The question this week was asked by Ken-inatractor . 

The question is:Have you ever been on a trip or vacation that while things appeared to be going badly, something happened that changed your mind, from worst trip ever to, meh….this wasn’t so bad?”

Considering the trip I am on now, traveling in an 18- wheeler, living in it 24/7, I could go with this…but there is a particular vacation that comes to mind. We used to go to a NASCAR race every year, in Michigan. It was an annual, planned event. However. one year it started off quite badly.

We traveled by Bill’s Durango, which was a perfect vehicle for such an outing. We would drive to the race track very early, in order to get a good parking place. then we would sleep in the car until the track opened. If you have ever been to a NASCAR race, you know what I mean. If you have not been to one, talk to me before you go.

It was the very first day of vacation. We were going up to our seats, which were very high in the stands, just off of the start/finish line. As I turned to go up the main sets of steps, my knee went out. There was an audible “pop”, in spite of the noise of the racetrack. The searing, excruciating pain was almost unbearable. 

Bill was already in our seats. When he turned to sit down, he saw me way down near the bottom of the stands. I was literally hanging onto the rail, crawling up the steps. I got up to my seat, as he was struggling to get to me to find out what was wrong. Sobbing, I explained that something was very wrong with my knee. I explained what had happened, and that the pain was excruciating.

“Let’s go! We need to get you to the First Aid Center, and get help.” I was horrified! This was our annual NASCAR vacation! We waited all year for this! “Are you kidding me?”, I exclaimed. “I got up here to my seat, I am not moving until after the race!.” As long as I didn’t move or put weight on it, I could deal with the pain. 

We stayed. My favourite driver for the race won that day. First Aid assisted me to our vehicle afterwards. I went to the local hospital and was put into a leg brace and given crutches. I was prescribed painkillers, also.

The next day we went back to the racetrack for the main NASCAR “Cup” event. My driver, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., came in second place that day. I got by on my crutches, with the added help of my brace and painkillers.

After race weekend, Bill was ready to take me home for some serious help for my knee. I was not about to give up our vacation. I was doing fine, and I knew when I got home that was going to be a major event in itself.

We went North, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We had rented a fishing cabin and planned some activities UP in the Great North Woods. We did them, too. We spent our week, almost just like we planned to do. I had a little assistance, but did just fine. We had fun. 

Once home, I consulted with a couple of doctors, went for some tests, and was ultimately treated for a torn meniscus and torn cartilage in my knee. I ended up having both knees replaced years later, but it certainly didn’t ruin that vacation!

Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

12 thoughts on “Cruisin’ with Carrie #5

  1. Wooooow! Now that would stink to get to your destination and BAM – a body part give out….yikes!

    I am most impressed with what a trooper you were! You must have a high tolerance for pain, or you had some fabulous pain meds!



  2. Thanks Carrie. Actually I do have a very high pain threshold. I guess I had to be. I have had a lot of congenital bone/joint problems. Along with the knees, I have had my hips replaced, and two ankle surgeries. Replacements are next on ankles…but not for awhile. I'm going for bionic! 😉


  3. I can just see you with your fierce determination to see those races no matter what!! And I can well understand you not wanting to abort the long-planned vacation to come home early. Sounds like you made the best of it, and some good memories too… that is pretty much what life is all about, learning to make the best of it! Great story, McGuffy Ann, but it sure made me wince in sympathetic pain!


  4. I like the way that you persevered and finished out your vacation, even though you had this terribly painful thing happen to you.

    Most likely, I would have curled up in the fetal position, somewhere near the bottom of the stands and wailed for them to just let me die.

    I'm inspired by your resilience and to completing your vacation. Well done! 🙂


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