Five Things Friday Vol. 41

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

Here I am, diligently doing all my warm-ups and stretching before and after workouts and sprinkling in some yoga and foam rolling for good measure, just to pull a muscle in my lower back this week. I am very lucky that I haven’t had to deal with a lot of injuries in my life and something like this – which can, and probably has happened, to everyone! I know! – just throws me off completely.

I know, it’s just good-old lumbago and I must have just twisted my back in a weird way and it will probably be gone in a few days, but man, it’s annoying. Did you know in Germany, we call this kind of acute, fulgurant lower back pain Hexenschuss, which literally means “witch shot” and is apparently based on the medieval thinking that diseases were inflicted by supernatural beings (e.g. witches, elves) by means of an arrow shot.

Well, needless to say, I couldn’t exercise for the last two days and I’ll admit that I am a tiny bit crabby. It feels ridiculous that I just finished a PeloFondo and now can hardly get out of a chair and walk upright. Heating pads and low-key movement it is for the weekend. Might be following the Peloton Homecoming Event from the couch (not the bike or mat).

* * *

In happier news, I might be going on a work trip to Mammoth soon and I am super-excited. I have an awesome job where Mammoth can be my “office” for a week, don’t you think? I wouldn’t want to be doing fieldwork all the time, but I haven’t been in the field for over two years and I am looking forward to being out in nature with my colleagues for a few days. It’s always a good time! My back pain had better be gone by then.

* * *

I found out this week (through a local news article) that our Rite Aid pharmacy location would be closing this month. I was a bit surprised as nobody at the pharmacy had mentioned it and, as far as we know, there was no “announcement” posted at the store. Then we found out yesterday that the Rite Aid location was already closed and that our files were transferred to the Safeway pharmacy next door. That seemed strange to me, too, because why wouldn’t they redirect us to the nearest (open) Rite Aid location just a mile down the road?

Turns out, Safeway owns Rite Aid (or to be exact, Albertsons which owns Safeway, also owns Rite Aid). It’s all just one giant cooperation (still operating under all these different names). I find this confusing. And I am a bit upset that customers weren’t properly informed about the changes in advance when they’re so good about sending a gazillion emails for other, less important things, multiple times a week. And yes, I went through my emails again and did not find any information regarding the closure. Silver-lining: we were both eligible for a free gift card with a new transferred prescription to the Safeway pharmacy. Ok then, I’ll accept this in lieu of an apology.

* * *

Good deed of the week: there is this very nice, extremely helpful, and kind lady at our Safeway supermarket and I have repeatedly noticed her gracious interactions with customers in the last few weeks. It’s been a bright spot in my shopping experience, and yesterday I took Elisabeth’s recent blog post to heart, walked up to her, and told her – her name is Lisa – that her friendliness and kindness haven’t gone unnoticed. I also followed up by sending feedback through the Safeway app to let her store manager know what an outstanding job she’s doing! I hope she’ll be rewarded for it!

* * *

It rained this week. Some of you might think it odd for me to mention it like it’s something special, but well, here in California it *is* something special (and very much needed, I might add). Especially because we basically haven’t had any precipitation to speak of in the first 4 months of 2022. I know, we all realize that the weather is out-of-whack and that precipitation and temperatures are not evenly distributed (not that they ever were, but it’s never been more obvious than now). Of course, temps will be up in the 90s this weekend.

TGIF! Hope you’re having a great weekend ahead!

  1. Ouch! I don’t hurt my back very often but when I do it’s memorable and I’m definitely not doing anything else until it clears up. I hope you feel better soon.

  2. Sorry about your back and hope it’s better soon. It’s so jarring when things happen suddenly. Also, I love that you mention the German word for this sort of this! I adore hearing how other cultures/languages capture things from a different vantage and a “witch shot” sounds like a perfect encapsulation of the experience.

    Your pharmacy story would throw me for a loop!

    And, of course, I’m thrilled you gave Lisa a compliment and leaving positive feedback at the store level is going above and beyond. Gold star! Last week I lost my debit card and had to cancel the card over the phone (and okay experience, but nothing great) and go into the bank to get a replacement card (a GREAT experience). At the bank, the teller was just…amazing. So helpful. So clear in his explanation. So patient in getting everything set up properly. When I got back to the car (my husband and I had driven over together), I said how great the bank employee had been and my husband launched into a story from when he had been in a few weeks earlier and had an amazing teller (who, long story short, ended up helping us save a good-sized chunk of money with his good advice) and had left feedback with the bank about his experience. Turns out it was the SAME teller (we both read his name tag – it’s Seth).

    1. That’s so awesome that both you and Jon had the same great experience with the same teller at your bank. Outstanding customer service! We definitely should also give more positive feedback, not just say something if we need to complain!

  3. I hope your back is feeling better soon! Back pain is awful and it affects everything.

    That thing about the pharmacy is so weird, why wouldn’t they have told you a) they were closing b) that your prescriptions were being transferred elsewhere.

    Enjoy your field work!

    1. So true – back pain simply affects *everything*. It sucks :(

  4. Back pain is the worst, I am so sorry. I hope that it heals quickly.

    And your work trip sounds like a lot of fun!

  5. Ugh, back pain is so so awful. I hope it has resolved by now. Phil is very much prone to back issues but has learned to see the signs and take it easier. But it took years for him to figure out his limits. I am glad this is an anomaly for you and not typical because back pain is debilitating and can make everything uncomfortable, even sleeping!

    A work trip to Mammoth sounds great! The change of scenery should be wonderful!

    And yay for rain! I hope more is coming your way. We had a weird week of weather – strong storms, sheets of rain, heavy wind, siren warnings for tornados. This week looks like a more normal/nice week, though!

  6. Back pain is the worst! I had back pain for quite some time at the beginning of the year and I ended up going to PT to help me deal with it. Pain in any part of the body is challenging because the rest of your body tries to compensate for it and then you end up with pain somewhere else, but back pain is truly the worst because it really prevents you from doing ANYTHING!!

    I used to live in a small town and there was a four-way stop intersection and on three corners there was a Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, and CVS. I never understood why they all build right next to their competition, but now I’m wondering if they’re all the same corporation? That can’t be right, can it?

  7. Every time I have back pain, it reminds me how much work our backs do on a regular basis! It makes me appreciate the times when my back isn’t hurting. Not sure if a massage would help?

    Yay for a work trip! That sounds like a fun time, especially since you haven’t done any fieldwork in so long.

    I love the story about your acknowledging a worker’s kindness. She was probably so touched and it probably made her week! I need to be better about doing the same. It’s important!

  8. Hope you feel better soon. I didn’t know the origin of “Hexenschuss” how interesting – and once you know so logically.
    Please take us a long if you go on that fiel trip. they are always fun to follow.

  9. Oh, man – back pain (and, in particular, back pain from an unknown cause) is the worst. I managed to hurt my back a few years ago when I (stupidly) bent over to pick up the (ridiculously heavy) canister for the vacuum, and then stood up. Ow. Ow. Ow. I was relegated to the stationary reclining bike for weeks. Oh, and it was Thanksgiving. And my then-mother-in-law was visiting. And we had to drive 2+ hours to Thanksgiving weekend festivities.
    Not. Fun. (I know you’re feeling better now, thanks to IG, etc., but still wanted to offer my sympathies… :>)

    Good on you for sharing your positive interactions with Lisa to their supervisors. I do this, too – and it always throws people off (particularly those who are on the phone) when I ask for their names. I then thank them, using their name, and try to find a way to provide feedback on the company website. I’ve done it for Target, and American Airlines, and the local grocery store. :)

    Hope the trip to Mammoth is/was excellent! (Color me jealous over here…)

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