Day 96: Recovery From God's Wrath

Okay, so maybe I'm being over-dramatic. But trust me: once you spend a day not being able to keep food or drink down, you might find yourself on your knees, with your hands on the porcelain throne, praying either for repentance or that The Almighty might strike you down and end your suffering.

Friday morning I awoke groggily. I debated going on my walk; I chose to lay down again. I considered getting up 15 minutes later; I rolled over in my bed. At 8:10AM I shot out of bed with a wave of nausea, thinking only about getting to the bathroom before staining the carpet. I still tried to work Friday, but after 3 more "trips" to the restroom, I decided to suffer alone and in the comfort of my bed rather than the office.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea - the point isn't to gross everyone out. While the affliction lasted only half a day (which was plenty long enough), I spent the weekend recovering from the dehydration and mal-nutrition effects.

First and foremost: no I was not drinking the night before. I have my share of This one time when we got really wasted stories; this is not one of them. I've come to four possible conclusions as to why I spent Friday in complete misery (seriously, I wasn't drinking!):

  1. Egg Salad Poisoning. It's a well-publicized urban legend that eating gas-station egg-salad sandwiches will give you worms. Thursday evening, in our rush to get out to the fishing hole before the day's light ran out, I threw caution to the wind and decided that egg salad couldn't be as bad as they say. I ate the first part and let the other half sit for an hour in the car before finishing it up. Yum.
  2. Malaria. I mentioned before how I had mosquito bites on top of my mosquito bites. Several nights spent fishing I was only wearing a short-sleeve shirt and shorts: a blood-sucker's free-for-all. Along with the stomach issues I had chills, a possible fever, and I couldn't focus my mind on anything. It seems that when you're sick, your mind fixates on the wildest thoughts.
  3. Hydrochlorothiozide. I was prescribed this medication months ago to help control my blood pressure. Because of my hatred for pills, I never took them. Yet when I refilled my seizure medication last week, I decided to "man up" and start taking these meds as well. The episode could have been a huge side-effect to the medication.
  4. The most probable answer - I incurred the Immediate and Omnipotent Wrath of the Almighty. Since hearing from the Capuchins that I had been accepted, my life hasn't changed much yet. In fact, I found myself slipping further back into my old ways-habits and activities that most would consider unproductive or un-Christian. I know He's given me nudges in a certain direction before; it's entirely possible a stronger nudge is used from time to time.
Regardless of why the episode happened, the real eye-opener for me was how my brothers from Chicago called and emailed me all Friday and Saturday, leaving messages of concern. Here I was, less than 100 days from starting a "new" path, and I'd almost found my way back down the spiral: I was smoking again, spending money without forethought, acting lazily and without thought to others, being selfish, slothful, lustful, envious...I'm not trying to be a person without sin, I'm trying to be a person who's aware of his sins.

I've spend the past week being "sales guy;" maybe deep inside, I'm still a little scared of what it means to be "religious guy."

Maybe I'll write a screenplay when this is all over, a big thick manuscript in perfect New Courier font, so that someday readers, family, friends, or just curious minds can see what it's like for someone to go from one extreme in life to the next.

If only there were some experience, something metaphoric, life-changing, and inspiring, that would prove to me, and just me, that this whole priest/friar/Franciscan thing is for real...

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1 Response to Day 96: Recovery From God's Wrath

June 22, 2008 at 9:06 PM

I've been following you but havent' commented...until now because I had a similar experience to your opening.

I got hit with food poisoning on Thursday, the day before my birthday. And the day before my 8-day week from Hell at work, which I can't take any time off because I'm the person absolutely in charge. No not only was my birthday a day at work but it was a day without coffee and without food and without health. A VERY active one at that!

But I learned from it and God uses everything...