My skin began to tingle lightly and my face flushed, which had happened the first few times I took the medicine.
"I'm tingling again," I said. She looked over at me with a bemused smile, and returned to her book.
Then the tingling became stronger, like needles all over my skin. I turned to mention this new feeling to Karen.
The next thing I knew, my eyes opened and she was in my face, shouting my name. Apparently I had begun to shake and then slumped in the chair, my mouth hanging open to one side.
Understandably, she was frightened. She told me later she thought I was having a stroke. She somehow got me to walk to the car and drove me to the Emergency Room. (My son asked her later why she didn't call 9-1-1).
We sat at the front desk while the registrar started on her list of questions. I slowly began to slump and then slide down the chair toward the floor, like a melting man. Someone finally came and transported me to an examining room.
About half an hour after we arrived, my adult son came walking in.
"Are you OK?" he asked. I assured him I was going to be fine and explained what had happened. They confirmed it was a reaction to the new medicine, nothing overly serious. Needless to say, I'm not taking that particular drug any longer.
Having settled that matter, he asked another question, the one I knew was coming next.
"Dad? Do you realize what day this is?" And he started to laugh.
Anyone else would have thought him rude and unfeeling. Me? I began to laugh along with him.
You see, our family has a curse. A holiday curse.
We have learned to approach holidays with caution. We tend to stay at home.
We have found ourselves stranded with major car problems in distant cities on our way to visit relatives for holidays. More than once.
On a single Thanksgiving weekend a couple of years ago, we managed to get into separate wrecks with both of the family cars.
We have been sick with an impressive variety of illnesses and maladies during various holidays. The local emergency room staff has learned to expect us during the holidays – and not just to wish them a happy holiday.
This “holiday curse” is not limited to just Thanksgiving and Christmas, but strikes on Memorial Day, Labor Day, Easter, Valentine's Day and more. Any time the mall stores have special holiday sales, we get ready for the worst.
The sad part of this story is that it took us so many years to realize that hidden somewhere in each of these holiday mishaps was a Divine Appointment created by God.
A sign you're growing in grace: You've learned to see the inevitable holiday debacles as God-created opportunities for mission. #asygig
Not giving back evil for evil,
or curse for curse,
but in place of cursing, blessing;
because this is the purpose of God for you
that you may have a heritage of blessing.
I Peter 3
By the way, Halloween this year falls on a Monday night. So we're laughing in the face of the curse and celebrating the holiday by doing what we always do on Mondays.
We're going to prison.