Monday, July 18, 2011

My First "Call Off" in Six Years

Well, almost six years . . . next Sunday, July 24, will be my 6th Anniversary of my Ordination and Installation as Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church.  There have been times during those six years that I didn't feel well on Sunday mornings, and a few of those times I felt like "death warmed over" and would have liked nothing more than to crawl back into bed, but I always managed to get to Church and conduct the Divine Service . . . until yesterday. 

I drove home from the campground (we were having our Peace Camping Weekend) Saturday night, took a shower, and passed out.  Got a good night's rest and woke up around 7:00 a.m. not feeling so well and with my right eye swollen shut.  Still, I was bound and determined not to let this get the best of me.  I'd just have to lead the Service with one eye.  But, after practicing my sermon a few times, my head just started aching something fierce and I felt nauseous.  So, about 8:00 a.m., I called Miguel, who would be serving as elder, and broke the news to him that I wasn't going to be able to make it.  He was a real trooper.  I sent him my sermon and the prayers, and we walked through the Service, noting which parts would be omitted and such.  He told me not to worry about it and that he was happy to cover things.  And, from what I've heard from those who have sent me well wishes is that he did a fabulous job.  So great to have elders like him to count on in a crunch like this. 

Anyway, the reason for the illness and swollen eye is poison ivy.  I got under our deck last Monday to pull weeds and just laid right down in the stuff, I guess.  I put sweats and a sweatshirt on, and wore gloves, but it still got me - and got me good.  It didn't start coming out until Thursday night, but I had felt sick (soreness in the right side of my throat and headaches) for a few days prior.  I just thought it was my tonsils acting up, but it was the poison ivy working its way through me, which finally started appearing Thursday.  It is all up and down the right side of my body, which was the side I was laying on under the deck while pulling weeds.  Talk about itchy!  But, I would have been fine had it not gotten on my face.  It is not fun at all waking up with an eye swollen shut.  And, it remained swollen shut all day yesterday and was still that way this morning.  So, my wife ordered me to go to the doctor.  I went this afternoon and the doc told me that it was one of the worst cases of poison ivy she had seen in a long time, and that it was good that I came in, since it's dangerous to have it on your face and around your eye.  She gave me a steriod shot and prescriptions for steriod pills and antibiotics, and just a few hours later, my eye is already feeling much better.  I can see out of it again!

Next year, there will be no crawling under the deck for me.  I'm thinking lots of Round Up will be in order! :)

A few pics of my ugly, disfigured mug:

This is what I looked like on Sunday morning.  

Still no improvement this morning.
Just 4 hours after the steroid shot - steroid shots are cool! :)


Cheryl said...

Ouch! My husband has been contending with a terrible rash on his hands, arms, legs, and a tiny bit on his face the past week. Not sure what it is but we suspect poison ivy, too. Glad you are feeling better!

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

Thanks, Cheryl! If the good Cantor continues to be plagued by that rash, tell him to go get one of them there steroid shots - awesome, they are! :)

Dennis Peskey said...

The first photo looks like a poster for Pirate Christian Radio - see Chris; maybe you can be reimbursed!

Pastor Peters said...

Had the same thing happen to me but the infected areas included arms, chest, torso, and legs. A couple of steriod shots and two tubes of steriod creme and the itching is gone but the scars from the lesions are still there two months later!!

LambertsOnline said...

Glad you're feeling better. Round-Up is always my preferred "tool" for weeds.

Scott Diekmann said...

Call me stupid. We had just moved to Alabama. I put up a clothes line from the deck to a nearby tree by hugging the tree and stringing the line around it - in shorts and no shirt. I'm sure you can surmise the rest of the story. The tree was covered with poison oak. I didn't know what had happened when I broke out in weeping, itchy wounds on my chest and legs until a few days later when I called the doctor. Trying to fly in polyester paints and that mess isn't fun, especially in a hot humid Alabama summer.

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...


I should have posed with my PCR coffee mug, wearing my PCR sweatshirt. :)

Fr. Peters,

Ugh! Hope those scars eventually go away, brother.


Thanks. In addition to using Round Up next time, I told my wife that she can crawl under there if need be, since she thought it funny to point out in the midst of my misery: "Poison Ivy doesn't affect me." :)


Thanks for sharing. I don't feel so bad now - at least I didn't crawl under my deck in shorts and shirtless. :)