Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Food poisoning isn't that bad after all

A couple of weeks back I got hit with a bout of food poisoning. It was terrible. I could write at least 10,000 words on the unspeakable horrors that violently burst out of my body over a 36 hour period that felt like an eternity, but where's the novelty in that? Everyone knows that food poisoning is awful, even if they haven't recently experienced the Sophie's choice presented by "coming out both ends." What I quickly learned was that sometimes the cure is just as bad, if not worse, than the sickness.

Now, a little bit of background on my specific case. I got sick two days before I was scheduled to go on vacation. To Oregon. Portland happens to be a six hour flight away from beautiful Jersey City. It would be enough of a nightmare scenario to be ON a flight with a passenger whose insides are attempting to flee their body with ferocious force, being that person is perhaps my greatest fear. And this isn't even factoring in the great dread this fat man has for airplane bathrooms. Thus I took some drastic measures to ensure an event free flight.

The first measure I took worked out wonderfully and had no side effects whatsoever. I moved my seat back to be on the aisle in the second to last row. This way if something horrible was about to come up I would be as close as possible to the bathroom, and the bonus was that there was no one in the middle seat so we could stretch out like rockstars. It was glorious. And no problems occurred. Which brings us to...

The second thing I did was take Imodium AD. A double dose of Imodium AD since I had made roughly 34 separate trips to the bathroom in the previous 36 hours this seemed like a safe bet. Instead it catapulted me into a hell that I did not imagine was even possible.

Now, first off, all props to Imodium. It works. Too well. To say that it completely shut down my digestive system would be the understatement of the century. One moment the contents of my body were flowing freely like Niagara Falls, the next it was as if the river just turned off.

At first this was a welcome respite from the way that I had spend the previous could of days. It was nice to be on vacation and seeing things other than the beautiful lavatories of the Pacific Northwest. Then I started to feel the pressure. I don't necessarily mean physical pressure, that would come soon enough, but I mean more of a mental pressure about not going. I'm a fairly regular fella, I have a schedule when it comes to these things, and I like to adhere to that schedule. So when we entered day two of a closed shop I started to freak out.

I felt like I had to go constantly. But every time I tried, nothing. Nada. I started to believe that I was doing something wrong. This process that I have been doing for my entire life, often with great aplomb, had become an unsolvable mystery to me. There was nothing I could do to just make it happen. This was the strangest and most infuriating crisis of confidence that I have ever had.

By day four every time I went to the bathroom with nary a nugget to be flushed I felt I walked away feeling depleted and worthless. Since I felt fine, meaning the food poisoning had clearly passed, I was eating like a normal human on vacation. On the Oregon coast this means a lot of clam chowder, fried seafood and a decent amount of IPAs — all of which usually grease the wheels of the system for me. Yet, nothing. By this time I could feel that I was approaching full capacity.

Finally, on the morning of the fifth day I woke up to the most glorious rumble in my stomach. With the zeal of a small child on Christmas morning, I leapt from my bed and ran to the bathroom. I don't need to tell you what happened next in great detail, but let's just say that it was one of the truest feelings of pure joy that I have ever experienced.

Pure. Unadulterated. Joy.

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