I haven’t written a blog post in a few months. For a while, I was too busy. Then I was too sick. Then I couldn’t get my shit together (pun intended – you’ll understand in a minute). Since then, both my body and my sense of humor have recovered. During my blogging absence, I came down with a horrendous case of food poisoning… specifically salmonella. Believe me when I tell you there was nothing funny about it. But, in hindsight (pun intended), I’m able to find the funny.
There’s Nothing Fishy About It
The first thing you should know about Salmonella is that it has nothing to do with the fish called salmon. Many an arrogant doctor has named a discovery after himself, but for the life of me, I don’t know why Dr. Salmon wanted this distinction. If you’ve ever had salmonella, then you know that it should have a more appropriate name like Green Gut Syndrome or Green River of Death or OMG I’m Gonna Die!
It was a Monday and my stomach was feeling a little weird. I decided to eat a safe supper of soup and crackers. Meanwhile I complained that the house was too cold. A few hours later I was in bed under all the covers, plus an extra blanket, shivering, teeth chattering, shaking the whole bed. Then the real fun started.
If you look up salmonella, the literature will say that it lasts about four days and usually requires no treatment. But when I do something, I go big. I don’t half-ass anything (pun intended).
For the rest of that first night, and the following two weeks, I was in the bathroom every 90 minutes with at least one, often both ends shooting green fluid. If you ever find yourself in a short term relationship with food poisoning, I recommend having your bathroom VERY close by. Because, lemme tell ya, it’s coming out ready or not. I don’t care how steely your buns are, they’re no match for a bacteria that your gut wants to get rid of ASAP. I also recommend keeping your toilet in the seat-down-lid-up position, because you can’t spare the millisecond it takes to lift the lid.
By Friday, I was in the hospital with dehydration and kidney failure. I was on a constant infusion of IV fluids, antibiotics, and potassium – which I dragged with me to the bathroom every 90 minutes ’round the clock.
Just two months before I contracted this illness, I started working from home full time. Prior to that I worked in an office with only one ladies’ room and it was nowhere near my desk. During this episode, I was so happy not to share a bathroom with the entire office or with anyone. There are many things I like about working from home… the casual attire, no traffic, the quiet, being in control of the thermostat. But the private bathroom is now my #2 (pun intended) reason I love working from home.
I Hear A Symphony
After things started to settle down, or so I thought, the gas began. After what I’d been through, I wasn’t comfortable trusting myself to interpret the warnings. I began to understand the old saying, “Never Trust A Fart.” So, I was still in the bathroom far too frequently, just in case. And making far more noise than I’d care to admit. Again, I was so happy to have a private bathroom. This is not the sort of thing you want to share with your coworkers.
In My Wildest Dreams
Many people shared their salmonella stories with me but no one mentioned having crazy dreams. I was so weak that all I could do, between bathroom trips, was sleep. My dreams were exhausting. There were always crowds of people, lots of noise and chaos. When I was awake I just wanted silence. I was too tired to work and falling behind (pun intended).
World’s Worst Diet Plan
I don’t recommend salmonella as a weight loss plan, but I did lose 14 pounds. That might not sound like much but my body normally refuses to lose any weight. So a 14 pound loss to me is the equivalent of a 50 pound loss to anyone else.
if you learn anything from my experience, let it be to remember to wash your hands, wash your food and don’t lick the batter if it has raw eggs in it (yes, I did that). If it does happen to you, get yourself a patient caretaker and some high quality toilet paper!