Experience

Second Worst Case of Food Poisoning Ever

Way back when I was 20-something I was living in the Chicago suburbs with an office near the train station. In the strip mall beside the apartment complex there was this trendy artisan gourmet store with a deli in the back. This place had expensive cheeses, wines and stuff I’d never heard of. It was the closest deli and I was trying to eat just a bit more healthy. Not a full on health kick, just trying to cut out a few burger and fries lunches during the week. It was, after all, the peak of pool season. On this particular morning I went to the deli for my turkey sandwich, drove to the office, stuck it in the fridge and happily began keying away on whatever project I was working on. Around 11:30 I got hunger so I grabbed my sandwich and sun-whatever baked chips.

I did not even finish the sandwich. About half way through it hit me like a ton of bricks. I locked up the office and went back to the apartment.

Ordinarily I keep a big just of 7-Up and a few cans of chicken noodle soup in any apartment I’m staying at. It’s my emergency hold out. This was not an ordinary day. I had none with me and didn’t know anyone in my building. There were people I chatted with at the pool, but I didn’t know where their unit was at the complex. Why was this information relevant to the story? Because I no sooner got home and began spewing from both ends with a case of the severe shivers.

Important life lesson. If you think you are going to hurl, forget about that toilet. The garbage disposal side of the kitchen sink is where you want to be. Cold running water to rinse your mouth. Usually a sink deep enough nothing splashes back at you and if you manage to turn the disposal on prior to the first hurl, everything is whisked away so the room doesn’t reek like vomit.

That bought with food poisoning was so bad I nearly crawled downstairs to the one neighbor I had said hello to in passing offering her a 20 to get me a 2-liter bottle of 7-Up. I would have done it too, despite the creepiness factor, but the chills were so bad I didn’t think I could make it back up the stairs. A smart man would have called for an ambulance, but I’m not often accused of being a smart man. I honestly believed I was going to die in that apartment.

Fast forward a couple of decades. I get up on a Saturday morning, nuke that breakfast sandwich you see in the photo and begin typing away at my computer. Within an hour I feel it hit me. The chills, the rolling stomach, the profuse diarrhea. The chills were so bad I had to put on a heavy shirt, shorts and socks and put every blanket I had with me on the bed. Even then I was cold. You guessed it, the other end started spewing too. Yes, once again I managed to make it to the kitchen sink.

I know I’m never going to buy another one of those breakfast sandwiches again. I’m not going to buy anything of that brand. This time I wasn’t even trying to eat healthy.