Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Food Poisoning

Matt said he had food poisoning on Saturday, which was annoying because he was supposed to go to a party with me. Skylar was out of town, presumably because he doesn't love me and needs the occasional break, so Matt's services were especially needed.

I don't trust anyone when they say they are sick. I always assume it's a lie. I think this stems back to the number of times I pressed my face against a hot pad in the 90s right before going into Bob and Cathie's bedroom and saying "I think I have that fever again," like it was just the same one that kept coming back.

Points to Bob and Cathie who never once called me out on that bullshit.

So I drove to Matt's house to bully and manipulate him into just doing the thing he previously agreed to do. But when I got there and wandered the place looking for him, I realized that he either was truly sick or a much better faker than 10-year-old Eli.

Matt was lying on his bathroom floor, moaning, with a large gash on his forehead, which he claims was unrelated to the food poisoning. Apparently he ran into a tree earlier in the day. The point is, maybe don't trust Matt with your fragile antiques or food preparation for the next little while.

I told him he looked like "hell," which is a thing you can say when you love a person, but not enough to go near them.

I was immediately worried I was going to be blamed for this since I cooked salmon for him and Adam only the night before, but Matt volunteered that he was pretty sure this all happened because of a salad he ate for lunch, yelling something about "THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULDN'T TRY TO BE HEALTHY."

I welcomed Matt to the food poisoning club, in which membership is actually much more restrictive than most people think. Us true members have forged bonds that can never be broken.

A lot folks think they've had food poisoning, but they actually haven't. I used to be one of those people. Then I got it for real while living in Palau in 2013. That's when I realized that, no, I had never had the real thing before. And ever since then I have felt real actual rage when I've heard people try to dilute the badge of honor that the true survivors bear by claiming that their upset stomach is "food poisoning."

"Last night's dinner just isn't sitting well. I must have food poisoning."

"I just threw up. I guess it's food poisoning."

"I have felt queasy all day. Darn food poisoning! Lol!"

No.

No.

Mmmm-mmmm.

No.

Idiots.

That is not food poisoning.

Unless you are projectile vomiting into a garbage can because you don't have the will power to crawl your sweat-soaked body to a toilet, while incoherently shouting your passwords and telling anyone in earshot where your money is hidden, convinced that you are not going to survive the day, just before pulling yourself into a shower, turning the water on so it can spray your fully-clothed body, while lying in the fetal position sobbing, you do not have food poisoning.

When I had my food poisoning, I legit wrote a journal entry the next day about how I had been given a second chance at life and I wanted to be kinder to others with it. I was completely sincere. That's how close to death I thought I was.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HUG YOUR PARENTS OR CHILDREN A LITTLE TIGHTER THE NEXT DAY THEN YOU DIDN'T HAVE FOOD POISONING.

I will die on this hill. FROM FOOD POISONING.

And so will any others who are really members of the exclusive club. I met a friend of Skylar's a few years ago and mentioned that I had food poisoning once. She grabbed my arm and with a look of intensity that nearly killed me she said, "oh honey. Was it the worst day of your life?" I immediately knew that she was a club member, and responded "what caused yours?"

"Chicken," she whispered.

"Mine was salmon," I replied.

Skylar jumped in, saying that he had food poisoning once but that it wasn't that bad and that he felt better after he threw up once.

We turned and hate-screamed "YOU DIDN'T HAVE FOOD POISONING" in unison.

When I inducted Matt into the club, he looked at me with an understanding that only true members could have.

An hour later, as I sat on a couch at the party I attended without him, he texted me: "If you don't hear from me in the morning, come get Ollie so he can live with you."

Matt had food poisoning.

And now, please enjoy this week's Strangerville, provided by one of our youngest Strangers.


This time in Strangerville, Meg and Eli are snobs and Meg might be faking her own pregnancy. Also, a girl with sensory processing disorder explains how she caused her mom to have a twitch.
Story
Food Coloring, by Lilli and Laurel
Production by Eli McCann and INCREDIBLY Preg Walter


~It Just Gets Stranger

44 comments:

  1. This is exactly what it feels like to have a migraine and listen to someone talk about a headache. I pray for death every time I am curled up in the fetal position by the toilet sweating and crying and vomiting and my brain is being squeezed into orange juice.

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    1. Exactly.when someone with a bad headache refers to it as a migraine , I just want to smack them.

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    2. Not to be pedantic but it’s *We* true members .

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    3. I know some people have this sentiment, but I never know what word to use when I have something that can technically be classified as a migraine medically but that I can still semi-function through. I mean, I am not happy when I'm functioning through it, but I often can function a bit. But I realize there are worse migraines, and I've even had those ones where I can't do a single thing, but they need an in-between word for those times when it's not just a bad headache but not the death migraines either.

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    4. I'm in this club. When I get a migraine I can't function because sitting upright is vomit inducing. If I take medication to stop the migraine (which I've had last for days when untreated) it makes me sleep for hours before I can function again. As soon as I start to get halos in my vision I rush for the imitrex otherwise things get real ugly, real fast. And then I know someone who says "I have a really bad migraine" they take two aspirin and are right as rain in half an hour and I can't help but think "Um, yeah, not a migraine."

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    5. The first time I had a migraine, I vomited into a storm drain while walking to my friend's apartment for dinner. I can get really bad headaches and fairly minor migraines, and there is a distinct difference in what they do to my head and body.

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  2. I had minor food poisoning the first month I lived in China. Everything was bad, my stomach was constantly in knots, and I had some really unpleasant times trying to navigate public Chinese squat toilets... But then, Thanksgiving 2011, I had TRUE food poisoning.

    This came about because I taught kindergarten (still in China), and they wanted to have a little "Thanksgiving" party. We went outside, parents came, children brought candy and snacks, and the children all sang (badly) Over the River and Through the Woods for their parents, complete with miming to help them remember the words. Later, we all milled around and talked about how cold it was. As we milled, children came up to me and handed me various candies and snacks (You know, meat floss, and beef candies; the normal thing!). As each child handed me a treat, I looked at it and evaluated if it should be put in my mouth or my pocket.

    Sidebar - I had stayed up crazy-late the night before prepping for Thanksgiving, so was still exhausted and obviously not thinking clearly.

    If something was wrapped, it slipped easily into my pocket for me to find months later. If something was unwrapped, I would casually pop it into my mouth and hope it wasn't meat candy. I THINK my reasoning was that I didn't want sticky, unwrapped things in my pocket. This thinking was flawed because you should never put unwrapped candy from a Chinese child's hand into your mouth. NEVER, NOT EVER!!!!!

    That night, around midnight, I started feeling not so hot. By the time I made it home and to the bathroom, I was beyond not so hot. For the next three days, I was capable of moaning, vomiting, pooping, and begging everyone around me to leave me to die in peace.

    It was miserable. I did not go to school the next day like I was supposed to. I didn't do a number of things I was supposed to do that weekend. It was not a good holiday, although the party itself was really fun until I started not feeling so well.

    Hopefully this never happens to me again.

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  3. AGREED. I got Real Food Poisoning for the first time when we were visiting my in-laws and my second child was 2 months old. If you haven’t breastfed a screaming infant while being glued to a toilet and simultaneously vomiting into a trash can, YOU HAVE NOT HAD FOOD POISONING. I never knew my body could expel so many fluids all at once and that I could live to tell the tale.

    My husband got food poisoning right after he finished his mission in Chile. His parents came to pick him up, and he and his Dad ate some local fruit. It had never done my husband wrong before, but that day, it did. He and his Dad were up in their hotel bathroom all night, and the hotel kept turning the water off. So my Mother in Law, who speaks NO Spanish, had to repeatedly go to the front desk and ask them to turn the water back on (they would turn it on for a few minutes and then turn it back off. They didn’t understand that someone was very sick and the toilet needed to be flushed more than once). It’s funny now, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be in that hotel bathroom.

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    1. Way to one-up me on the breastfeeding.

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    2. It’s ok Eli, bottle feeding doesn’t make you any less of a mother!

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    3. OMG YES. I did not have food poisoning but rather a nasty case of super-norovirus, which has the same symptoms. My husband was out of town and I was home alone with my 6 month old when it got me. I was laying on the bathroom floor, trying to nurse my baby in between vomiting and pooping. At some point I was too weak to even stand up to get to the toilet or lift the baby so that's when I decided I needed to call 911. They had to take me in an ambulance and I was hospitalized for 2 days. Even worse, everyone who came near me got it too - my in laws who drove up to take the baby, my husband when he got home, the nextdoor neighbor who used her key to let the paramedics in, even the first nurse who saw me in the hospital! Miraculously my baby was the only one to escape unscathed, I guess because I did my best to nurse him the whole time!

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    4. I have never met another person who will admit to breastfeeding a baby while on the toilet, while puking into a trash can! I tell people this happened to me to prove I am superwoman and they all inch away slowly. I was beginning to think I was the only one. I ended up in the ER that night. I don’t think mine was food posoning, just a really horrific stomach bug though.

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    5. Mine was a horrible stomach bug while seven months pregnant. You know that feeling where you think if you could just be very, very still maybe you won't be as sick? Yeah, that, except with a six pound baby kicking you from inside while you sit on the toilet and vomit into a bucket. And it never ended, because each time I was sick he would kick me in protest, which would start the nausea again... That day was literally worse than the day I gave birth to him. No lie.

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  4. Oh my gosh that Lily! Ha ha! Eli, I’m so glad you clarified the type of goldfish. Great story! Keep us posted when she gets published!

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    Replies
    1. I happen to be that Lilli. The one that told that story.

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    2. I’m sorry I misspelled your name, Lilli! You did a fantastic job on the podcast, and if your writing is anywhere as delightful as your speaking, I can’t wait to read your book!

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  5. I gave myself zinc poisoning once, which I imagine is similar. I remember my then-partner asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. I said no, but it wasn't because I thought I was okay or because I didn't want to spend the money or whatever.

    My thought process was quite seriously "No, if you take me to the hospital, they will do something to make me live, and I really really just want to die right now."

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  6. I sat next to Lilli and her family at the last Strangerville show! I remember her well, because she had the most infectious laugh and her laugh made everything funnier!

    Also, you should encourage Strangers to write "sponsors" for the end of each podcast. There are some really funny and creative people up in here!

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    Replies
    1. I LOVE that idea. If anyone's got a sponsor joke, send it my way.

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    2. The holidays, sponsored by your therapist because Christmas is their version of tax season.

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    3. Thanks to Haikus!

      For when you want to
      Say something quite poetic
      In a nonsense way.

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    4. Thanks to Making a Murderer!

      Qualifying every American to be a defense attorney since 2015.

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    5. Or maybe it is
      something quite nonsense in a
      most poetic way.

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    6. You sat next to me?! I don't remember anything else except the storytellers and Meg and Jolin, of course.

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    7. Bananas
      Funding the primates lifestyle ever sense the beginning of time

      Delete
    8. And stock photos
      Nobody ever uses these

      Delete
    9. Rubik's cubes
      Only Einstein's descendants can solve these

      Delete
    10. Kids
      Because your life isn't already hard enough

      Delete
    11. Fruit snacks
      The only thing kids want other than Barbie on Netflix

      Delete
    12. Nose Picking
      Because kids aren't gross enough

      Delete
    13. Soda
      Because you want everyone to hear you burp

      Delete
    14. Walmart's Toy Section
      Because you want to be harassed

      Delete
    15. The Suzzzz
      Making us all laugh until the end of time

      Delete
  7. Mine was ham. Luckily I was 10 so I'm able to block out much or the incident. But I remember laying on my mom's bathroom floor in the fetal position just staring at the air vent with pain in my stomach, and sobs in my heart.

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  8. Not that we know what bullshit is Cathie.

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  9. Oh my! I haf food poisoning three Oh my! I got food poisoning three years ago while in Pakistan for a non-profit. It was THE WORST! We were travelling around to check up on projects related to water, sanitation and health (oh, the irony) and the organization was really strict about the hotels we were allowed to stay at due to safety issues. The one where I got sick at looked really nice and fancy, but I suspect they might have added uncooked vegetables to our fried rice and that’s what got us. Bodily fluids were exiting all my orifices for almost 3 days. To top it off, the hotel had bed bugs, so I could literally feel them creep around and bite me as I lay in bed, just wanting to die.

    After 5 days, we had to move to a new location, and I still felt miserable. I was constantly nauseous and could hardly eat anything. The hotel we moved to was pretty depressing. I’m positive the bathroom had never been cleaned, the evidence being that the toilet bowl was literally black where the water is, and you could not look through the mirror due to a million small tooth paste droplets clouding the surface. Oh, and you had to step really carefully to avoid cockroaches. No bedbugs though! At that point I was just really grateful for feeling awful, because it meant that I had no energy to care about the disgusting room.

    The only bathroom design I now care about is that you have to be able to vomit in the sink while sitting on the toilet.

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  10. I’ve had food poisoning. It struck while on a road trip. I threw up out the car window twice because the driver couldn’t get off the freeway in time. I later had it coming out both ends. My mom stayed up with me. We did not sleep all night. I have had food poisoning.

    I also had a migraine that lasted two days. Aural disruption, nausea, the whole nine yards.

    And once I even had sepsis. That was actually, truly, the sickest I’ve ever been, but I didn’t realize how dangerous it was in the moment. I spent an entire day in urgent care (should have gone to the ER but I thought I was having a reaction to an antibiotic — didn’t know the antibiotic was actually saving my life). I learned what it actually was later, when they got my bloodwork back and I was already feeling fine.

    I’ve had food poisoning.
    And a migraine.
    And sepsis.

    I’ve seen things, kids. (My 20s have been a weird decade, hahaha)

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  11. We'd been married just a few months .I was in cosmetology school and my still-in-the-honeymoon-stage husband said yes to almost anything I asked. I needed to practice pedicures and he consented. Every toes was a different color (obviously I needed to try out ALL of my new nail polish colors) That night he grabbed a breakfast burrito from Sonic. He puked for 12 hours when I finally insisted he go to the hospital. As soon as we arrived they asked to remove his socks and shoes. Every doctor and nurse in the place had to come by and see the man with the rainbow colored toes. Luckily he was so sick that he didn't care until much much later. They admitted him to the hospital and kept him for a day and a night. He has never touched another breakfast burrito from Sonic and He never did let me paint his toes again!

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  12. I had food poisoning when I was five. Thankfully, I really only remember snapshots of it- my mom carrying me to the bathroom with my head tucked into her neck. Watching the vomit stream down her back and all over the floor. Defiling the bathtub. Vomiting all over my bed, and then my parents bed, when I had been transferred so my mom could clean mine. I’ve been told other things I did that weekend, but that is all I remember firsthand. Oh, and my sister ate the same meal at the restaurant. And we only had the one bathroom. My mother is a Saint.

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  13. Thank you for clarifying what FP actually feels like!!!!! I for real called the hospital and they wouldn’t help me even thought I gave them my credit card number. MY FP was from scallops. Never again sea food. Never again.

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  14. Shortly before Christmas 2011, (thereafter known as Christmas in Hell) I contracted Salmonella from a Cracker Barrel. It was the worst 2 weeks of my life.

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  15. I am definitely a part of the club. I have often described it as first thinking I was going to die and eventually hoping I did. It was that bad.

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