Thursday, May 12, 2005

Food Poisoning

I thought I might have had food poisoning last night. I was up at two in the morning making fine use of our porcelain fixture and I thought about the time about ten years ago that I learned to fear the words "Last Piece of Lasagne." We were out on a romantic date - we did those kind of things before the child: cloth napkins, not a restaurant but a Ristorante. Everything on the menu looked so delicious, but my passion, the all-food, master of time, space and menus LASAGNE cried out to me. "You're in luck," the only slightly snooty waiter informed us, "we're down to our LAST PIECE OF LASAGNE."
Again, feel free to stop reading now if you haven't already determined the scatalogical vein of this post.
What kind of vile bacteria could grow over the course of a day in a nominally clean, reputable establishment such as this? It was a Ristorante, for Pete's sake. I expect now that had I applied the lasagne to my flesh, it would have eaten to the bone in seconds - but it tasted delicious. We went home (just a short walk around the block) and made happy full sounds to each other as we drifted off to sleep. Then came the evacuation alert. I spent the early morning hours laying on the bathroom floor in between bouts because going all the way back to the bedroom was just wasting energy for the onslaught.
The sun came up with no end in sight. A quick consult of Father-in-law doctor suggested that it might be flu but was more likely a form of anthrax or plague. Or something like that. I didn't talk to him. I was too busy. The suggested treatment was a trip to the emergency room. Luckily the trip was a short one, and there was a bathroom on the other end of it. Kristen filled out my paperwork while I did everything I could to turn myself inside out. They got me to a bed, put me in a gown, and stuck an IV in my arm. Then Kristen had to go on some very important errand. I can not remember now what could have possibly been more important than my imminent death, but off she went.
And there I lay - in the basement emergency room in an Oakland hospital, listening to ambulance chatter, waiting for some kind of relief. Then I had to go. I don't know why it didn't' occur to me to ask someone since I had been connected to the plumbing for about ten hours by then: "Which way to the WC?" I clenched and buzzed the nurse. No answer. I was alone in the bowels of the emergency department. I skittered off the bed and found to my relief that the IV stand was on wheels. The draft from behind made the trip out into the hallway even more precarious, with still no living soul in sight. At last I rounded the corner and found the deluxe emergency room lavatory waiting for me like a beacon in the night. It was carefully engineered with lots of extra leg room and a spot for the IV stand. Then it occurred to me that I might just disappear down this hole - a fecal Alice in Wonderland. No one knew where to find me. This was it.
Happily, after half an hour more of my digestive tract thrashing about, peace was restored to the kingdom. I found my way back to my bed just in time for the lone perky person in the building to come in and check on me. "How's everything going down here?"
A couple of days later, I returned to work. I was pale and gaunt, and the receiving manager told me how good I looked. I told him I had a new diet plan: THE LAST PIECE OF LASAGNE.


Anonymous said...

I can't for the life of me remember where I must have gone, but I do remember the name of the scourge: "campylobactor." Not as cute-sounding as "e. coli" but just as friendly.

Ms. C

http://lifeinthepresentlives said...

The one and only time you missed work!
I remember how worried how Kristen was.
Sure glad it wasn't that bad this time...