Friday, November 13, 2009

no more rooting around through the trash for delicious goodies, then, I guess

So for the first time in my life, I got violently sick from food poisoning and got to spend about 7 hours in the clammy embrace of my porcelain toilet bowl. A sleepless night, resulting in very sore tummy muscles, which have been much busier than they're used to.

The culprit? Can't quite be sure. I eat any number of strange and suspect things every day, and it might have been anything from the day-old miniature sandwiches I harvested from the office kitchen (no, I don't believe they were refrigerated overnight) to the delicious but week-old marinated chicken I fished out of the back of the fridge for dinner.

I have been making a very good effort to throw myself a pity party because of these horrific trials, but have been getting muted responses. Everyone keeps telling me how lucky I am--I made it to my respectable age without ever once having been sick to my stomach?! What can I say, I'm pretty hardy. (Also, I train my stomach pretty thoroughly by eating above-mentioned weirdness.)

But I'm lucky in another way--as a creative person. How would I ever be able to write or edit realistically about food poisoning before?! Ok, maybe I could have researched the experiences of others and mimicked. But now I won't have to.

Reflecting on this, I realized that really creative people are much luckier than anyone else in the world. Everyone else only has hardship; creative people have hardship, but they also have material and inspiration.

My little thought for the day.

36 comments:

Brian F. said...

Slightly off topic, but in 2008 I went to my first BEA and got hit with food poisoning the night before the show started. I spent the rest of the show miserable and trying hard to look like I wasn't about to keel over. Not. Cool.

jjhoutman said...

Oh, dear. You have my sympathies. I've never had it that bad myself, but I was up all night with my dear daughter as she went through it.

(Hers was caused by a virus that ran through her class over the course of a week or two. It's possible that what you had was not due to food, but your description of what you eat leads me to believe otherwise)

I ended up using something she told me that night about her condition in my MG novel. I won't divulge the gory details here, though.

Joe Iriarte said...

*grin*

That's a great way to look at it!

Susan at Stony River said...

I've been in the hospital twice with food poisoning -- I hope you're feeling better and that it doesn't happen again anytime soon!

And yes, definitely leave the day-old sandwiches alooooone. Good heavens.

Jaye Wells said...

First, I'm sorry you were sick. That's seriously no fun.

Second, this line, "from the day-old miniature sandwiches I harvested from the office kitchen..." reminds me of the bit from Sedari's Me Talk Pretty One day about his father's habit of hoarding produce and how he ate a mysterious brown thing he found in his luggage.

Third, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gets giddy when real life coughs up (forgive me) story fodder.

All that said, drink lots of fluids and take it easy.

CKHB said...

Ha! That reminds me of this clip from Family Guy. Any hideous event can be fodder for writing.

moonrat said...

hahahaha that family guy clip is PERFECT.

Laurel said...

Another "glass is half full" perspective:

After an episode like that I usually find it takes a few days to regain the five or so pounds I surrendered to the porcelain god. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, you're starting the season with a deficit!

Whirlochre said...

Could have been a Puke Gnat.

They do that — fly up your nose and stuff.

And when they're nicely lodged inside one of your nostrils, they chomp on their own strange and suspect goodies.

Did your symptoms include a buzzing in your head? Nirvana (they play their music way too loud when they're eating)?

Too late now, I suppose, but since prevention is better than cure, you might want to stick some gauze over your your nose, just in case there's any more.

Doesn't need to look ridiculous — if you combine it with a Groucho Marks Tash 'n' Specs combo, people will love you for your wacky humour.

Anyhow — glad you're recovered.

jjdebenedictis said...

On one hand, I've had food poisoning and you have my deepest sympathies. It was one of the more horrible experiences of my life.

On the other...

I made it to my respectable age without ever once having been sick to my stomach

...have you really never thrown up before? That's astounding.

Kristan said...

LOL! (a) I'm like you: hardy stomach, never gotten tummy-sick before, and don't really want to. (b) No matter how bad things in my life get, EVERYONE tells me, Hey, at least you can write about it!

:P

Donna Gambale said...

My one and only experience with food poisoning put me in the hospital with two bags of IV fluid because I almost passed out. I consider myself lucky because I also tend to eat questionable food with regularity. (It's like a 15-second rule.)

If I can score an invite to your pity party, I'll bring the week-old dip! (It's still good, I swear.)

Alli said...

creative people have hardship, but they also have material and inspiration

Yes! Next time I have two kids barfing on me in the middle of the night I'll remember that!

Hope you feel better today.

magolla said...

Ugh! Hope you're feeling better. Barfing your guts up drains you of all energy, plus probability of dehydration.

Never got food poisoning, but there was that one time on a cruise when I had too many rum punches, yanno the kind where they float 151 Bacardi on top, add sun and waves--yeah, sweet memories . . .

Crimey said...

As a teenager, I had food poisoning from something served at the high school's cafeteria. I don't wish that on anyone. I'm glad that you're recovering. It's something else, that's for sure.

WendyCinNYC said...

Ick, food poisoning. I still can't stomach a chicken bowl after a bad experience at Teriyaki Boy.

My sympathies.

Charles Gramlich said...

Where one person sees hardship, another sees material! I never quite thought of it that way before.

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

Maybe you should stop digging through the trash for food but then again...another mans trash in another mans treasure.

I hope you feel better...

Kaytie M. Lee said...

I'm regretting the questionable yogurt I just ate.

Dara said...

I'm sorry! Food poisoning is awful. I had a bout of it two years ago...from my birthday dinner :( I was sick for nearly a week.

It's great you were able to put a positive spin on this; not sure that was something I could've ever done :P

Diana said...

I'm sorry you were sick. :(

"Everyone else only has hardship; creative people have hardship, but they also have material and inspiration. " ROFL ... Word

Heidi C. Vlach said...

I'd guess it was the unrefrigerated sandwiches. But I've had coworkers who leave all their food out at room temp for disturbing periods of time and never get sick, so it might be a case of things that don't kill you making you stronger.

Anyway, feel better, and I hope you get a really spectacular scene of a protagonist throwing up out of this experience!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Yeah. I spent 7 hours throwing up every 10 minutes. Not fun. And who knows what caused it really. I've talked to people who have education in that area and have been told that different food poisonings have different timings, so you can't be sure if it was from the last meal or the three before it, unless you go in for testing.

My ex had it worse - high fever and loss of memory of all that time when she was sick. Or maybe that was better.

Glad you're done with your research.

Anonymous said...

It's all fodder for the writer.

Kirstin Cronn-Mills said...

Hardships can always be book chapters.

Hope you feel better!

angelle said...

yeah thats what i try to tell myself. esp if wrong was done to me. "that sucked, but i will get my revenge. u will be in my next novel."

Nadine said...

Ugh, that is no fun!! I've been sick like that and learned that you can keep throwing up long after your stomach is empty.

Hope you are feeling much better!

Bron said...

I'm voting for the marinated chicken as the culprit.

And that is a great way of looking at bad events. I'll just see if I can remember that next time something unpleasant is happening to me!

Michael Reynolds said...

Had the same thing last week. Fun, huh?

Rachel Stark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Stark said...

You are an inspiration to other hardy-stomached editors, like myself, the world over. Although, I suppose this post is mostly inspiring fear in me right now... perhaps my lesson-learning is yet to come? Yikes!

joelle said...

I swear in the 3 seconds when my truck was spinning out of control and debris and another car were flying at me I had a flash of, "Oh, I can use this someday in my writing if I'm not killed."

Kate said...

The last time I was that ill was after having a seven-course dinner in Tokyo. I so clearly remember puking into the high-tech, remote-controlled, heated, ass-washing, singing toilet that I will probably never eat sushi or sashimi again. Never! Even though my fellow diners who ate the same stuff were fine and it turned out I was really just four weeks pregnant with my second child.

writtenwyrdd said...

Ew, poor you! Glad you are feeling better. I also have the cast iron stomach that tends to handle all the stuff that makes everyone else ill. But I have had the flu several times and I also have migraines, which do make one nauseous. So I'm familiar with the process. It actually boggles my mind that you've never been sick to your stomach before. That's pretty amazing, really.

Venus Vaughn said...

Are you, perhaps, friends with The INTERN?
And did she, perhaps, invite you to dinner?

Joe Iriarte said...

Copycat. :p