Saturday, April 09, 2011

What to expect when you're expectorating

Warning! This blog entry features talk of bodily functions. Ye be warned.

Every now and again, I treat myself to a McDonald's breakfast. Of course, when I say 'treat', I really mean 'resort', since those occasions tend to coincide with those mornings when my stomach is grumbling and I've neglected my shopping duties to a point where my cupboard is bare.

This past Tuesday was one of these occurrences, so I decided to avail of a Sausage N'Egg McMuffin:


My stomach was somewhat tumultuous a few hours later, but I ignored it and got on with my day. Dinnertime came and went, but I felt no hunger, just a general sense of lethargy. After sitting in a stupor for an hour or so, I finally got a jolt of energy - to evacuate some explosive diarrhoea.

From about 8pm until 3am, I took up residence in the lavatory, emptying the contents of my irascible stomach and bowels in the order of whichever seemed less patient, often 'hotswapping' from one end to the other within seconds of each other.

How bad could it be? Well, my knees were red and chafed from pulling my pants down so often, which was unpleasant. As I lacked the energy to move my carcass between bouts of expurgation, I had a few minutes to kill. I would have caught up on my RSS feeds, but my HTC Desire's battery failed after serving a few webpages. I would have read Michael Shermer's excellent 'Mind of the Market' on my Kindle, but I was afraid of besmirching it with one of my many torrents of bodily effluvia. In the end I decided that my iPod touch was the least prized gadget in my arsenal, so it would keep me company.

Once my guts were well and truly spilled, I was still retching up tiny specks of blood, so I quaffed some water so I'd have something to emit, which worked out splendidly. Since I had my iPod, I was able to see what advice and consolation the internet had to offer.

Sites generally agreed on the basics - keep hydrated, restore electrolytes, and gradually return to a bland diet "such as rice, bread, potatoes and milk" [HealthScout], but some sites offered 'quick remedies' that sounded compelling:

First, stop eating all solid foods. Drink plenty of purified water
Then, take one or more of these:
  • NCD - Zeolites;
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV);
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract;
  • Garlic;
  • Coloidal Silver;
  • Goldenseal Root.
Finally, replace lost electrolytes: young coconut water is excellent for this. If you don't have this. You might add a little sea salt or himalayan salt to your drinking water. [TheBestOfRawFood]

Other 'quick' remedies included 10-step programmes involved mixing lemon juice and garlic with esoteric herbs and spices, then ingesting and rubbing them onto the stomach. One advises that you should "Eat some bread", because "Bread has a tendency to soak up the poison" [FatFreeKitchen].

Compelling though these quick-fixes were, I thought it best to stick to the less insane-sounding advice, and focused on a diet of bananas, yoghurt and toast. After subsisting on a diet not too dissimilar to my 18 month old nephew's, my next bowel movement was unsurprisingly not too dissimilar to one of my 18 month old nephew's; a formless green sludge that will haunt my dreams for aeons to come.

It's only been three full days since that harrowing night, and I'm still recovering. The thoughts of fried food causes such revulsion that I felt nauseous when I caught a whiff of some fries earlier. A modest feed of scrambled-egg on toast prompts that 'food-coma' feeling typically associated with Christmas dinners, and I've a somewhat irrational fear of McDonald's restaurants. I've surely eaten at McDonald's hundreds of times (at least a dozen times at my local chain) with no ill-effect to my health, but much like the last food-poisoning incident left me hesitant to eat chicken and pesto paninis, my girlfriend will be delighted to hear that the notion of getting anything from McDonald's is making me queasy.

To end on a note of failure: I failed to last three years since the last time I vomited - which was also the last time I suffered through food-poisoning. Maybe I should start eating at more upscale restaurants?

1 comment:

Primateus said...

Sounds rough. You'll probably be averse to fast food for a pretty long time now. Tis nature's way of saying "Don't ingest stuff that makes you expectorate green sludge from your anus."