You know, a low-level sense of worry ran through me late last night shortly after finishing my post. I was drinking a glass of water before heading to bed, and realized that my stomach was a little upset. And it kind of tasted like oysters.
On the other hand, I’d eaten them over eight hours earlier. And followed them up with a rice and chicken dinner. What could possibly go wrong???
Well, it turns out a lot.
As I lay there in the wee hours tossing and turning and watching my five hours of sleep tick away to four, three, two, and then one, I realized I didn’t feel right. And I started doing the math on the probable timeline for food poisoning. And it wasn’t a slam dunk that my ocean snack was the culprit, but it wasn’t looking good.
First I was too hot and then too cold. I had the chills. I couldn’t get comfortable. My head hurt. My stomach felt super bloated. And there were some unfortunate gurgling sounds coming from it. And the words to The Real Slim Shady would not stop running through my mind, “And would the real Shady please stand up. And put one of the fingers on each hand up. And be proud to be out of your mind and out of control and one more time as loud as you can and how does it go….”
Around 2:30 am, (“Feminist women love Eminem. ‘Slim Shady, I’m sick of him…’”) a low grade panic set in.
And at 3:00 am (And there’s a million of us just like me, who dress like me, walk, talk, and act like me) I took an antacid (wishful thinking) and a melatonin (hoping to sleep at least a little bit – probably more wishful thinking).
And by 3:30 am (“Cause I’m Slim Shady, yes I’m the real Shady. All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating…”), I caved and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. It could be a flu or a 24-hour bug, but it also could be something I ate. So I went and took some activated charcoal (which is amazing stuff that sucks up everything in your intestines. Including prescriptions and the pills I’d just taken, which is why I hesitated at first).
And then I lay there watching a mental ‘bad trip montage’ like in a movie, with the word “OY-STERS” repeating to the tune of Slim Shady and images of them on the half shell and the startling memory of the one that had the small hole in the shell that didn’t go all the way through, but honestly only had a thin mother of pearl-esque barrier between it and the outside world, and a growing concern that the day ahead was going to be very long and very lame indeed.
Food poisoning sucks.
Food poisoning while on three separate flights to get to the other side of the country would probably really, really, REALLY suck.
So, to move the story along, things were wild and wooly for a few hours there, including some lengthy and violent bouts of the infamous “I’m about to toss my cookies” cough.
And I took another dose of activated charcoal before leaving for the airport.
And then I almost barfed in the car on the way to the airport.
But I didn’t.
And now it’s 8:00 am, and I’m on my first flight, and I’ve (so far) kept down the bowl of Cheerios they’ve given me and the charcoal has been confirmed as having made it completely through my system, and gratefully I am en route to a state where it’s probably going to be hard to get my hands on any oysters, and I honestly will not be looking.
At least until the memory fades a little bit.
Crisis seemingly averted.
Presence of barf bag in seat pocket in front of me confirmed.
Pants re-buttoned and no longer causing boa constrictor-like crushing pain.
I think I’m going to make it through this one unscathed.
For the moment, anyway.