Friday, February 22, 2008

An Unpleasant Post About Diarrhoea

What did I get for my birthday? Fucking food poisoning. Other stuff too (nicer stuff) but I reckon the cholera's the one I'll remember.

Having spent yesterday evening in the hospital with Crash Grandadicoot (who serenaded me with Happy Birthday again and demanded that I return the gift he gave me - a jewelled purse - so that he could check that Nana had hanseled* it as she was supposed to) I then went out for dinner with my family (sans my dad, who's off earning our collective keeps in Delhi this week). I came home in good form, packed my bag for today's trip to Galway and hopped into bed, thinking that 27 might not be so bad after all.

I woke up about an hour later, thought "uh oh..." and sprinted for the bathroom, where I spent a happy half hour puking my ring up.

Rinse. Repeat. Ad nauseum until at 4am I woke up on the bathroom floor, having keeled over with the effort of all that projectile vomiting (though it is possible that in my delirious state I had simply decided that it might be easier to sleep there).

I hate being sick. Everybody does. But food poisoning sends me into a bit of a panic, and with good reason. Thankfully I'm now feeling about a gazillion times better than I did this morning but every tummy upset brings the memory of that time flooding back.

Some years ago I was visiting a friend in Trier in Germany. I was booked on the last flight home from Brussels and as I was traveling by train I thought it might be nice to go via Luxembourg, for a quick goo at the place in case I should ever decide to take up one of those translation posts that the government seem to be having such trouble filling. However, the combined effects of a crippling hangover, a bank holiday timetable and a short short span of attention saw me on a train to Saarbrucken instead, and I missed my flight. I headed back to Aachen, where another friend was stationed and where I'd be conveniently close to Charleroi and a cheap flight home. Alas, the baggage handlers in Dublin chose that weekend to strike and there were no flights in or out of the city. I was broke, I needed to get back to college, I'd had enough sauerkraut and schnitzel. Half an hour in an internet café in Cologne and I was booked on a flight from Amsterdam to Belfast - a roundabout way to get from the German-Belgian border back to Dublin but it seemed like the most sensible option at the time. Pissed off, my friend and I went out for a consolation pizza that night. Man, did we live to regret it. Within two hours we had a rota system going for the bathroom, with buckets on standby for emergencies. It'll pass, I thought. Just get home.

So the following day I got a train to the 'Dam, then a plane to Belfast, then a train to Dundalk, then a bus to Dublin, then a lift home to Naas from Dublin via Maynooth. With chronic vomiting and diarrhoea. After a few days at home with no sign of improvement, the doctor was called out to the house. She took some bloods to send off for analysis and two days after that, the hopsickle called to see if I'd like to come in so that they could put me on a drip. It seems that someone in the pizza parlour may not have washed their hands, and we'd caught some form of this. The health board called a day or two later looking for details of where I might have picked it up and cautioning me against contact with small children or the elderly lest I should pass the bacteria on, as apparently it can lead to paralysis and blindness. I spent the next three weeks licking every pensioner that crossed my path, determined to make good use of my superpower.

Nah, I spent the next three weeks crawling from bed to couch and back again, swearing to live a better life if only the diarrhoea would cease for long enough for me to leave the house. Fun times, and pleasant memories to mull over on this, the first day of my 27th year.

*Handselled? I'm not sure of the correct spelling. When you give a gift of a purse, wallet, piggybank, handbag or anything traditionally used to keep money in it is bad luck for it to be empty. You need to include a nominal sum of money to make sure that it will never be empty again.


red said...

A belated happy birthday to your goodself.

Primal Sneeze said...

My auld lad hanseled us on New Year's Day, "so we'd have money throughout the whole year". It was 1/365th successful.

ps. Wish I was 27.

Annie said...


Happy Birthday, you young thing you.

backpedalbrakes said...

Happy birthday and I hope you are better for tomorrow, the two boyos are pure mental... enjoy!

Conn said...

Is maith liom a chlos go bhfuil tú ag brath níos fearr. An é Tóstal na Gaeilge an chúis go rabhais ag dul go Gaillimh? An ndeachaigh tú sa deireadh?

Bhíos féin le bheith ann inniu - ach bhí 2 oíche gan chodladh agam an tseachtain seo agus ní raibh aon mhaith ionam sa deireadh!

prenderghast said...

That was a nasty experience, Rosie. Perhaps the perpetrators got the idea from here warning, not to be read while eating).

Rosie said...

thank you for the berfday wishes, ladies. i am feeling about 120% better today and am planning on painting the town red tonight and feeling about 90% worse for it tomorrow morning.

nice tradition, Primal.

bhí mé in ainm is a bheith ag an tóstal alright, Conn, súil agam nár chaill mé amach ar rud ar bith róshuimúil.

Prender - ew.

nuttycow said...

Glad you're feeling better. Hope you had a good time out this weekend and managed to avoid all the mad Scotsmen who descended on Dublin this weekend!

Rosie said...

who on earth would want to avoid scotsmen?

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