You know how sometimes you wish for something others have even though you know it’s not necessarily a good thing, you still wish you could have it? Well, I used to wish for food poisoning. Stupid, I know but I quite fancied the idea of quick weight loss with minimum effort. I used to envy friends with a weak constitution and delicate tummy. Their propensity to be affected and plagued by food poisoning was something I wished my strong-as-an-ox tummy would adopt. We would all eat the same things only for them to later tell me that they’d been sick while I would have not so much as had a twinge. Admittedly, I usually took pride in my food poisoning-resistant constitution but every now and again wished that I, too, could have the ‘pleasure’ of the experience and consequent weight loss.
However, that fanciful and foolish pining was before I became intimate with the reality and horror that is food poisoning. The griping spasms and stomach cramps; the churning and turning, gurgling and bubbling, my stomach erupting with gases and finally ejecting its contents. That was before I found myself an unwitting participant in a sprint to the the loo every few minutes, dreading what led me there but welcoming the respite and relief I found there. It was before I could determine which end to stick down the toilet bowl as the force of the volcanic eruption threatened to come out from both head and tail. That was before nausea roiled around my abdomen like tidal waves crashing against the shores of my stomach walls causing debilitating pain. That was before even fluids couldn’t find a home in my intestines for more than a few minutes before being tossed out. My body mimicked a straw, whatever went in one end came out the other so even though it was the one thing that could help, I was loath to drink fluids. That uninformed envy of food poisoning sufferers was before all of the above left me dizzy and weak.
What trauma my poor body went through attempting to evict the foreign body, the illegal alien that brought such discomfort. The battle so fierce, white blood cells unleashing antibodies to squash the life out of the offending bacteria. As they battled it out, my body was left so weak from the effort. It felt like my insides had been put through a fast spin cycle.
You would think the fact that this condition has ‘poison’ in its name should have been a dead giveaway as to the severity of its nature but no, that flew right over my head. Perhaps if I had paid more attention in my Health Science classes instead of reading a novel hidden between the pages of my text book, I might have understood how debilitating this affliction truly is. Alas, I paid the price for my refusal to pick up the not-so-subtle signals.
As my body battles to rid itself of the vestiges of this vile intruder, I am so thankful to be on the road to recovery. Needless to say, I now know better to be careful what I wish for as I just might get it.