STILL ON THE MEND

This has been by far the worst experience of food poisoning I’ve ever had. Not that there are times when food poisoning can be pleasant but this latest bout is still refusing to completely go away. With previous experiences, the transition between feeling ill to feeling health again was very short. I could be on the toilet liquidating my assets and then two hours later, I’d be ready to eat solids again. In fact, the last time I had food poisoning, my first solid meal consisted of 15 chicken wings from Hooter’s. They tasted great and I didn’t even feel a thing.

Unfortunately, my recovery has taken a slower pace this time around. Though I’m no longer vomit-y or diarrhea-y, I still haven’t regained my full appetite. I can only eat very small amounts before I feel slightly nauseous again. I don’t feel very hungry at the usual times when I know I should be starving. The weird thing is, part of my brain is craving certain foods now, like pho and fried chicken. So while I don’t physically feel hungry, part of me thinks certain foods would really hit the spot right now. The fortunate thing is that I can now drink liquids without any side effects. I think I may have been severely depleted of fluids because I was drinking a lot of water today at work and I only had to pee once.

The other thing I have noticed is that I believe I look thinner, at least in the face area. I technically had my last full meal on Saturday evening. I barfed up almost all of what I ate on Sunday. Didn’t eat anything solid from Sunday night on until Tuesday. Since Tuesday, I’ve eaten perhaps 20% of what I usually eat since I’m still nauseous and don’t have my old appetite back. Food poisoning is a terrible way to lose weight but I’ll take whatever positives I can get from this.

TO THE BRINK AND BACK

My loyal readers, I have seen and experienced things in the last 48 hours that no person should have. Like I mentioned in my last post, I once again fell victim to food poisoning. The last time I got food poisoning was just over six years ago and I tell you, it doesn’t get any easier.

On Sunday night, I patronized two fairly expensive food-serving establishments, one for appetizers and then the other for dinner. I had seafood at both places. At the moment, I can’t rule out one or the other as to the cause of my distress. What I do know is that less than two hours after eating, I started to feel extremely nauseous and tired. It was to the point where all I could do was just put my head down on my desk and just rest. I just thought that maybe I was dehydrated since I hadn’t had a lot of water that day and I had three drinks during the course of the evening.

I began to sip water but the nauseous feeling didn’t go away. Drinking water actually made me feel more uncomfortable and increased this feeling of tightness in my upper chest. Only through burping did the tightness subside a bit. As my discomfort continued without any sign of resolution, I began to realize that I may just have to vomit. Now for me, that’s a pretty significant decision to make. I’m in the Seinfeld camp on this one, I try to vomit as little as possible in my life. I’ll take diarrhea over vomit any day (and I would get my wish later). Puking is a such a terrible thing to go through. Your body is trying to expel material out of your body in the opposite direction that it’s supposed to be going. At least with diarrhea, as bad as it might be, it’s still going the right way.

Alas, as much as I hate throwing up, I knew that it would be the right thing to do. I gingerly stumbled over to the toilet bowl and awaited my fate. It didn’t take long for me to get started. The first heave wasn’t anything more than a large burp. Then it started in earnest. It was full on, uncontrollable, violent, projectile vomit. It came out forceful and with a fury that surprised me. I had vomit coming out of my nostrils. I distinctly remember feeling two streams of puke coming of out my nose. I would guess more of it came out of nose than my mouth. And that was just the first volley.

I was a mess already by this point. I was dripping puke from my nose and mouth. My sinuses and throat burned from the stomach acid that been brought up. I felt the urge to puke again and rather than suppress it (which I really wanted to) I thought it would be better to just get it all out. I steeled myself for a second and then threw up again. When you puke, you make this sound that I can’t explain why your body does that. In any case, it’s awful sound to make and an even more awful sound to hear. I made that sound and once again, my nostril dripped with puke once more. This time around, my eyes began to sting. I quickly realized I’d puked with such force the stomach acid had gotten up to where your tear ducts usually drain into your throat, except it’d gone the opposite way. So here I was, dripping from different orifices and my throat and eyes burning from acid.

I threw up once more before deciding my body was done with puking (I was wrong). I cleaned myself up as much as I could. Removing puke from my nostrils was a first for me and it’s one of more disgusting things I’ve had to do. The tissue paper came out with this light brown-beige colour and it was surprisingly light on chunks. I then put water on my eyes and tried to blink the burning away. I did feel somewhat better, but by now I was getting muscle aches and I was getting chilly.

I decided to crawl into bed and sit upright with a glass of water. Every time I drank some water though, I’d get that feeling of tightness in my chest again that only seem to be relieved by burping. I’d also get very hot all of sudden, then sweat, and feel better, all in a span of less than five minutes. I didn’t sleep much that night, awaking every hour or so to sip water. It was here that I faced a dilemma, I began to get very thirsty but drinking water made me feel very uncomfortable as I described above. I knew I had to keep drinking water as dehydration was something I wanted to avoid. I managed to only drink perhaps a glass of water the entire night.

I got up around 8am on Monday to e-mail work that I was in no condition to come in. My nausea had returned somewhat and now, for whatever reason, I had developed pain in my lower back. It was in two places, symmetrically opposed, underneath both my kidneys. It began to hurt like a sumbitch. I was still really thirsty, so I tried to drink some more water but the whole nausea and sweats really made it difficult. I was also extremely fatigued at this point. I decided to go back to bed for a few more hours.

I think I got up around 1pm. At this point, I was feeling really thirsty, nauseous, fatigued, and had that debilitating back pain that came out of nowhere. I decided I had to go see a doctor because I was getting worried. It took me about half an hour to muster up the strength to get changed. Luckily, a walk-in clinic is literally less than 200 meters from my apartment building. It would take all my strength to get there. I walked very slowly to the clinic because I couldn’t walk any faster. My back stung from whatever was causing it to flare up.

To my benefit, the wait wasn’t very long to see the doctor. I must have looked like a mess while I was in waiting room. I had to slouch slightly in my chair since that alleviated my back pain somewhat. Soon enough, my name was called and I was shown into the exam room. A doctor that I’d never seen before came in. I explained to him my symptoms. He looked into both my ears and then got me to lie down. He pressed along my lower abdomen and asked if I felt any pain. I did not.

He diagnosed me with food poisoning. He gave me a sample of a stomach acid inhibitor and then told me to go buy some Immodium. I asked him why my lower back was hurting. He said it was because my bowel was distended. Nice. The doctor also told me to come back if things hadn’t improved by Wednesday morning. I thanked him for his time and then left.

As close as the walk-in clinic is, a pharmacy is even closer to my apartment building. It was there that I picked up the Immodium. Once I returned home, my nausea began to ramp up to levels that could not be ignored. I didn’t even make to the bowl and had to settle for the bathroom sink. It was the same violent and nasty projectile vomiting that I had earlier. Light brown-beige material came out of my nose and mouth. I must have had five to six good volleys of puke. I was shocked by the amount of liquid I was throwing up. I didn’t even know I could store that much in my body. At one point, I looked up into the mirror and saw something weird sticking out of one of my nostrils. I picked it out. It was a long, stringy and surprisingly intact portion of a green bean. I was pulling partially digested food out of my nose now.

The great thing about vomiting though was that it made my back pain go away. I’m still not sure what the connection was but sure was a blessing in disguise. I immediately took the Immodium and stomach acid inhibitor that the doctor prescribed. A few hours, I vomited again.

By the beginning of the evening, I no longer felt like vomiting but that’s when the diarrhea began in earnest. It was watery and it was frequent. Even the tiniest sip of water was disagreeable to my bowels. If I drank 10 ml of water, I’d lose 50 ml of liquid out of my butt. It went on like this for most of the evening. I was once again concerned about becoming dehydrated as I was surprised at how much fluid I was losing out of my bottom end. I’d be sitting on the toilet and asking myself where was all that coming from?

At around 4am I decided that the Immodium I was taking wasn’t working. I had some Pepto available as well so I gave that a try. I’m not sure if Pepto should get all the credit but the diarrhea got considerably better after that. I was able to sleep uninterrupted until about 9am Tuesday morning. When I woke up, I was still feeling pretty tired and wasn’t sure about my diarrhea status, so I called in sick again. At this point, I hadn’t eaten anything since Sunday night, a period of about 36 hours without any food. I detected the slightest bit of hunger, so I rolled the dice and ate a granola bar. After nervously waiting an hour, I felt neither the desire to throw up nor pee out of my butt. I was also able to drink fluids again without losing them right afterwards.

I spent the rest of the day answering work e-mails and then napping. I’m no longer nauseous, the diarrhea has stopped, and the back pain has gone away. I think I can go to work tomorrow.

No amount of words or watery, vomity prose can fully describe what I went through in the last 48 hours. It was a terrible situation, not because of one particular symptom, but all of them combined to act together to send me into a misery that was equal to, if not worse than the last time I had food poisoning.

I hope that none of you experience even a fraction of what I had to go through.

DADDY IS REALLY SICK

I came down with a bad case of food poisoning late Sunday night. I’ve vomited more in the last 24 hours than all my years combined. It’s gross.

I’m extremely weak but the doc gave me some stuff that will hopefully take care of things.

PRO-TIP

It took me a little while to figure out a problem I was having with Windows Live Messenger today. In the interest of perhaps saving people some time if they have the same problem, I’ll list here the simple solution I found.

A small minority of people who are using Windows Live Messenger signed up using a non-Microsoft e-mail address. I am one of those people. I originally used a free, web-based e-mail account to signed up for what was then called MSN Messenger. This was back in 2001. Since then, the free e-mail service was discontinued. For years, my Messenger account was associated with a non-working e-mail address. People would try to send me e-mail via my Messenger account and I would never get it. Actually, it’s kind of silly for them to try to send me e-mail that way, everyone knows what my preferred e-mail address is.

Anyways, if you want to change the e-mail address that is associated with your Messenger account, follow these steps:

  1. Don’t bother using the Windows Live Messenger application. Just to be safe, sign out of Messenger while you do this.
  2. Point your browser towards http://accounts.live.com.
  3. In the Windows ID field, enter in the e-mail address associated with your Messenger account, the password is your Messenger password
  4. Once logged in, you should see all sorts of interesting stats about your account
  5. Click “change” next to the Windows Live ID field
  6. Follow the instructions presented on-screen

You can choose to change the e-mail address to any address you want. It will take at least an hour, if not more, for the change over to occur. Your Messenger contacts will most likely need to sign out and sign back in to see the modified account.

And that’s how babies are made.

STUFF

Here are a list of random things going through my head right now:

  • I’m thirsty and this water is delicious
  • Walking up the stairs to my apartment on the 28th floor is good exercise but I can sure feel the burn in my legs
  • There is too much road paving going on in my community, every street is down to one lane
  • I haven’t been home enough to be able to eat all the food in my fridge and now I gotta throw some stuff out
  • I can’t figure out how to change my e-mail address associated with my Windows Live Messenger account
  • I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow

Thanks for playing along!

HIGH EXPECTATIONS ASIAN FATHER

I enjoy a good Internet meme just like people did in the 1930s. One of my favourites is “High Expectations Asian Father“. The meme is a play on the stereotypical Asian parent and their attitudes towards their children regarding grades, food, finances, and many other topics. The meme is way more hilarious if you’re a child of Asian parents who immigrated to another country to start a new life (which I am). Nonetheless, even if you’re not Asian, I hope you find a few of them amusing.

DID YOU KNOW?

Wow, I’m really writing a lot of these “Did You Know?” posts lately.

Did you know that when I was a kid, my dentist briefly discussed with my parents about getting braces for my front teeth? When I was younger, my two front teeth grew in large and in charge. They didn’t stick out too much but it was still noticeable. They were my adult teeth and unfortunately, I still had child-sized facial features. These massive choppers were hard to miss compared to the rest of my teeth that hadn’t been replaced yet. Combine that with my smaller head (yeah hard to believe my head was once smaller) and you had a freaky combo. It looked like I was ready to gnaw on a redwood tree and take it down in minutes.

In the end, it was decided I would not get braces, for several reasons. First, my parents were of modest means. They could have afforded it but it wouldn’t have been easy on the budget. Second, my two front teeth didn’t stick out that badly, it just looked kinda bad. Third, I personally didn’t want to endure all that metal in my mouth with the headgear and crap.

It turned out to be a good decision to forgo the braces. The rest of my teeth and head caught up to my two front teeth. It’s not perfectly aligned but once my other teeth came in and my head grew to a ridiculously large size, everything looked a lot better.

A REAL NEIGHBOURHOOD NOW

While construction continues on a large retail complex at the base of my apartment, tenants are just filling up the last spots in a revamped commercial area less than a block from where I live. The latest two tenants are Subway and Starbucks. I visited the Subway on Saturday. It one of the nicer Subway outlets I’ve seen. It’s got real tables and chairs as opposed to the booths you see in some of the older locations. Some tables had black leather armchairs which is something I had not seen before in a Subway.

Previously, the closest Starbucks to me was about a seven to ten minute walk from my apartment. I can now see this new Starbucks from my apartment balcony. There’s always slightly more fanfare when a Starbucks opens up compared to other food outlets. It’s as if it signals to the world that that particular area was deemed good enough to support expensive coffee-based drinks. I also fully expect Starbucks to open up a location within the retail complex below me when it is completed in the spring.

Now if only I could get a combo Taco Bell / KFC close by…

FELONY STOP

I was going to write about how interesting it is when coworkers discover my blog but that post will have to wait for another day.

I just finished showering when I happened to look out from my balcony and saw at least three police cars with lights on about two blocks away from my apartment. The police cars were stopped and they had pulled over a white SUV. I quickly grabbed my binoculars and looked on intently. I realized that I had missed the beginning of the action as all the doors of the SUV were already wide open and they were several police officers gathered behind their vehicles with their guns drawn.

I could hear a woman’s voice faintly yelling out instructions to whoever was still in the white SUV. After a few tense moments, a teenage male in a t-shirt stepped out of the SUV with hands raised. They made him walk back towards the police cars. Once he reached the officers, I couldn’t tell what they were doing to him, as it was dark. Then brought another dude out of the SUV. Once this guy got close to the officers, they made the dude get on his hands and knees and crawl the rest of the towards them. Awesome! 🙂

It was then I noticed there were two K-9 units on scene. At least I think I saw two dogs. One dog was released by his or her handler and it jumped into the SUV through one of the back doors. It didn’t spend a lot of time in there before jumping back out and running back to its handler.

Now during all of this, I had noticed one person that stood out in this whole situation. There was this woman with what looked to be blond hair, a light coloured hoodie of sorts, and dark capri pants who seemed to be quite close to the action. In fact, she was standing pretty close to the uniformed officers. She seemed like a civilian to me, so I thought maybe the cops were using her to identify the people in the SUV. I didn’t realize until the dog came back out of the SUV that this woman was actually holding a weapon and was a police officer as well. With the dog giving the SUV a once-over, mystery officer and some other uniformed police cautiously approached the SUV with weapons still drawn. They cleared the SUV and everyone seemed much more relaxed after that.

It’s been fifteen minutes since that happened and most of the police have gone. The SUV is still there but I bet it’s gonna get towed away pretty soon.

If you’re interested, read about the time I got pulled over by the cops when I was in grad school.

DID YOU KNOW?

Welcome to another edition of “Did You Know?”!!!

Did you know that only female members of mosquito species seek out a blood meal? Did you also know that mosquitoes can feed on nectar and other sugars? It’s true!

Female mosquitoes usually require a blood meal to procure the necessary proteins and iron to develop their eggs. So if you’ve ever been bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito was female and is going to lay her eggs very soon.