Last night I almost died. I had (once again) eaten something sketchy, because it was happening. My third go at full-out food poisoning in Europe was underway in our charming cottage.
My first two bouts were in Sicily: one was after a seafood pizza (evidently I was asking for trouble when I ordered a pizza topped with a menagerie of crustaceans), and the other was when I had returned home after being on the mainland for a week. During the time away, my apartment had lost power (again), so the leftover Thanksgiving turkey had thawed out to marinate in its own bacteria before refreezing. Since it was frozen when I returned, I had no idea I was about to partake in some Plymouth Rock Poison.
The first bout shocked me when I realized how many times a person could get sick in one day. So when the second time was happening, I figured I’ll tally up my score. I know, it’s a little bizarre, but it was something to keep my mind occupied and I figured if someone found me passed out in my apartment (I was alone for both experiences), they would see the log and know how much fluid to give me in an IV. You can see the toll such sickness takes on ones capacity for rational thinking.
The final score was 22. That’s right, in 12 or so hours, I got sick 22 times. Now that’s impressive. Evidently it is also unbeatable because I only got to 17 here on our trip. I would like to point out however that 17 is Ted’s lucky number, which I’m taking as a positive sign that I’ll live to see more adventurous meals abroad.
Ted initially thought he was going to be free from the suffering but it struck him as well, just later and his numbers are not near as dramatic. When he realized he hadn’t dodged the Celtic Tiger, he said it was like feeling sorry for me as I was going off to war, only to be tapped on the shoulder by the recruiter telling him he better get suited up.
Lace up, Buttercup.
Good news for Downton Abbey fans though. In Ted’s delirium, he developed several new storylines for the British-based drama (must be the fact that we’re surrounded by people who speak like Tom Branson and that mischievous Miss O’Brian). More to follow…
Somewhere around noon, I started drinking water again – note how my dehydration didn’t slow the tally – and I noticed our water supply was dwindling. I was so thirsty that every time I washed my hands I had to exercise monk-like self control not to stick my mouth directly under the faucet. Fine, I did that once but I was desperate.
When we got a knock on the door but didn’t get to it in time because they had left, I made a phone call to the reception. Turns out, it was Jer, the manager who was just checking in. The office is 20 minutes away and the nearest town is 10 minutes away, so there was no way we were easily going to get more water. Brenda, the absolute dear of a woman at the reception, said Jer would be happy to bring us some.
He also brought us some Motilium, which is a medication that helps with an upset stomach, and Brenda recommended 7-Up in addition to our sparkling water. Evidently, Irish doctors recommend you open it up to let it go flat, as flat 7-Up is best to sooth our stomachs.
It’s interesting the different remedies you’ll find in foreign places. In Italy it was olive oil for everything (from dry skin to sticky locks), and evidently in Ireland, it’s flat 7-up for an upset stomach.
Here’s to hoping that the lemon-lime goodness works because we’re boarding a transatlantic flight in 36 hours…