Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Death by bread mold

Warning: Don't read this while eating.

The last 16 hours have been wretched.

About 5 pm yesterday, I started to feel a little off. I felt warm and uncomfortable. A biologically urgent detour to the men's room made me miss the 5:55 ferry. I eventually left work and walked very deliberately to the Muni stop. I passed a friend and classmate who told me I looked to be in a daze. I sat on the seat at the Muni stop, starting to shiver.

A train came and dropped me a few blocks closer to the ferry terminal. Walking to the terminal, I felt the need to stop for a moment on a bench. I put my head in my hands and waited for the weakness to subside. I told myself I only needed to make it home.

I got a seat on the ferry that would let me get up should I need to. About 5 minutes into the trip, I felt the need to get up.

The ferry bathroom is not vile, but not nice. Floor is some sand-paper-like black grip strip material. There's one lock-able door into the bathroom that has two stalls. Toilets look like the little outhouse toilets.

I got in the bathroom, locked the door, entered a stall. I could tell this was going to be terrible. My body was going into full blown "Every body out! Use both exits!" mode. I managed to get my ass on the can in time. "Violent" would be a good word. After a few bouts, I found myself half slumped off the can, feeling my stomach begin to churn. And then my body decided to crank the thermostat to "incomprehensibly warm". In my current state, I tried to unbutton some buttons on my shirt to get cool. In my frenzy to get cool, I ended up taking my shirt entirely off.

There I am, shirtless, pants around my ankles, slumped in a heap, praying I don't pass out and get found in my current state. Hoping that my body's two "exits" at least have the coutesy of taking turns such that I'm not stuck in some kind of Sophie's choice dilemma of which substance gets the toilet and which gets the bathroom floor.

Then the moments of knowing what was to come and wanting it to just hurry up and get over with. Knowing I'll feel better once I hurl, and just wanting it to happen. Eventually it happened. And there's that pre-flush moment of doing the forensics. "Is that my breakfast or my lunch?"

I don't know the physiology of how one's body can do that, and I don't know if abdominal muscles are involved, but I puked so hard I got a headache.

Eventually it was over. I scraped myself off the restroom floor, found my shirt, put it back on, looked at myself in the mirror to be sure I wasn't in awful shape, and then unlocked the door and staggered back out to my seat.

The rest of my night was more of the same. I'm staying home from work, now that the worst is behind me. I feel like I lost 8 pounds in about 4 hours. My body' s still not processing things well.
The culprit? My best guess is the PB&J I ate around 3:30 had bread that was starting to turn. The symptoms came on shortly after that, and there's nothing else that really could have been responsible. Needless to say, I won't be craving peanut butter for a long time.