About six weeks ago, I had the worst bout of food poisoning I've ever experienced. It knocked me out for several days, and during the worst of it, I thought I was dying. When I finally began feeling better, there was such a sense of relief, but I was very careful about what I ate for much of the following few weeks. Then, of course, I went back to my poor eating habits.
Yesterday, my good friend and prayer brother, Rick, joined me for lunch. We had much to discuss, as we've had a lot in recent weeks to be thankful for. The Lord is good, all the time. Anyway, we met at Shake Shack, at the Mall in Columbia. My only other experience with Shake Shack, a few months ago, wasn't great, but I'll chalk it up to the time of day (the height of mealtime) and growing pains (they had only been open a few weeks at the time). Rick has a lot more experience with Shake Shack, having visited the New York City location, as well as one in DC, and following his guidance, I figured our visit could only be better.
We met at 11:30, beating the lunch crowd, and easily found a table while we waited for our food. I got the Shack Stack, which is a combination cheeseburger and 'shroom burger, a side of fries, and an iced tea. Health-conscious Rick got the burger sans the bun, and his looked like a head of lettuce with a burger in the middle. Mine was good, but very rich, and, in hindsight, was likely too rich for me based on my recent diet.
Daughter Melody and I tend to get a little lazy with meal preparation. It's just the two of us, and I hate to cook, so we go out to eat often. We went to Red Robin on Friday, Bertucci's on Wednesday, and Double T on Monday. I don't always make smart choices with my menu selections. Even though we go out to eat a lot, I still treat these experiences like special occasions, meaning I'm not going to get just anything to eat. Given my health issues, I really need to be smarter about what I'm eating, though.
Rick and I were sharing recent happenings when I broke out into a cold sweat. Nausea took over from there, and I was rapidly becoming sick. I know the signs, and given the food poisoning experience of six weeks prior, I did not want a repeat. I explained to Rick what was happening, and assured him it had nothing to do with his job-search story (really, Rick, I was legitimately feeling sick... :-)), I excused myself to run to the rest room. Unfortunately, the single stall was occupied, so I just kept breathing deeply, splashed some water on my face, and kept my bearings. I returned to Rick and apologized, that I really needed to get home. I was so paranoid about food poisoning and my last experience, and I really didn't want to go through that again. He was more than understanding, and I hope we can get together again soon.
The cold air outside the restaurant helped a bit, and I rushed back to my Jeep. I had been fighting the urge to vomit up to that point, and I wanted to make sure I was going to be able to drive and not throw up all over my steering wheel. I called Melody to let her know I was returning home and why, and I started the 15 minute drive back home.
As I neared our neighborhood, another wave of severe nausea came over me, and I weighed whether I should just pull over, or continue driving because I was so close to home. I kept driving, and I made it to our house. I jumped out of the Jeep, and I knew I wouldn't make it. I ran over to our front bushes and lost my lunch, along with everything else that was still resting inside my belly. It became awkward when neighbors on either side happened to come out just as I was heaving, and so there was plenty of concern. I assured them that I was okay, and I was able to get inside.
I ran to my room, stripped off my jeans and sweatshirt, and again threw up just as I got to the toilet. Shortly, having felt like I had survived another round of nausea, I emptied a trash can, put on my sweats, and collapsed on my bed. Melody checked on me, and I told her I just needed to rest. Then I fell asleep for two hours. During my restless slumber, my wonderful daughter had lined my trash can with a plastic bag, and brought me a cup of ice water. She's awesome. Rick, too, had checked in on me, sending me a text to find out how I was doing. He's awesome, too.
I slept on and off for the rest of the day. I only got out of bed to use the bathroom. I didn't throw up again, fortunately, and I still don't know what set off this latest round of illness. I just know it was a wake up call, of sorts. I need to stop eating so indiscriminately, and make better, more health-conscious choices when I'm out. Another possibility is that I was suffering from dehydration. I had worked out earlier that morning on our exercise bike, and perhaps I didn't drink enough water before or after. I just don't know.
After tossing and turning all night, Faithful Pup Scout had enough and woke me up at 7am this morning. I'm hesitant to eat anything, but I'm drinking plenty and am functioning. I'm not feeling any nausea, and that's a bonus. Even during the night, I wasn't entirely comfortable. A week of fasting may be what I need.
Sorry, Rick. We'll catch up again soon. Thanks for checking in on me.
Melody, thank you so much for caring for me. You have such a caring heart.
Have a great day, everyone.