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An unwanted day off work

Yesterday, I went to a nearby vide grenier in the morning. By and large, I felt good. Having only bought one thing, and since I was partway to Châteaubriant, I decided to pop down for a burger.

Came back, fiddled with my purchase, then put the burger in the microwave as I have done a dozen times before, and the Chicken Louisiana Wrap into the fridge for later.
I ate the burger while editing the video that I uploaded yesterday.

It started to warm up, so I washed my car (remove all the pidgeon poop) and gave the insides a quick pass with the rubbishy toy vacuum cleaner. It was touching 29°C and off the scale humid.

It cooled a little and the sky was leaden with thunderstorms, so I took Anna for a walk around the house and fed her. I hadn't even made it to the house when the rain came. I lot of hard rain that barely penetrated.

A thunderstorm passed over, so I milled around doing stuff waiting for the sky to clear up. Eventually it did so.

I opened a bottle of Andros lemon juice and had two small cups of it - nicely refreshing - and then went and lay on my bed to watch Hollow Man on Netflix.

I had been planning to watch Finding Ohana afterwards. I wasn't in the mood for anything deep, so something inspired by The Goonies sounded about right.

I never got that far. My tummy felt odd. So I got up to pee, figuring not getting up earlier because I wanted to finish the movie might have been the issue. No big.

That... wasn't the issue.

My lower gut felt like I was trying to tear itself out of my body. Mom once described the pain of this as "worse than childbirth". Since that's not something I'm ever going to experience, I'll have to take her word for it.

So I was expecting, you know, little brown projectiles.

I wasn't expecting it to pour out the inlet.
Twelve freaking times, in all.


I don't think I've ever puked so much in my life. And, honestly, I have no idea where it came from after about the fourth or fifth go.

Then the brown started. Which I was glad of, because the intestinal pain was not something I could measure. I mean, you know how people tell you to evaluate pain on a scale of one to ten? I would use having my molars wrenched out as a definite ten.
This was at least a thirteen.

With a lot of pain and difficulty swallowing (the result of the contortions my body did in order to upwardly eject), I finally made it to bed just before midnight.

I got up another four times for the toilet. On the way back, I would have a little bit of water, or milk. I alternated.
Now, I detest the taste of water. Can't stand it. But the taste of Volvic was quite pleasant compared to the taste of what was rattling around my tortured stomach.

Then on to phase three. Phase three was severe shaking. Not just cold fingers, but chattering teeth and my entire body shaking in ripples. I was absolutely freezing cold. Which was complete bollocks, it was about 18°C in my room and I was in bed under covers.

I got up, got dressed and put a coat on - don't think you can out-psych me body, I can do better. I didn't want to take a paracetamol, but between the throat pain and the muscle ache from the shaking, I figured I needed something.

I have special paracetamol. It is a powder in a sachet. Since I can't stand water, this stuff is a powder that you tip into your mouth and swallow. Well, it sort of dissolves and you swallow.
Oddly, it has a taste that is a bit like a bad strawberry milkshake. Seems weird not to have a horrid taste to put off kids from eating it.

Back to bed, things finally calmed down and I think I went to sleep at about 2am.

My alarm went off at 7am this morning.

I was sore. Really sore. But, okay, given what had happened, not entirely a surprise.

Got up, fed Anna, made tea and a bowl of Frosties, then sat on my bed to check what had happened in the world.

I managed about three sips of tea and a half spoonful of Frosties before thinking "hell no".
And the movement? That woke up my digestion. That promptly resumed last night's madness. Well, no puking this time. But I wrote an email of explanation to my boss as to why I won't be at work today, and needed to head to the toilet three times in the process.

I phoned her at 9am when she got in, and spoke to her to say pretty much the same thing. I think she said I should go to see my doctor for a justification of being ill. Ugh, paperwork. Always the paperwork. I apologised anf then hung up, having no desire to do anything at all.

I fell asleep, and woke up at about 11am. Watched random stuff on YouTube, like the devastatingly depressing video about what will become of the universe (a black cold ghost universe) and how the age of starlight that we take for granted every night is because the universe is actually still a baby; and the universe will spend the vast majority of its life in darkness with the decaying remains of stars as white dwarves (imagine the sun barely brighter than a moonlit night) and black holes sucking up all stray matter. Put like that, it's rather a miracle that we are here at all.

I still have some pain in my gut, but it seems to have eased a bit. I still have blood mixed in with what comes out, but I think it's less than before.
My diet today is going to be weak tea, yoghurt, and something called "Babivanille". That is a powdered vanilla flavoured baby preparation. The reason I have it is because if you make it up just a tad thicker (it thickens), then it actually makes a pretty decent milkshake. Plus, being a baby food, it's full of nutrients and stuff so it also makes a meal replacement when I can't be arsed to cook something.
I'll also need to drink water regularly to avoid dehydration. Ugh.

I hope I will be good for the car servicing tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to it, but it has to be done.
Then, on Wednesday, going to work. Hopefully by tomorrow most of the symptoms will be done with, otherwise it'll be off to the doctor. I can handle blood coming out after what happened last night (which was only a few steps away from giving birth to a Xenomorph) but blood still around a day or two later is not a good sign.

As for today, I'm up and sitting outside to write this at 2pm. I'd be on break if at work, and have two hours more to do before my day finishes. Clearly actually going to work was not going to happen. But... got the thermos laid out in the kitchen, so it's not for lack of wanting.
Actually, my back hurts (as does my gut, but that's pretty much a given) so I'm probably going to go back to bed once I've finished all of this.


What happened? Well, it seems pretty obvious to me that it was a rather severe food poisoning. The thing is, my digestion is pretty quick. Let's just say that if I eat Mexican (maize/kidney beans), then this passes through me in between 18 and 26 hours. Mom used to have her mind blown by that, her digestion was a lot slower. I don't know what 'normal' is, I suspect neither of us would have qualified. ☺

Anyway, candidates. Saturday night, Eurovision, I had a Sodebo salad. Bad stuff in the salad? Possible, but it seems a little long.

The very obvious finger of blame would lie with Burger King. Something wrong with the burger. I'm not so sure about this as firstly I microwaved it, a lot, which ought to have killed bacteria. Secondly, I would not have imagined a reaction that severe happening about seven and a half hours later. I suppose it depends on how far into my digestion it needed to be before the alarm bells tripped and my body went all Exorcist on me.

I also can't help but wonder, given the closer timing, if it wasn't the lemon juice? This is a refrigerated preparation of squeezed lemons, so... bad storage maybe? I don't know. I'm not sure I'd have been able to tell if it was 'off' given that lemon juice (like, actual lemons not lemonade) has a very sharp taste.

Whatever, the Wrap and the lemon juice have been tossed in the bin. I'll be staying clear of Burger King and the Andross lemon juice for quite a while, I would imagine.

The last time I felt anything like this was after eating a Peimontaise salad. It's basically potatoes, ham, and pickles chopped into cubes and awash with mayonaise. Mom and I used to eat them a lot when we are out and about as they weren't that expensive and were quite filling.
You can guess what happened one day.
And, nearly twenty years later, I still won't go near them. Just makes me feel nauseous.

So... Burger King or lemon juice? No idea, I'm just going to avoid both.


My vide grenier purchase

For a fiver, I got this.


The light had blown. So I took it apart and discovered that it was essentially a projector bulb in a really peculiar mounting. I tried to patch a different bulb into place, but it didn't work. So I rigged up something else.

Gyrophare with rigged up LED bulb
Gyrophare, with rigged up LED bulb.

It wasn't until I started looking to possible replacement bulbs on Amazon that I realised... it's just a regular H1 style headlight fitting.
Well, duh.

It has a magnetic base, so I'm thinking it would look at home clipped to the back of the ride-on mower. Here's a picture of it on the top of my car (where it doesn't stick because the car is plastic).

Gyrophare in action, on my car
Gyrophare in action, on my car.


Or, in place, more like this.

Gyrophare in action, animated
Gyrophare in action!


Why was the mower moving by itself? I'm guessing the spinning light was distrupting gravity, causing a small ripple in space-time, which would extert a force pulling the machine ever so slightly into its own event horizon. But, because it was using a little LED bulb instead of a proper headlamp, the forces at play were only enough to move the mower "just a little".

And with that, time to grab some yogurt and head back to a horizontal position. Ho hum.



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David Boddie, 16th May 2022, 16:15
Hope your digestion returns to "normal" soon. The last time I remember experiencing anything like that was the result of a McDonalds burger, so I'm thinking you had a bad fast food experience.
Steve Drain, 16th May 2022, 18:50
I hope you recover soon. 
Could be norovirus, but reminds me of my reaction to some mussels in Brittany once. My wife and son ate the same meal and had nothing. ;-(
Mick, 17th May 2022, 04:10
I had food poisoning last year. Couldn't eat for a week after as nothing wanted to move down, only up. On a positive note, I lost over a stone in weight. It think the culprit for me was rice I'd reheated! Lesson learned there. I'm concerned to you are passing blood. If that continues, do see a doctor. Get well soon.
Rick, 17th May 2022, 14:28
Oh, yeah. Reheated rice is notorious for messing with people. 
I went to a secondary comp. for a few weeks before my place at boarding school was available. I elected to take cookery rather than woodwork (already sussed by then which was going to be a more useful life skill). 
We made a risotto. I like to think that mine turned out quite nice. 
The teacher left them on the tables to cool down. 
For five and a half hours. 
Mom picked mine up when she came to collect me, did the usual "this looks nice" stuff, and on the way home dumped the entire thing (container and all) into the first bin she found. Told me never ever to do that, and never ever eat anything that had been left around like that. 
We stopped at a little 7-11 on the parade and mom said I could buy anything I wanted for dinner. I tested her with a tub of ice cream... that was dinner. 
So, yeah, I figured she was dead serious about it. 
Turns out she was right, over half the class didn't come in the next day. Or the day after. And cookery class was suddenly cancelled. 
I guess somebody never got the memo of why Japanese rice cookers have a keep warm function. You don't leave rice at any sort of ambient temperature, ever. It's either heated, or refridgerated, with as little as possible in between (I mean, you can make rice in a meal, cool it, and microwave it at work). But for me when I do that with sushi rice, I put some old water bottles in the freezer and then put them around the hot rice to drop the temperature rapidly. It HAS to be chilled enough to put it into the fridge within one hour. 
The problem is not with the reheating, as a turn in the microwave is usually pretty quick. The danger is with the cooling. 
The problem is that rice can, and often does, naturally contain spores of something called Bacillus cereus. These can survive the rice being cooked, and if the rice is left at room temperature for any length of time, these spores can grow into bacteria. Actually, it's pretty much the ideal environment for them - warm and wet with loads of nutrients around. And if there are too many of the bacteria, the rice will be, well, toxic. And, annoyingly, cooking the rice again might kill off the current batch of bacteria (but generally won't, they're tough little buggers) but it won't change the toxicity. So either way... without freshly prepared rice or extremely careful handling it'll be head-over-the-bowl time. 
It's so common that in the US it's known as "fried rice syndrome". 
And, in case the name wasn't a clue, don't ever reheat a chinese takeaway; and don't eat it at all if it isn't handed to you very very hot. 

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