This past weekend I went to Bear's Tavern in the East Kingdom. It's usually an entertaining, low-key event with plenty of food and drink (aka alcohol). This year it was a little more low-key than usual and there were some interesting things that occurred. (I mean, really -- who brings children to what is obviously an adult-only event? And to further elaborate -- who brings four kids to an obviously adult-only event much to the surprise of the autocrat when the pre-registration payment was for only two adults?)
Even-more-so, it was a very odd year. Liz was sick (and didn't go), Mark was sick (and didn't go), and Dana was recovering from illness. Having been around sick people at work, I figured I was probably going to catch someone's cold.
Sure enough, by evening on Saturday I started getting that "chill-feeling" in my bones, my forehead was warmer than normal, and I was having the worst time keeping my body regulated to room temperature. "Here it comes," I thought to myself as the common cold symptoms made an appearance, but I thought it was strange that I didn't get the usual burning sensation in my sinuses which typically warn me that illness is on its way. Nor did I have a runny nose or stuffy head. I did what I could at the time being to ward it off.
Sunday saw me and Dana leaving early to return home, guaranteeing on missing a good time at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant. Sometimes health is more important that cheesecake, but only sometimes. However, something just wasn't right -- I could tell. It was progressing the way a cold usually does.
By Sunday evening, the stomach cramps were making an appearance. Still, no runny nose and stuffy head. "This isn't a typical cold," I surmised. "Maybe I have the stomach flu." Although I knew that wasn't it either. I didn't have all the right symptoms for that.
Monday I stayed home from work. The cramps persisted as did the chills. The fever that I had was subsiding. Keith called to check up on me and see how I was doing. It was then that I mentioned my puzzlement about my illness. It wasn't fitting any cold or flu that I've ever had before. It was then he suggested food poisoning. So I looked it up.
Now those symptoms matched up. The symptoms begin 2-6 hours from the time whenever the food was eaten (which would have made it either breakfast or lunch at the event) and it can last 24-48 hours. I mentally went over what I had eaten that day: two Pop-Tarts (no a likely candidate), two Capri-Sun juices (once again, not likely), a piece of a scrambled egg and cheese bake with two pieces of bacon on a bun (a likely candidate, but there would have been more people sick), a piece of marinated steak (once again likely, but still there should have been more people sick), a couple of ribs (likely, but no more sick people), and two scotch eggs made out of quail eggs (my final suspect).
The scotch eggs had been served during the "lunch" meal. I had them around 1pm or so. They were interesting and tasty, but I remember thinking that they looked odd. The eggs were hard-boiled with a coating of something around them. The coloring was a little grayer than I expected and the yolk -- although cooked -- had a shiny, rubbery quality to it. I just passed if off on the fact that they were quail eggs and not chicken eggs and I had never seen/eaten a quail egg before and that the hall was bit dim so the gray color was probably from the coating and not the egg.
By 4pm, I really didn't feel like eating anything. That in and upon itself was very strange. Breakfast had been hours away, I hadn't had much but a couple of cordial glasses of, well, cordial, and only a piece of steak and two scotch eggs for lunch -- and yet my stomach was feeling a bit stuffed, like I couldn't eat another bite.]
By 6:30pm, I had two ribs and I couldn't finish them. My stomach really wasn't into accepting more food at that point. By a half-hour later, the chills hit. And you already know the rest of the story.
Unfortunately, this diagnosis came a little late on Monday. The meal recommendation for someone who has food poisoning is "no solid foods" and "no dairy". Most of the things I had eaten on Monday could have fit into either category, which helped the stomach cramps persist.
It's Tuesday, and I stayed home for extra recovery time. The stomach cramps are going away (no thanks to yesterday's "meal plan") and I have a bit more energy. But today has been a mostly "clear broth" and tea day. I think I should be okay to go to work tomorrow.