Saturday, 30 July 2022

The Joy of Food

A week ago, I got food poisoning on a trip to Derry and Donegal. And since then the runs have continued. So my constant companions have been sachets of Dioralyte and rolls of Andrex. By the fourth day, I was feeling rather weak and exhausted, so I rang my GP. He told me that most food-poisoning was caused by viruses, but there could be other culprits. So he needed a sample to send to the microbiology lab. T went to the surgery and collected a large brown envelope he had left for me. Inside was a small container, a wooden spatula and a pair of surgical gloves.

I put a plastic picnic plate in the neck of the toilet. It wasn’t long before I had to go. The watery diarrhoea collected in the plate. I scooped some of it up with the spatula, screwed the cap onto the container and sealed it in the plastic envelope. I also made a mental note to never look for a job in a microbiology lab.

The doctor also included a prescription for an anti-spasmodic drug. You take one tablet a half an hour before eating. He also advised me to only eat dry toast, mashed banana and plain boiled rice. This is not much of a menu. But at least it was something to munch on. I remembered one of my times in hospital for cancer treatment when I had to fast for twelve days. After four days I lost all interest in food, and by the end I had to learn to eat again.

I have kept to my plain menu and the anti-spasmodic tablets. Indeed, for last night’s tea, I had a very exotic dish: broth with slivers of boiled chicken in it. And this has managed to stay in. So I am hoping that I’m now turning a corner. I’ve heard nothing from the microbiology lab, so I don’t know yet what bug has laid me low. But I am looking forward to maybe trying a bit of boiled carrot with my chicken broth tonight. I don’t think I’ll be taking food for granted again.

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