I’m not sure if you know this, but the term ‘food poisoning’ is actually fairly misleading. It sounds like it’s means you ate some bad food and you barf for a few hours and then it’s over and you’re just real sorry you ate fish tacos off a cart in Rocky Point (except you always do it again because DAMN those fish tacos are good). And your friends who were walking by the cart with you but didn’t eat the tacos because they’re all paranoid about ‘proper food handling techniques’ and they don’t appreciate the authenticity of really good hangover food when you’re on spring break, laugh at you while you’re puking and never actually get sick because they didn’t eat the (delicious) tainted food. Right? Isn’t that how you think of food poisoning?
Yeah, well, apparently there’s a type of ‘food poisoning’ that can be transmitted by tainted food and also by fluids and person-to-person contact. It’s called a Norovirus.
So basically, you can attend a party where roughly 50% of the guests are puking their guts out the next day and think you made it through the outbreak unscathed. But then, two days later, your youngest will wake you up in the middle of the night to tell you he puked in his bunkbed (for which you’ll add $5 to the bill you’ve been keeping labeled, “Excessive Assholery as a Child Charges” you’ll eventually hand to him when he’s an adult) and you’ll wonder if it’s a coincidence or if your kid just has a slow reaction time to bad hummus. Several more days will pass, however, and one night you’ll find yourself wondering if you overdid it on pizza with jalapenos that night at dinner, right up until the point when you’re laying on the floor of the bathroom wishing you could die. Two days after that, your middle child will be shopping for art supplies at Michael’s with his grandma and puke six times up and down the aisles of the store (for which you will merely be grateful he did it not at your house and that it was his grandma with him and not you). That’s when you’ll realize you’ve been hit by a Norovirus.
It’s a nifty little bug, right?
But the good news is, I’m pretty sure we’re nearly done with our round of the Norovirus. Everyone in our family but Ben has been savagely struck down for 24-36 hours by the stuff. I don’t have a lot of hope he’ll make it through unscathed, but at least he’s old enough to probably make it to the toilet or a bucket before he spews.
I was up all night last Friday and in bed all day Saturday with the virus, but by Sunday I was feeling much more normal. After 24 hours of feeling like I would rather have an alien burst forth out of my stomach than consume, look at or hear about any food, it was an almost euphoric sensation. Thus, I came up with this list of things that are suddenly magical after you’ve had the flu.
Five Great Things To Do After You’ve Just Recovered From The Flu
1. Weigh yourself and try on things that didn’t use to fit. For maximum satisfaction, this should be done the first morning you wake up feeling halfway decent, after you’ve peed and before you’ve even attempted to rehydrate.
2. Watch the food channel. 12 hours previously, even a Taco Bell commercial made you physically miserable. Now the show on duck fat sandwiches makes you want to lick the TV screen.
3. Eat a really big bacon blue cheese burger with fries because you need to replace all the calories you didn’t eat while simultaneously committing yourself to maintaining your newly svelte figure. Now is the time to really cultivate the body you’ve always wanted. Right after you gorge yourself.
4. Drink one glass of wine and get buzzed because you’ve had forced sobriety and no food for TWO WHOLE DAYS. The first glass is always so fantastic.
5. Take care of other sick people because the juxtaposition just reminds you of how great you feel now that you don’t feel like that. Oh sweetie, I know, you feel awful don’t you? You poor thing. I’m just going to go over there, eat an entire bag of Doritos and then do jumping jacks. BECAUSE I CAN.