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That one time… I got food poisoning

March 10, 2014

This entire entry will be way too much information. Feel free to skip this one if you want.

As I’ve mentioned, I was in St. Louis, MO for most of last week at a conference. I’ve been to St.Louis a few times now in recent years and it is not a bad little town. Minus the fact that I knew there would be that dreaded white stuff (also known as snow) I knew it would be a fun trip. Got to see some great people and get some great placements done for my students to go out on exchange.

I took one of my GAs (graduate assistants) with me to the conference and it was so helpful to have an extra person with me to do all the placements (it is a super stressful process). What I didn’t count on when planning this trip was BOTH of us coming down with food poisoning. Nothing will help you bond with your staff better than both of you alternating times to run to the bathroom to toss up the contents of your stomach.

While it could be possible that we both got a stomach virus, we really think we have narrowed it down to the dinner we had on Thursday night. A huge group of us went to a pub for dinner and we both got fish and chips. The service was pretty crappy and they were really running behind, we are wondering if the food was just undercooked or something. Either way, I will not be eating fish and chips again for a long long time.

Kate’s stomach started bothering her immediately after breakfast on Friday and she was feeling awful the rest of the day. I started feeling queasy after lunch, but didn’t lose anything until later. And by later, I mean near 5:30/ 5:45pm or so… when we were 35,000 feet up in the air and beverage service was going on. I’ve been flying since I was four or five years old and never once have I gotten sick on a plane… until this week. Ugh. I have never felt so miserable.

Clearly, the flight attendants at Delta have been well-trained on the signs to look for when someone is about to be sick. She took one look at my deathly pale face and the sweat covering my forehead and pushed the beverage cart out the way.  I can in fact report that the tiny bathrooms on the plane do give you just enough room to squat and hover over the toilet while throwing up. That whole little vacuum-suck feature to dispose of waste is rather brilliant. Also, those doors are really hard to lock when you are about to lose your stomach… in fact, I didn’t. Sorry to those people in the last row who may have had to hear me. I just didn’t care at that point. Really though, two thumbs up to that flight attendant staff. They were all so kind checking on me, getting me ginger ale and letting me stand in the back as long as I wanted.

But wait, wait, wait… the craziness of my day doesn’t end there. We had a connecting flight in Atlanta and because the Atlanta airport can’t get their act together we almost missed it. So Kate and I, both feeling awful with the potential to get sick at any  moment, had to RUN to catch our next flight. Through not ONE, but TWO terminals. It was not a pleasant experience. I nearly lost it in the middle of B terminal in Hotlanta. Luckily, I didn’t and we made our flight with exactly one minute and 25 seconds to spare. I was so over the whole trip by the time we landed… and then we had to drive an hour and a half. We looked pretty pathetic stopping at a gas station to buy Gatorade and saltines. God bless the night manager who went into the back to dig up saltines for us. It was 12:30am by the time I finally got home and was able to brush my teeth. I have never been so happy to get to my toothbrush.

And that my friends, is the story about how I got food poisoning while traveling. And it was miserable. Lesson learned here: don’t get the fish and chips, be nice to flight attendants.

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