My Week in Numbers (also known as, My Week with E. Coli)

  • Number of work sick days taken: 3
  • Number of medical visits:
  • Number of ride shares taken to and from medical appointments: 7 
  • Number of blood tests drawn: 2
  • Number of hours attached to an IV drip: 1.5 
  • Amount of weight lost: 6 lbs. 
  • Number of times I had to poop in a little cup: 4
  • Number of times I threw up: 2
  • Number of bathroom trips: Probably 80. 50 of those trips probably within 36 hours. 
  • Number of antibiotic pills taken: 6
  • Number of full meals eaten in 5 days: 
  • Longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep in 5 days: 4 hours
  • Number of times I tried to fall asleep standing up, because I thought doing so would alleviate my stomach pain a bit: 
  • Number of times I considered dialing ‘911’: At least 2
  • Number of times I thought I might *actually* die: 
  • Number of times a fart wasn’t only a fart: Too many
  • Number of excruciating, crippling, blindingly, agonizingly painful stomach cramps experienced within a 72-hour period: Innumerable. Well over 100. 

Well, I’m pretty certain I got E. coli poisoning last week. From some fucking kale salad from fucking Mixt Greens, which needless to fucking say, I WILL NEVER FUCKING GO TO AGAIN. It was awful. For almost 72 hours straight, I could feel my intestines writhing, twisting, crunching, as if trying to rip apart my skin and escape my body through terrifying, aggressive force. Like someone had punched their hands through my stomach, grabbed my intestines and were wringing them out like wet towels. For days I was doubled over in constant, unyielding pain, agonizingly waiting for even some small hint of relief that no pain medication, no water, no sleep, nothing would bring. 

Today is the first day that I finally feel alive again. Today, I ate the first meal I’ve eaten since Tuesday. I have no lessons learned, no advice to bequeath to any unlucky readers who may be unfortunate enough to also experience E. coli poisoning. I have a fairly high threshold for pain and discomfort, and I feel like I only barely survived this. It was the worst, most intense, most persistent pain I have ever experienced. I find it hard to imagine that any other pain, short of childbirth, could be worse.