Salmonella nearly killed me

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 10:38 07/12/2012

When images emerged of Kate Middleton being checked into hospital for vomiting and dehydration this week, I nodded my head in sisterhood solidarity.

I hear ya, girlfriend. 

I too had been struggling to keep any food or liquid in my system.

No, unfortunately, I don't have a royal heir in my belly. I had a whole heap of bacteria instead.

I was struck down with suspected salmonella and I was pretty sure I was dying.

I don't think I've ever had food poisoning before.

Sure, something I've eaten has disagreed with me in the past, but never before has a meal actively wanted to destroy me. 

I'll spare you the most gruesome of details, but I had fevers, chills, headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea. 

I was dehydrated, exhausted and, worst of all, I couldn't eat anything without feeling like a baby alien was about to burst out of my tummy.

I've never been one of those people who doesn't eat when they're sick.  In fact, if you'd mentioned salmonella before this week my first thought would have no doubt been "Mmmm ... salmon".

However, this week I've completely gone off food. The mere thought of it makes my stomach flip. Which is good because my doctor banned me from eating anything except for very plain food and some revolting re-hydration sachets.

Strangely, wine biscuits have become my best friends.

They're one of those foods that when I'm well I would dismiss as boringly plain, along with ready salted chips (who buys those, seriously?!), but since I got sick they have become like ambrosia. 

Their sweet nothingness can somehow tame my tummy when nothing else can.

To make matters worse, faithful murse (male nurse), EK, wasn't on hand to look after his gastro-girlfriend - he was away for a few days.

Alone, I was left to flop around the house feeling revolting and sorry for myself. 

On one of those hell days, I was lying on my death bed mentally planning my will - ''My money can go towards buying food for my dog for the next few years, EK can have all images of me so he can never move on, my box set of Lord of the Rings can go to charity...'' - when, suddenly, there was a knock on the door.

I peeked out the window and the face of a door-to-door salesman stared back at me. 

Damn, we'd made eye contact. I reluctantly opened the door and he launched straight into his pitch before I could explain my sick state.

As he went on my stomach began violently rumbling and my face blanched. Uh oh ... I mentally pictured throwing up all over him and super-soaking the carpet samples he was hocking off.

I could just 'spray and walk away', I thought. It was slightly tempting.

Instead, I yelled ''I'm sorry I'm going to be sick,'' and slammed the door in his face.

He was lucky.

I nearly didn't make it to the bathroom.

Days later and I'm coming right, slowly. I'm not going to rush out and eat a whole pile of ham steaks, but I think I'm done with the wine biscuits.

Come to think of it, maybe I'll box up the rest of them and post them to the Duchess of Cambridge.

She's still got seven months to go and they might come in handy if any salesmen pop by the palace.

*Have you ever had bad food poisoning? Share your experiences. Comment below, email me at anna.turner@press.co.nz or follow me on Twitter.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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