Ecstasy and Agony

So, how did it go? Well, in summary:

I could have danced all night!
I could have danced all night!
And still have begged for more.
I could have spread my wings
And done a thousand things
I've never done before.

Recently I said in a comment that Tony Blair's policy of holding onto power for as long as possible is to do with ensuring a Labour victory in the next election. But another view has been suggested to me:

Blair is committed to a project of neo-liberalism, involving privatisation, occupation of the middle east, and social control in the UK. This project isn't the property of one party - Conservative policy essentially follows it, and LibDem policy is a watered down version.

What matters to Blair is not which party implements the project, but that the project gets implemented.

Now, if Brown becomes Prime Minister, he might veer back to his left roots, away from the project. The Tories though are very unlikely to do that - they are still Thatcherites, and Thatcherism is essentially neo-liberalism. So it makes sense for Blair to keep the untrustworthy Brown out of power as long as possible, and not worry that Blairite policies are making Labour so unpopular the Tories might get in at the next election, because the project will continue under a Conservative flag.

I wrote the above in the early hours of Sunday morning, after a wonderful evening out with CW and a grabbing a slightly odd-tasting hamburger from Ken's Fried Chicken on the way home. I was increasingly woosy, and too ill to write more or post.

I'm writing this at 2200 on Monday (36 hours later), monged out on 2 - 4 times the prescribed doses of various painkillers (I'm no longer sure how much), with a black eye, a bowel full of churning water and a dozen articles of clothing in the bin because they'll never be wearable again.

Between those two points in time...

I somehow managed to get to sleep around 0400 on Sunday, feeling queasy but hoping it'd be gone by morning. I woke about 0700, with the same nausea plus stomach pains, and a certain "loose" feeling in the bowls. I felt very weak, so getting up was slow and difficult, but I managed to get to the toilet and try to use it. But I couldn't "do" anything, so walked slowly and delicately back to bed, feeling rather sorry for myself.

Then an hour later my anus spat a cupful of brown liquid into my shorts. Mingling disgust with annoyance (and vowing never to eat take-away food again), I staggered downstairs, put my soiled clothes in the washing machine, and emptied the rest of my colon into the appropriate receptacle. Feeling a bit better and wearing new shorts and teeshirt, I again lay down on my bed, figuring I'd just have to wait a few more hours for the thing to pass.

Probably about 1300, on the toilet for the third time. The pattern was that there was almost no fecal matter, just a surprisingly strong jet of brown stinky water. I'd expel it, feel somewhat less nauseas, crampy and weak, then wait for an hour for the pain and water to seep back up, before I expelled it again.

On this and the previous occasion, I'd also thrown up a full pint of semi-liquefied potato mash and burger fragment. I'd found a plastic pint jug, and had been carrying it around, just in case I threw up unexpectedly.

I finished evacuating both ends, but didn't get up immediately because I felt dizzy.

The next thing I knew, I was lying on the hard bathroom floor, trousers around my knees, covered in shit and puke. There was a sharp pain in my left eye and temple, and I had no recollection of how I got there. My parents had heard a crash, and were standing over me, saying something.

Obviously I'd passed out and fallen to the floor, spilling the jug and banging my face. I tried to move but was too weak. I could talk and just about concentrate. After at least 10 minutes, I could unsteadily stand and clean myself with a towel. I really, really felt like taking a shower, but we all agreed I couldn't manage it.

I felt oddly good - by comparison - after that. The diarrhea seemed to have gone, and it seemed there was no more fast food to bring up. Mother found some specially coated aspirin designed to dissolve in the intestines so they wouldn't upset the stomach.

Unfortunately, the lack of diarrhea was simple dehydration, so it returned after a few cups of tea. And there was, somehow, even more junk food sitting uneasily in my stomach, plus the aspirin only relieved the pain for an hour at a time. I think by this time most of the abdominal pain was the result of being violently sick, rather than of having anything obnoxious to sick up. I was at least slowly gaining strength.

We have a large collection of DivX recordings from TV, and I watched a random collection of them, before sleep eventually came, halfway through the night's second episode of New Tricks

I woke this morning, not feeling very different, and immidiately heaved into the jug - but only managed to bring up a few dribbles of brown bile. I read somewhere that it's reckoned to take 24 - 72 hours for toxins to be flushed through the human digestive system. But I heard somewhere else that food poisoning can take a week to fade.

If an observational comedian decided to tackle food poisoning as a subject, they'd note that it means you dare not fart. Instead of unthinkingly letting go of a discreet waft, you have to constantly remind yourself to keep it in. The reason, of course, is that your excrement is liquid enough to be sprayed right out with the gas.

The irony (there's always an irony) is that digestive problems produce lots of gas. And that, gentle reader, is the shameful reason of how another pair of football shorts got put in the dustbin. I...forgot. Just once.

The same comedian might make play of how illness has a way of making other suffering less easy to bear. The pain in my back and shoulders from convulsively hacking up hamburger isn't that bad, in spite of it's monotonous constancy. No, the nausea and cramp and humiliation don't make the muscular pain worse, but they make it much more bothersome.

By some act of precognition, I'd bought some Ibuprofen on Sunday morning. And I had to take three of them, on top of the last three coated aspirins 90 minutes before, just to get me my pain level down enough - and me monged enough - for 90 minute's sleep.

It's approaching 2300, my black eye is several shades of purple, the water in my colon needs emptying again, and the various aches and pains are starting to come back. I've eaten nothing since the hamburger except 2 or 3 digestive biscuits, but although I feel empty and my stomach rumbles, I don't feel hungry.

CW is supportive over text messaging, and everyone who's telephoned recognizes instantly that the best thing they can do is leave me to recover in my own time. My parents - who are retired and not in perfect health themselves - have been unfussily helpful.

We'll see what tomorrow brings - most likely more of the same but slightly better.


  1. Poor old Kap :(
    Hope you feel better soonest

  2. To be really honest, Kapitano, at the moment I'm writing this comment I really don't know whether I should pitty you (as I candidly did before) or laugh about your post and even at you, so vivid, detailed (oh...), accurate are your descriptions and short narratives... I really don't know. And I'm not being mean at all, I assure you. The way you write about it leaves me no alternative.
    Just in case, I wish you a soon recovery from such an unpleasant adventure between bedroom and bathroom (oh Lord, is it ever possible I may be sensing an odor?)
    Get fine!

  3. ugh, good luck with the recovery man.

  4. A wicked dose of the Blurty Squirties?

    I have been known to suffer similar myself. Unlike you however, mine was entirely self-inflicted (over-use of alcoholic beverages), whereas your only 'crime' was to get a particularly foul hamburger.

    I vaguely remember hearing of 'Ken\'s Kebabs' when I lived in Portsmouth.

    In future, I'd stick to the Balti House in Albert Road instead. Far better, to my mind.

    Anyway, good luck with the Recovery ...

  5. We have 'Ken's Kebabs' and 'Ken's Fried Chicken' in the same road. Unconnected, but both staffed by Turkish men and open late to students, the drunk and the insane. In one permutation or another.

    Alchohol can have the same effect? Fortunate for me that I get falling-down drunk on 2-3 shots of brandy. 5 and I pass out. So I never drink enough to get the...digestive effects.

    The Balti is indeed an excellent eatery, and the staff are politically friendly. In fact, all the waiters in the various curry houses around there seem switched on. It's getting so I can't keep up with some of their knowledge and thinking.