Potato Soup for the Soul, Or Stomach Bug? You Tell Me

I fear that in light of several unfortunate intestinal problems this year, I am going to be forced to proclaim 2007 as “The Year of the Colon.”

Harken back if will to the ill-fated multi-family vacation to the beach earlier this year where I spent four of the most miserable hours of my life trying (unsuccessfully) not to puke over the side of the boat while on a deep sea fishing trip. Moving forward in time, just before I left on my vacation to Pennsylvania last week, I had what can only be called “pseudo-appendicitis” that included severe cramping symptoms among other things. On top of that, I’m on my second round of very strong antibiotics for the second time in 3 months. And now…oh now…

I knew that my going away for three days on a solitary (sans-family) vacation was going to cost me, but I wasn’t sure what form it would take. I figured that when I returned, my wife would pretty much hand me the kids and go for a walkabout around town. To her credit, she did give me a few hours of unpacking grace-period before doing so, but since returning, it’s pretty much been the daddy show in the evening. Which wouldn’t be so bad if our youngest of seven months hadn’t come down with an ear infection which has left him a blubbering mess, for which he is now on the very same antibiotics I’m on and which has also turned his colon into a sewage-like firehose from which there is no escape.

The night before last, my wife made a potato soup dish, no doubt inspired by something she read in a magazine her grandmother is fond of called “Cooking Light.” This magazine, in case you’re not familiar, basically takes really yummy versions of high-fat dishes and attempts to make low-fat versions of them. It also includes lots of pictures of MILFs in their little spandex outfits doing these cutesy little exercises while holding 5lb dumbbells (right!). This is the second such attempt at a recipe this month from this magazine, the first being a roasted chicken stuffed with lemons and rubbed with some kinda something (not oil mind you). The result was a terribly bland chicken…reminiscent of a poached chicken breast with no seasoning.

Back to the soup…in the place of whole milk and no doubt at least some butter and half and half, this recipe called for skim milk, sour cream and lord knows what else (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth while thinking about it just now). Now, this dish is one of those dishes that tastes pretty decent for the first few bites, but after a while, you realize that something just isn’t right. The connoisseur in me realized that for whatever reason, rather than having a light and creamy soup, we had a heavy, frothy concoction that wasn’t improved by adding any of the condiments (bacon bits, cheese, scallions) provided. Even as I told my wife it was yummy, I left a bit in my bowl complaining that I was full. No worries.

The next morning (yesterday) I awoke to a queasy tummy, which I blamed on both my antibiotics and on an…um…male pain that WebMD said was normal for prolonged infections in the body. As the day progressed, my queasiness worsened. I skipped the gym and headed home in hopes of some downtime before the fam arrived, only to be quickly followed by my wife suffering from the same ailment.

When I’m sick, I can’t sleep, but when my wife is sick…she sleeps for hours…so once again, I got to be up with the boys all evening (and night) and I’m happy to say that I’m feeling about 80% this morning. My wife is probably back up to 60% but since she started complaining of symptoms after I did, she should be pretty good by this afternoon.

So either, we got some kinda food poisoning from the soup (cuz neither child had any soup and neither child appears sick) or we both got a particularly virulent strain of a tummy bug. Either way, my mind blames the soup and as an added bonus, every now and then a “taste memory” pops up in my mind and in my mouth and it makes me want to just go let it all go. But alas, I have the stomach of iron (minus the fishing trip again mind you) and I just can’t throw up.

So, payback is a bit** and in this case, much worse than I imagined. But hey guess what? My wife gets to go out of town again tomorrow night so guess who gets to pay me back this weekend?

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