Monday, September 29, 2008


I think I now understand a little how bulimics can do what they do. We went out this evening and had a lovely dinner. My first time eating Korean BBQ. We made sure our Korean friend ordered all beef meats, and that I stuck to the vegetable banchan (side dishes.) Towards the end of the meal I was very excited to try the Kimchi Jigae (a kimchi stew.) The jigae was not at all what I was expecting, sweet and almost reminiscent of a tomato-based soup.

What I also didn't expect, was the chunks of meat that Alaskaboy pulled up on his spoon near the bottom of the pot. I'd assumed the sweetness came from the tofu chunks in the stew. I also made sure to ask our friends how the soup was made. (pretty cool soup which I now know I don't have to throw any "old" kimchi out!) We all assumed the meat was beef since we'd specified beef for the whole meal. I also made sure to specify no chicken broth in any of the soups.

When I got home and looked up the restaurant's menu I was horrified to discover that it was a pork and kimchi jigae. Swine over here is given enrofloxacin. Yes, a member of the quinolone family, the one I reacted to last year. I think my subconscious knew at the restaurant that it was pork, but my conscious mind was hoping it was beef since I'd already eaten some of the soup.

I was a little more than comfortably full, but in no way was I ready for puking up my food. The little voice in the back of my head was also arguing the cost of the meal. The cost of my health completely swung the scales in favour of upchucking though. So after a brief cry, I assumed the position. And nothing happened. I couldn't do it. All I could do was sob into the toilet.

My brain was also trying to convince me that I'd be fine and it was only a wee bit of pork. But when I also read that the zucchini fritters had egg in the batter, and the macaroni salad had egg in it was well, I didn't want to take any chances with my health, well any more than I'd already taken this evening. And it was in that moment, as I drank heaps of water (tap water too, which is totally foul tasting here) and opened a clean toothbrush that I began to understood bulimics.

When I went back for a second and third round of drinking water in between puking (I'd had very little to drink today so I assumed drinking water would help ease the food up my oesophagus, and it did) I REALLY felt I understood them. They must fear fat, or losing control, as much as I feared my body's reaction to any remnants of the antibiotic in the pig meat/broth I'd ingested. Their fear is so great, as was mine, that they'd go to any lengths to rid their body of the previously yummed up but no longer wanted food. And having no ipecac syrup on hand, I figured the toothbrush down the throat was the quickest method of ridding myself of the food with the minimum of digestion happening. Especially since it'd been half an hour or more since I'd finished eating.

So, yeah, lessen learned. Don't make ANY assumptions about food ever again. Because I refuse to go through this again and I refuse to go through what I went through as a result of taking that antibiotic. I refuse to sob my heart out in fear of my life and my quality of life. No food is worth that. Embarrassment and being a nuisance in asking to make sure I get food that my body can deal with is worth every bit of awkwardness. I don't want to ever be that afraid again.

1 Nibbles:

Marshmallow said...

Oh no! You poor thing, that must've been awful *HUGZ*

How horrified you must've felt when you found out that it was pork; your health is worth so much more than the inconvenience of asking "Does it contain this? Does it contain this? Does it contain this?"

You deserve better than going through that reaction again. And don't go freaking me out like that again, woman!