A memory

When I was 19, I ended up with food poisoning. This was a common experience among college students back then, and likely now, too.

It was summer and I was working at a McDonald’s at the time. It wasn’t a great job, but it was all I could find.

On my day off, I took myself to University Health Services, which was still open for students during the summer. I saw a woman doctor who told me she had seen this before. Somehow, she determined that the food poisoning was bacterial. She told me that antibiotics might cause more problems and she didn’t want to use them as a first-line approach.

She had on a sheet of paper a diet I was supposed to follow. She also wrote stuff on the paper, further instructions and specific foods I needed to avoid. She said to stay on the restrictions for about three weeks. She said to come back if the problem didn’t go away.

These guidelines were not hard to follow, even as a McDonald’s worker. I remember bringing in a bag lunch instead of eating the McDonald’s food. They offered it to workers for free, but I had to pass it up. Sometimes it even smelled good. Sometimes, the food smelled yucky anyway.

It really did take three weeks until I felt better. After that, I gradually added the foods that had been on the restricted list. I found out that food poisoning happens a lot to college students, maybe because we weren’t always careful enough about food preparation. Eventually, it didn’t matter anymore.

Feedback and comments welcome!