08 April 2008

Poisoned By Pancit!

It was one of those nights. I arrived home late, hungry, and craving for Pancit. Sure, I could've stopped for fried chicken, or nuggets, or burgers, or even spaghetti on the many fastfood outlets I passed by on my way home. But after a hard day's work, a tired man sometimes wants more than the usual offerings --- and don't laugh --- for me, the 'extraordinary' means a dinner of hot, delicious Pancit. Only two types of pancit can relieve my hunger --- the miki guisado type and the famous Pancit Malabon. On that fateful night, there was no more miki guisado available and the nearest Pancit Malabon outlet was about to close, and I was only lucky to be granted the last order for home delivery.

When it arrived, I spent no time in devouring my favorite food. I think I almost finished half of the small bilao I ordered.

Minutes passed, and I began to feel a slight abdominal pain. I ignored it thinking it was only a mild gas pain. After more than one hour of lying in bed trying to sleep, the abdominal pain became worse. I started trying out different bed positions to relieve the gnawing pain but nothing worked. Nothing worked! The pain became both irritating and untolerable as I moved.

Then, it dawned on me.

"The Pancit Malabon!" I thought.

The doctor in me was yelling, "Food poisoning! Food poisoning!"

I should go to the nearest Emergency Room for treatment. The nearest hospital is less than 5 minutes away from my place. But I was both stubborn and torn. One part of me said I should get help immediately. Another part of me insisted that I can heal myself. It was a tug-of-war between two choices amidst a very irksome affliction. I felt stabbed by a long dagger. Not satisfied, whoever did it was also taking satisfaction twisting the dagger ever so slowly so I can feel every centimeter of movement. It was a terrible, terrible pain!

"How can I heal myself?!? I can't think straight with the growing unbearable pain."

I tried sitting down, standing up, bending, and lying down again, all with the ridiculous theory that I can drive the pesky gas to move out of my stomach.

"Darn! It isn't just gas! It is food poisoning!!! Go to the hospital...NOW!!!" admonished the doctor in me again.

"NO, I can do this. No hospitals! Breath in, breath out. Arggggh!! 'Can't think straight..." I felt as if my insides were being squeezed and shaken simultaneously in a slow, truly gut-wrenching manner. By this time, I can already feel the cold sweat in my forehead. My face had become nothing but a solidified frown.

"Get up!" I told myself. I went downstairs gently. I was like a terribly wounded soldier walking. On my way down, as I was almost getting convinced of going to the nearest ER, I spotted a bottle of antacid lying near my study table.

"There! Take 2 tablespoons of that, and see what happens..." advised the troubled doctor in me.

Minutes after taking the antacid, a certain calm enveloped my troubled stomach... only to be jolted later by the sudden onset of nausea and followed by explosive vomiting. That night, I knew first-hand what explosive vomiting meant. I threw up!!! Everything I ate came out. The sour stench of my gastric acids filled the air. This lasted for about two minutes.

"Goodbye, poisonous pancit! Good riddance!" I happily thought.

After that, there was complete relief. The stomach pain went away as if it didn't even happen. I was at peace once more. I was well again! My reasoning mind had its last words....."Emer, poisoning is easy to manage IF you get the poison out of the system!"

And I did. The explosive vomiting did the trick. But was it my management that helped? Or was it the normal physiologic reaction of my stomach to thwart and kick out unwelcome elements in my system? Was I just lucky to be alive again?

One thing I'm sure of --- it is always very difficult when a doctor gets sick.

5 reactions:

Jo said...

Here in Navotas (and probably also in Malabon), we're very cautious about handling Pancit Malabon 'cause we knew it as something delicate (or "marupok" as others called it). Meaning, it can easily get spoiled if the handling is bad. One of the myth about this is by avoiding covering it as much as possible. Of course it is packed covered in Bilao when you have one but only for some time and before that time lapsed, it should be keep opened exposed to air.

Dr. Emer said...

Thanks for sharing that info, Jo. I will keep this in mind next time I get my dose of pancit. =)

RJ said...

pancit malabon nila auring's at norma's.

taga-valenzuela ako pero dumadayo pa ako doon sa navotas para kumuha ng pancit para maidala sa bulacan kahit out-of-way.

Ness said...

doc emer,

hope you can join TBR 5 again. the theme for next week is "I know what you did last summer."

looking forward to receiving your entry. :-) random_ness07[at]yahoo[dot]com


Anonymous said...

had the same problem last week. i ate take-out food from SM. fried dumpling over hainanese rice.
i barfed twice and had diarrhea, too. i'm glad that was over. whew!