Monday, July 14, 2008

I’m Number 9

The Centers for Disease Control have documented eight cases of salmonella in Tennessee. Well, I guess that makes me number 9.

Although I had planned to resume normal blogging last week, on July 6 I ate something that left me crying for mercy for the next four days. Let me tell you, nothing will leave you weak as a newborn kitten like running to the bathroom four times an hour for three days. A course of Cipro finally killed the bug but I didn’t actually start feeling better until Saturday. And it took until today for the test results to come back.

Yup, it was salmonella poisoning.

Let me add, I’m quite sure that more than nine people in Tennessee have been affected. I just don’t think everyone goes to the trouble of pooping in a cup for the doctor. I’d say most people assume they have a “stomach bug” and wait until they feel better. But I never did feel better. I felt like, pardon the pun, crap--for days. And I’m normally a pretty healthy person. I shudder to think what would happen to an elderly person, a young child, or someone who’s already sick with cancer, who then got hit with this. It is evil.

Since I’m not sure where I contracted this illness, I think it would be irresponsible to publish restaurant names in this post; however, I will say this: I do not eat jalapenos, and I most likely contracted this from tomatoes or raw cabbage. Since cabbage has not yet been linked to the salmonella outbreak, I would tell all of my friends in the blogosphere to be very, very careful about your tomato consumption. Tomatoes have not been given the all-clear.

Of course, I don’t know if mine was the “Saintpaul” strain that has sickened over a thousand people nationwide. Metro Public Health is supposed to be working on the case. Heh, yeah, I know, like they’ve got nothing else to do over there than track the origins of my illness.

Did you know that this outbreak first appeared back in April? Why the hell don’t we know the source yet? It’s been four months!

There are folks who have no problem with the hundreds of billions of dollars this country spends on the military. “It’s for our nation’s defense,” they say. Well let’s fund the Centers for Disease Control, Food & Drug Administration, and Consumer Product Safety Commission. They're for our nation’s defense, too. Those anti-tax crusaders who keep grumbling that “the government is too big” need to get a dose of what I had last week and then mull the idea that it was entirely preventable.

We should have figured this out by now. I suspect if our county, state and federal health departments were properly funded, we've have done so already.