Not much humor here, but there is a life lesson: you can kill yourself with baking soda.


We volunteered to sell beer and wine at a folk festival. After our shift, we had fish and chips from a local vendor in the gymnasium. I ate both my pieces, and when Lady only ate one, I took a big  bite of her’s before tossing it. Four hours later I was sick. Violent cold shivers called rigors. Temperature. Sweats. Nausea. Diarrhea. Next morning I recovered, did stuff, ate a lot. That night it started again, and next morning I went into violent cold shakes for 40 minutes solid. Finally outlasted it and was fine again. Did stuff, ate more. Lady wanted me to go to the ER, but my symptoms were gone, plus I’m a manly man, and was raised poor which means it’s ingrained you don’t go to the doctor unless you have to be carried because it costs money. That evening I started the violent shakes again and knew I couldn’t make it through another night of it. Lady said my skin turned blue gray, I became incoherent, would get two words into a sentence and fade, and then I started making strange “noises”. She was terrified, sure I was dying, so she called 911 and two firemen carried me out, drove me to the ER, where they gave me a saline drip which brought me back to coherent reality and then sat me in the hallway in a wheelchair for 3-4 hours waiting for a bed to open up. I was freezing so went to a couple empty rooms and stole sheets and blankets and wrapped myself up and found 1 Tylenol in my pocket for the pain. Hour later Lady arrived and found I hadn’t been registered, so signed me in, then soothed my ragged beast as best she could. Long short of it after going down wrong rabbit holes due to too many symptoms including dehydration and anemia and sepsis, it was E. coli poisoning from the fish. I don’t know how it became septic, but I was already anemic because I’d been taking baking soda for decades to stop my stomach acid reflux – having taken chemistry three times (high school, the USNA Prep School, and the US Naval Academy, getting a lower grade each time), I knew baking soda was a base that would neutralize stomach acid – and it did, for decades. Told all my doctors and nurses over the years about my use, and researched it repeatedly on the net and found no problems. Finally the hospital nutritionist explained baking soda got rid of too much stomach acid so there wasn’t enough to process the vitamins and nutrients I needed from the healthy food I ate so I became anemic over the years, and the lack of iron made my swallowing muscles weak so I had trouble swallowing water, so I didn’t drink enough, so I was also dehydrated – plus poisoned by E. coli. Two days sick home, three days in ER and hospital. They poured antibiotics and iron drips and saline solutions and vitamin shots into me. Said much more delay in getting to ER would have been fatal. The B-12 shots and the iron drips perked up my body and my mind started zinging. Grateful for the fine medical help, and that I got sick on the fish we ate instead of Lady – she’s our breadwinner and a lot of web customers rely on her daily. Plus I know how to suffer, have experience at it, do it well, and so far survive.


Ever onward, until we don’t.

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