The Agony of Food Poisoning: A Personal Account

By Ronald Ocweo

Have you ever felt your stomach churn so violently that you feared it might never settle again? In addition, have you ever been so sick with a fever that all you could do was rest quietly?

On a Monday evening, I decided to have a cup of milk tea after a long day of doing internship assignments. Before scooping the powdered milk, the expiration date caught my attention since it was set for October 2024.

“I was reminded of my previous battle with Malaria 2+ when my body temperature rose just seven hours after having that tea. I was experiencing a lot of pain, chills, and extreme fatigue, as if I had run a steeplechase that morning.

Although I had predicted my third malarial infection in 2024, the accompanying diarrhea suggested that either contaminated food or water may have caused it.”

There was not much in question, as the only addition to my usual evening diet was a cup of powdered milk tea that was either poorly stored at the shop or whose expiration date was exaggerated to seem far ahead.

I usually leave for my internship before 9 a.m., but this time I couldn’t even get out of bed. I needed to rest before I could gather the energy to seek medical attention.

At 12:30 pm, I gathered energy and visited the Allan Galpin Health Center at the university for a blood test to confirm the diagnosis of a physically stressful illness.

While off-semester,  doing an internship, and still living near the university, I decided to visit the University Health Center. I was unsure if they would accept students who were off-semester.

Usually, we would share our student registration numbers with the health center receptionist before any further steps were taken. This is the norm during the semester since medical bills are included in our other fees.

During my recent visit, the receptionist informed me that they could provide me with the necessary treatment. I only had to pay for a separate medical bill, which was acceptable to me since my priority was getting the treatment I needed.

Upon consulting with the university administration, the health center receptionist informed me that I didn’t need to pay any medical bills since I’m still a pending student despite being off-semester.

After undergoing the usual medical procedures, which included laboratory blood testing, I sat at the reception, patiently waiting for my results. I suspected that I might have malaria due to the majority of its signs and symptoms that I had displayed.

After undergoing a test, it was found that there were no traces of malaria in my body. The clinical officer at the university suggested that my signs and symptoms indicated that I may have had food poisoning. As a result, I was prescribed antibiotics to help treat the illness.

It is important to avoid speculating on the causes of illness and to seek medical attention if you feel unwell.