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I Ate at Panera & Just Hours Later I Was Sitting on a Toilet & Googling "Food Poisoning"

Viktor Cvetkovic. Getty Images.

Sometimes you find yourself somewhere and forced to eat what's available…

On Thursday, I was in a Boston hospital, and the only place to eat in the building other than the cafeteria was Panera. I've eaten there before, and although the consistency is seriously lacking, it's always been palatable. 

I've ordered the Southwest Chicken Melt before, so I figured it was a safe menu choice. I hadn't eaten all day…

I finished the sandwich around 2:30 and by 4:00 my stomach started gurgling… About a half hour later, I was having severe stomach pain. I immediately headed to a nearby public restroom, which I hate doing. Being a germophobe, public restrooms are places I've always avoided…

Forget the runs; this was an all-out sprint, and I made it just in the nick of time. As soon as I was seated, my sphincter burst open, and I exploded, and then I exploded again. I couldn't believe I was even capable of generating that much velocity and with very little effort on my part. 

I wasn't sure it was over, so I waited. Then, after a two-minute reprieve, I reached for the toilet paper, thinking it was safe to wipe, and just as I started, woosh, it started again.

After the third wave, I figured it had to be over, so I wiped. After all, how much shit can one man be holding?

Then, after a few minutes, the gurgling started again. I barely made it to another public restroom. This continued for the next four hours until I felt weak and dehydrated; my vision became blurred, and my equilibrium was off. I ate at Panera and now I was sitting on a toilet and Googling "Food Poisoning"…

Unfortunately, Kaley wasn't on the menu…

Paul Archuleta. Getty Images.

I literally made no fewer than 10 trips to that bathroom that night. I've had a colonoscopy, so I'm familiar with the prep, but this was way more intense. By the end, I was shittin' chicken broth, and I knew that was not a good thing…

By morning, I had excruciating body aches, felt feverish, and had no energy. I dragged my sorry ass to the cafeteria, where I bought a couple of Gatorades and two bananas, hoping the bananas would bind me up and the electrolytes in the Gatorade would replenish everything I sent down the bowl…

Nope! That concoction wasn't near enough to jumpstart my dehydrated body or stop the shit from coming. My oldest son brought me some Imodium and Extra Strength Tylenol, and that helped a little, but as much as I didn't want to leave, I had to go home and be miserable in familiar surroundings. 

At least I didn't start puking…

Giphy Images.

It's day two and I've had several slices of plain toast, some water, and I'm starting to feel a little better. White rice and Saltines are next up.

I know it's not fair to condemn all Paneras, but fuck them, that sandwich made me so fucking sick!  I'll never eat there again…