April 11, 2012 posted by Lindsay Ferrier



WELL. Walt Disney World was absolutely and totally incredible and I will soon be providing you with all the fantabulous details, which I can’t wait to share because I think they’ll really make your future trips to Disney all the more amazing.

But first?

Let’s talk about FOOD POISONING.



On our very last night of vacation, I dove into my bed in blissful exhaustion, only to be woken at 6 in the morning by horrible stomach cramps. I whimpered, crawled out of bed, and ran for the bathroom. And then I ran there again at 6:15. And at 6:30. And at 6:45. And on and on and on until my husband finally woke up and I had to give him the horrible news.

“I think I’ve been…. poisoned,” I gasped.

“You’re not the only one,” he said, grimacing. “My stomach is killing me. Thank God the bathroom’s empty.”

We had shared two seafood entrees the night before, but I’d had the bulk of the lobster pasta, while Hubs had focused on the halibut. I remembered thinking that the lobster didn’t really taste like lobster at all, and was kind of chewy and gross.

Famous last words, I thought to myself  as I lay staring at the ceiling and clutching my gut. Worst of all? Checkout was at eleven, and we had 12 hours of driving ahead of us. I groaned at the thought and made another beeline for the bathroom.

“I just don’t think I can do the trip,” I whispered to my husband when I came out.

“Well if it’s food poisoning, it can’t last long, right?” Hubs asked. “Let’s hope it runs its course in a few hours. I’ll call and see if we can get a later checkout time.”

Hubs rang the front desk, where someone informed him that there could be no late checkouts. Period. He asked to speak to a manager and once he got someone on the line, he told the man all of my symptoms in nauseating detail.

“He gave us one extra hour,” Hubs said grimly, hanging up the phone.

Gee thanks, Mickey.

At that point, I may have cried a little. My husband had asked the front desk if we could simply stay an extra night, even in a different room at the resort where we had reservations (we had a coveted room with pirate beds, and they sell out months in advance), but according to the front desk, every room was booked.

The situation was looking dire– at that point, I couldn’t fathom traveling even a few minutes to another location within Walt Disney World. After an hour passed and I was still no better, Hubs went to the front desk to talk to the manager face to face. He came back 15 minutes later.

“They’ve now given us two extra hours,” he announced cheerily, “and I found us some Imodium in the gift shop!”

Both of us took a dose and in minutes, it was doing its job. Our bathroom trips ended — but I still felt miserable. I had a horrible headache and if I closed my eyes, it was easy to imagine that seven dwarves had surrounded me and were angrily stabbing me in the gut with tiny trowels. Still, a girl had to do what a girl had to do. Gingerly, I gathered my things, got in the car and we headed out onto the open road. I put on dark glasses and prayed for a miracle, but instead the opposite happened.

“I feel carsick,” my daughter announced about ten minutes into the trip. Seconds later, I heard a retching sound and turned just in time to see her breakfast of watermelon slices coming right back up.


My own illness forgotten, I scrambled to find something to wipe up the mess. Hubs pulled over at the nearest gas station and I hopped out and quickly rooted in the back for a change of clothes. The first thing I turned up was a dress stained with chocolate ice cream on it from a few nights earlier. It would have to do. Grabbing my daughter’s hand, I headed with her inside and into what had to be the filthiest public restroom in Florida (and that’s saying A LOT). There, I cleaned her up as best I could, changed her from one dirty outfit into another, and headed back out, past a line of irritated women that had formed outside the door. I’m sure my daughter and I made quite the pair as we headed back to the car, but at that point, I couldn’t have cared less.

By that time, it was 1:00. We handed Punky a sand pail in case she felt sick again and got back on the road, deciding that if she threw up a second time, we’d find the nearest decent hotel and check in for the night. Fortunately, Punky’s sickness was a one-time thing and we were able to continue our drive. Spring Break traffic and construction hampered our return, though, and we didn’t pull into our own driveway until 1:30 AM.

My stomach still roiling, I crawled into my own bed, glad to at least be home and near a familiar bathroom. I was sure I’d be all better after a good night’s sleep.

I was so, so wrong.

Day after day, my stomach woes have continued, and so have my husband’s. Pretty much all I was able to eat last week was Saltines and rice, and even then, those dwarves wouldn’t stop with the stabbing! I have been miserable. MISERABLE, I TELL YOU. It wasn’t until yesterday, ten days after my food poisoning debacle began, that I was finally stomach ache-free.

The (totally NOT) hilarious thing about ten-day food poisoning is that Hubs and I were forced to continue on with our lives as best we could, getting to know the city’s public restrooms a little too well in the process. Desperate for a little alone time, Hubs and I even went on a date night one night during what will go down in family history as Food Poisoning 2012. “Isn’t it sad when date night ends based on how much time we think we have before we have to make a run for the bathroom?” Hubs asked as we gingerly ate our dinner at a local bar. I know. So romantic.

Even worse was the night last week that Hubs had a cameo appearance in “Titanic: The Musical.” I left for the show with plenty of time to spare… at least until I had to make an unexpected detour into a fast food restaurant bathroom on the way to the performance. Punky and I ended up making it to the show just as the curtain rose. So. Not. Fun.

The only good news is what you’d expect- Not only did stuffing my face for seven straight days (courtesy of the Disney meal plan) end up having zero impact on the scales, but I’m now three pounds lower than I was when I left for vacation.


I don’t recommend that you ever try it as a weight loss technique, though.

Food poisoning has got to be the worst diet ever.




  • Sandra

    My daughter (then 9) also got sick at Disney World – the night before our departure, some shrimp went south on her. I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get her on a plane to get home! Horrible – for sure, the only thing worse than getting sick at home!!

    • Anonymous

       Ugh! My husband said it would have been better if it had happened on a park day… I don’t know what he was smoking- That’s the only thing that would have been worse!! ;D

  • Kimberly

    I feel nauseous just reading this.  How awful for you both!  There is not much worse than having food poisoning on a long car trip.  Maybe you should report the restaurant you ate at? 😛

    • suburbanturmoil

      The hotel manager reported it to the restaurant for us. All my symptoms matched up exactly with a particular food-borne illness, but I’ll be damned if I’m going in for testing because… STOOL SAMPLE. Even I have my limits.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so sorry to hear your terrible experience dragged on for so long. It was really wonderful to see you btw.

    • suburbanturmoil

      So great to see you too, Amy! I only wish we’d had more time together. I would have loved to show you Nashville!

      • AmysAdventures

        Oh, I plan to come back! I didn’t get to see any celebrites–other than you. 🙂

  • Oh, how awful! Last year I contracted food poisoning at a fundraiser luncheon hosted by our town’s country club, of all places. Over 20 of us got it and it was HORRIBLE. I won’t go into details but that experience convinced me that bathroom wastebaskets need to be easily washable. I felt awful for about a week and I thought *that* was bad. Here’s a little tip for you that I learned when I had a mild case a few years ago (no vomiting, just a few weeks of the other): Mix apple cider vinegar in raw honey and take a spoonful. I was dubious but it actually put a stop to the diarrhea with one dose. Hope you all are well soon.

    • suburbanturmoil

       Wow, that’s awful! And thanks for the tip. One thing that seemed to help me was probiotic supplements. Once I started taking those twice a day, the stomach aches cleared up quickly. I was hoping that the “good bacteria” would help get rid of the “bad bacteria” and now I think I was right!

  • Litenarata

    I went on the Food Poisoning Diet a couple weeks ago too. Now that pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear fit me again. YAY!

    But yes, it’s not a good weight loss technique, and now I’m scared to get the six pairs of work pants I just bought altered, because what if those five pounds come back?  🙂

    • suburbanturmoil

       Ha! So true. This is the first time I’ve had ten straight days of this kind of illness– I was amazed at how it really sapped the energy right out of me. I’m still not 100%…

  • I was going to suggest that if you are still experiencing it, you should get checked for C diff, but never mind.

    • suburbanturmoil

       I’m sure it was something along those lines. There was also a recent salmonella outbreak that matched up with the food and symptoms. YUCK. I never realized how scared I was at the prospect of giving a stool sample until last week! LOL.

  • bereccah5

    That is rough. Ugghhhh…we got home from FLA ourselves last night and my daughter promptly puked on her floor about an hour after she went to bed. Sigh.

    • suburbanturmoil

       Ugh. The worst thing about kids’ puking is that it’s often just random. Puking for no apparent reason happens every few months around here…

  • Earth Girl

    I was poisoned by Disney several years ago also.  I ordered mussels at a famous seafood restaurant.  It was a business trip and I had to fly home with the hot shots in the company’s Lear jet.  I would have preferred to forget that incident.

  • Caroline

    Well, I’m a month late to the party, but here goes…..just another tip. 
     I’ve had no food poisoning at Disney, but I HAVE had it from the pre-cooked vacuum-sealed packets of wild rice sold at Trader Joe’s. 
    I have always cooked wild rice the old-fashioned way: on top of the stove for about an hour.  When I bought the pre-cooked variety, I was tired and willing to test out another option.  The directions said it was ready to eat and that all it needed was three minutes in a microwave oven. 
    The minute I opened the bag, it smelled burned, like the bottom of the vat it had been in had overcooked a tad.  Never mind that, I thought.  I went ahead and made what I’d intended to make, and took it with me to work the next day, where it sat in a fridge until lunch.
    I felt so terrible later that afternoon, I left work early.  I barely made it home in time for a Deluxe Edition of food poisoning, which came complete with dry heaves, a three-hour stint lying on the floor of my bathroom between rounds of barfing and diarrhea, a night that ended around 3:00 AM, terrible chills, significant pain in the solar plexus area, and symptoms that continued on for the next two days.
    It’s the worst I’ve felt with food poisoning, and it put me off wild rice for the next year.  The hallmark of food poisoning for me is the pain paired with nausea, as I know I’m in for a nasty journey when that happens.  The bad news is you can’t stop the train; once it’s left the station, you just have to ride it out.
    I know exactly what you went through, and you have my sympathy and condolences even a month later. 

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