A couple weeks ago, I seemed to be in a three-day spell of Agida. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, it is an Italian-American phrase that means heartburn. It's often used to say that you're experiencing some sort of grief, but the kind I experienced was the heartburn kind.
For some reason, I had the worst heartburn after the lunch I had on that Sunday at the airport. (See my next post for a discussion around the phenomenon of airport food.) It didn't get better any time soon. In fact, after arriving in Chicago for a work conference, I was determined to get a steak...but my stomach was hurting so much that I didn't bother and went with bland room service instead. I had some afternoon doses of Mixed Berry Tums, but after the room service, things reverted back to the previous hurt.
The next morning, my stomach still didn't feel that great (not nausea, but pain), so I started the day with some water and a couple Tums. I then when for a run/walk of a few miles. I was feeling good (there's just something about spandex and my Army shirt that turns on my Supergirl persona), and went to the morning buffet. I didn't overdo it (despite temptation). I had fresh squeezed OJ, coffee, a small bowl of oatmeal, a couple small pancakes (which I didn't finish), and because I felt I needed some protein, an eggs benedict.
The oatmeal was fantastic. Each little grain popped in my mouth sort of like perfectly cooked quinoa. I put in a little bit of brown sugar and just a dash of maple syrup (just because it was there), but I suspect it would have been perfection even without the added sweetness.
The pancakes were only picked up because they were just brought out from the kitchen, so they were piping hot and quite fluffy. As pancakes go, they were perfectly lovely, but I didn't feel like finishing them.
Lastly, the eggs benedict. That is likely not a good choice when chafing dishes are involved, but it's typically one of my favorite breakfast/ brunch items. Both the yolk and the hollandaise were congealed. Not good. But I wanted an egg. (I should have gone with scrambled, clearly.) But the meal served as my breakfast and lunch.
(Side note, I was staying at the hotel where Obama spoke to the AMA, so over coffee and oatmeal, I was watching people, police, security, and protesters scurry about. Excitement, but I didn't see the man himself.)
That afternoon there was a variety of treats at the conference - ice cream, a candy bar (literally bins of malt balls, jelly beans, and a big bowl of popcorn), tons of sodas, bowls of hard candy on each of the tables, Kisses, etc. Then on each of the conference tables, there was one (sometimes two) bowls of hard candy. They're trying to kill us. I managed just to have a small cup of popcorn and a chipwich (or rather, a Tollhouse brand chocolate chip ice cream sandwich). During a drowsy afternoon moment, I might have had a hard candy or two.
After the program, we all went to the Hard Rock Cafe's China Grill where we had three different app stations, passed apps, table waitstaff, and a bar...all paid for. There were tortilla chips with tuna tartare, various sushi rolls, pot stickers, skewered meat, etc. I had a few glasses of wine and a lot of appetizers. It was enough so that I didn't feel hungry any more, but not enough that I was stuffed....maybe not quite enough for a full meal. Either way, my stomach hurt again. So when I got back to my room, I ordered ice cream through room service. The cold felt good in my belly. But going to sleep, my stomach hurt again.
Then this morning...ouch, my belly hurts! (A quick side step here. By my "belly" I'm referring to the top of the stomach where it meets the esophagus.) I got up early (after staying up late), packed, ironed my clothes, and headed out the door. I did pick up a coffee (Fat-Free, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte at Starbucks, aka a skinny vanilla late) at Starbucks, which was likely not too kind on my stomach. But I had a toasted poppy seed bagel at the conference center with cream cheese - I thought it might make things better. a) I shouldn't bother eating bagels outside of Brooklyn. It's just setting myself up for disappointment. b) I should have eaten at the hotel (I had a voucher for a free buffet) and had a big bowl of that oatmeal. Bygones.
I'm pleased to say that spell has long since passed, but it was a tough three days there.
23 minutes ago