What is this thing that ails us? (stomach flu verus food poisoning?)

Not looking for medical advice here. We’re dealing with things. We will go to our doctor for real advice. And I wouldn’t listen to what you yahoos say about anything related to my health anyway.

Disclaimer out of the way, we at the Athena household have been lucky enough to be visited by something that I assumed to be food poisoning when it struck me Friday night. Hubby and I had shared a meal of steaks and a salad and a cake (it was my birthday!), and within a few hours, I had all the alarming and discomforting symptoms of food poisoning, which I will spare you the details of.

I will say I’ve never had it so bad - Mr. Athena wanted to take me to the ER, but I couldn’t bear the idea of a ten minute drive without a toilet close by. Even now - 3 days later - I’m not up for my morning coffee, which if you know me, is a very, very odd thing.

I would just be writing this off to food poisoning of some sort (the steak in particular is difficult to think about), but last night… it struck Mr. Athena. We didn’t eat any of the same food yesterday, as I was still sickened by most everything. He had dinner, and 3 hours later, he got sick. Now he’s flat on his back in bed, chewing on ice slivers, just like I was on Saturday.

So what’s going on? Flu? Delayed food poisoning? The only food I can think of that we both ate on the day we got sick were eggs, and they were eaten 8-10 hours before getting sick. What is this mystery illness?

Oh, and the dog puked this morning too. I think he did it just out of solidarity for his Dad, though.

The flu in a** respiratory **infection caused by a virus.

Gastrointestinal infections are caused by stuff you ingest, sometimes on food, sometimes not.

You can get a dollop of someone/something’s eColi by contacting it with your hand and getting it into your mouth – it need not be on food. Then you got your salmonella, which can be ingested in similar way, on food or not. For example, you could ingest it via contact with lizzard excrement, and other reptiles’ (and the list goes on… poultry, etc) droppings.

Mostly, you ingest these things via eating them, but I don’t know if they are all technically cases of food poisoning, because you don’t need to have eColi with a burger. It could be on a door handle you grabbed.

Note: some cases of the Flu are reported w/ some stomach distress, but this is usually related to general ill health, meds that upset and general nausea associated with fevers, lack of sleep, etc. People call cases of food poisoning ‘stomach flu’, but this is a misnomer.

I’m wondering if her husband didn’t get whatever she had via contact with her. Something like Norovirus isn’t food poisoning per se (in the sense of spoiled food), but can be transmitted via food handling or other means (casual contact, touching an object with the virus on it then ingesting it), and is similar in effect.

I can tell you that it’s been going around, whatever it is. Almost everyone I know has gotten it since around Thanksgiving. My husband got it, then I got it, then about a week later my husband got it AGAIN.


OK, I forgot what audience I was talking to.

When I say “Stomach Flu” of course I don’t mean flu. The flu is a respiratory illness. But the term “stomach flu” is often used to describe viral gastroenteritis, and that’s what I’m asking about. I’m no doctor, and I realize that what most people call the stomach flu is typically food poisoning of some sort, but I find the 2-day delay between he and I getting it odd. Had we both come down with it at the same time, I’d assume it was something we ate, and probably clean out the fridge. But with the delay, I’m wondering if it’s something other than food-related (or lizard-excrement or doorknob related).

I know there’s no real answer, thus this is in IMHO.

A variable: Different immune systems

Also: A chance that he got it from contact with you or your germs, not from the same meal. Salmonella, IIRC, takes 48-72 hrs to really wreak havoc.

I am also under the impression that most people sharing households eventually develop immunity to each other’s gastrointestinal germs, so I am opining he got the same germ that was foreign to you as well.