Saturday, March 29, 2008


CO-Habitating produces unseen and disastrous, even deadly, results. Forgive me if you've already heard this story, I needed to write it up. (this was two months ago)

A dinner party seemed like a good idea. We love to entertain and since we had six dozen pierogi taking up a large portion of our shrinking freezer (see the "Pierogi Pinching" blog entry), we invited our friends the Fords over for pierogi fried in butter, drizzled with butter and some carmelized onions and peppers on the side. Just as I was almost finishing up in the kitchen a pounding headache started. The kind that stops your thinking and sort of debilitates you. Thinking that maybe I just needed more coffee, I reheated the several hour old coffee and dumped that into my system. But I continued bustling about for a few minutes, determined that we would have a nice, complete dinner.

We all ate pierogi, I think, and I tried to remain calm on the outside while the gray matter inside battled against it's restrictive cranial case. Feeling something of a hero, we finished up pierogi, and I even managed to swallow a few myself. It would be a shame to let all of those delicious cabbage pierogi get eaten by other people. Then I asked Matt to move every one to the living room for dessert (I thought that I might feel better if I sat there for a little while). Then I had to excuse myself for a minute to use the bathroom, puked in my (fortunately) just-made-sparkly-for-company toilet and felt better, sort of. An hour later, after resting for a while, I felt much better.

Now, all suffering aside, what could this have been caused from? If it were just this one time, I would dismiss it as just some fluke, probably underestimating my addiction to coffee. But that's simply not the fact. Almost this exact scenario had happened about a month before. So I got to thinking, always dangerous, I know... The result was that I deduced that the Fords were causing my sudden illness. Clearly, I was allergic to them at our dinner parties. Adios. No more of you. Both times--no, the only times--that I became ill like that, they were the only ones here! Coincidence?

With the help of the Oracle (Google), I looked up my symptoms and matched them to the only thing that Matt and I could relate it to: the kitchen, in particular, the oven. Each time I had been in the kitchen for several hours while laboring closely to the stove. The hypothesis? Carbon Monoxide leaking (CO) and lengthy exposure. In case you you're not up your your CO stats, lots of people die for Carbon Monoxide each year, both unintentionally and intentionally. This is what suicidal people rely on when the stay in their car in the garage with the exhaust collecting.

So what next? We had a CO detector, it didn't go off. But I don't really want to use my stove until we figure it out... So I call the apartment's maintenance department and the typical drama that normally results from calling maintenance ensued... Tune in for that adventure next post!

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