Ever wondered what eating a poison mushroom was like? Read on my friends…
I took three home with me. I couldn’t find my Mushroom book, was in a hurry, so I trusted my judgment, fried them up in olive oil, and ate them as a side dish. I should have recognized then that they weren’t inky caps, because inky caps exude a black substance when you fry them.
They honestly did not taste that good, rather bland in my opinion. I thought to myself, “Gee, I don’t think I’ll ever pick and eat these again.” (Little did I know the truth of my thought at the time).
I went dancing afterward, and bragged to my friends that I had picked and eaten some wild mushrooms for dinner. A friend asked me “Were they all white?”
I said “Yes.”
She scolded me, saying, “My mother told me never to eat an all white mushroom.”
At that point, I got concerned. I covered it up by saying, “I’m OK, I know what I’m doing and I don’t feel sick.”
I got home. I was hungry, so I ate some nachos and humus and drank some apple juice before going to bed around 11 p.m. I still felt fine, so I wasn’t worried.
The crack of dawn that time of year is early, sometime between 4:30 and 5:00. It’s a really neat time if you’ve never experienced it–the silence is almost unbearable. To most busy people it is unbearable. There is nothing to drown out the chatter in the head. City folks usually find it uncomfortable in contrast to the noise of the city. I’ve become accustomed to awakening with the light. This morning I woke a little earlier than usual. I couldn’t quite tell whether it was still night or just breaking into the day.
I felt queasy. It was the same feeling I had when I had food poisoning. Before I had any more time to assess my state, I realized I needed to get to the bathroom. I barely made it to the royal throne when I started heaving my guts out. The vomiting reflex was strong. The pressure of the strong contractions forced stuff out both ends of the GI tract, uncontrollably. I had a severe case of vomiting and diarrhea. At that point, deep down I knew I had made the big mistake: I HAD EATEN AMANITA VIROSA, AKA, “THE DESTROYING ANGEL”. 1 For the next three hours, I was making trips constantly from my bed to the bathroom. I was still in denial. My housemate asked me the first time I was up “Are you OK?” I said “Yes, I was just sick.” By the time 7:30 had rolled around, I had talked to my girlfriend, called in sick to work and still had not mentioned that I thought it was Amanita poisoning. Finally, my housemate again asked me what was going on. I responded saying “I think I accidentally poisoned myself with some bad mushrooms last night.”
He said “Maybe you should go get checked out at the local “Convenient Care Center.”
I silently thought to myself, “Yeah, If I go there, I’ll be sitting and waiting and by the time someones sees me, I’ll be dead.”
I found my mushroom book and looked up the symptoms for Amanita poisoning: vomiting and diarrhea or severe constipation 6-8 hrs after consumption.2 Oh, and by the way, it’s now destroying your liver and 50 to 80 percent of the people who ingest Amanita DO NOT SURVIVE! At that point, I knew I was in deep, deep doo doo and in for the biggest fight of my life, for my life.
I called the Poison Control Center – 800-222-1222.