Last night I competed in the Sicario Heat Challenge, put on by the Fire & Spice food truck, at the Straight to Ale taproom. The challenge was to eat a habanero taco, a ghost pepper taco, and a Carolina reaper taco in 15 minutes or less, with no other food, drink, or even wiping your hands. Then, after you finished, you had to wait 10 minutes (before any additional food, drink, or even wiping your hands).
I made it. It was tough going in the middle, but I made it.
Regular readers probably remember I’ve done something similar in the past. I didn’t have any sustained negative effects from that experience, and I didn’t expect any from this one either. I had acute suffering then. I had acute suffering this time. It had mostly abated 15 minutes after the end of the contest. Even the dreaded “ring of fire” had never been much of a problem for me.
My pastor (who had come out with his wife to support me!) bought me a Monkeynaut, I drank it, we visited, and I went home. I ate a Chick-fil-A and had another beer. I worked on the above video. A little before midnight I heard from my friend Tina, whose partner Stan had been in the contest with me. She was writing to see how I was, because she said Stan was doubled over miserable with abdominal pain. Still symptom-free, I wrote back and said thanks but I’m fine, and I hoped Stan felt better soon. I went to bed.
About 3:30 this morning I woke up with so much abdominal pain I nearly cried out. (Now keep in mind, this is nine and a half hours after I ate these tacos.) I ran and took some Pepto-Bismol, and went back to bed. I was sweating so profusely I wondered if I had a fever. The Pepto didn’t really touch the pain. I found that if I adjusted myself into the right position, the pain would mostly abate, but I had to hold the position exactly. If I moved, it returned, and pretty much immediately. Well, you get stiff, or you want a cool spot on your pillow, and you forget, so you absently move. Ouch. These are not conditions conducive to sleep.
The pain jumped back and forth between my tummy and my lower back until about 8, with me constantly shifting trying to keep it turned off. I finally slept for about an hour then, and woke up (mercifully) mostly pain-free. Started my day. I’ve had a couple of dull, short-lived reminders, but mostly I’ve felt fine today, if sleep-deprived.
It’s essentially gone, so I’m not going to worry about trying to figure out exactly what my condition was unless it returns. But it has me thinking seriously about whether I want to do something like this again. It’s one thing when I can confine the suffering to the moment. It’s quite another for it to result in internal pain, several hours removed, in a system of the body quite possibly slated to become steadily less reliable over the second half of my life whether I help it along or not.