It struck with lightning speed. First, the fever, then stomach cramps in the afternoon. I knocked off early, went home and collapsed onto the couch in a fetal position. Then came nausea — and diarrhea — and I spent the night shuffling between the couch and the bathroom.

By morning, the stomach crams reached convulsive levels. So did the other symptoms. I moved to the bedroom and stayed there for the next 24 hours, leaving my fetal repose only for all-too-frequent dashes to the bathroom.

The pain lessened by Friday morning but any attempt to eat prompted a rush to the john to recycle the meal into the septic system.

By Friday afternoon, the will to live returned — more or less. I stepped on the scale to find I lost 15 pounds in 48 hours.

Hell of a diet program.