My sister, Rachel, had a recent bout with food poisoning. She created this hilarious qualitative scale for determining the level of severity. (Luckily, the case she just had was mild.)
Three Levels of Food Poisoning
“Am I going to die?” Intermittent stomach pain, vomiting to empty stomach, and diarrhea until bowels are empty. Next day: wondering what you can safely eat, tired but functional.
“I know I am going to die.” More constant waves of stomach pain, some dry heaves with simultaneous painful diarrhea. Next day no appetite, still sick.
“Why can’t I just die?” Constant extremely forceful vomiting, dry heaves. Next day: failure to keep down food, possible dehydration, explosive watery diarrhea, headache, constant pain, aversion to eating anything for a week. Another defining factor of SEVERE food poisoning: the people around you begin wondering if you are going to die (from onset to 1am) and then why you can’t just die (from 1am to 8am).
*No case of food poisoning ever feels mild or moderate while it is occurring.