When teaching a Pilates class, while participants hold a 90-second plank, I try to tell amusing stories. A few years ago on my last day of classes before Thanksgiving, I jokingly said to my last class, “I only have two Thanksgiving-themed stories. You are probably all sick of hearing them year after year. Something interesting better happen this Thanksgiving so I can get a better story for you guys.” I got my wish from a seemingly inconspicuous nutmeg muffin.
I have a family recipe for nutmeg muffins from my great, great, great grandma. My family makes them on the regular, but I have been gluten free for 8 years. In that time, I’ve enjoyed nutmeg muffins less. Though I’ve experimented with g-free flours, it seems gluten-free products suck the flavor out of everything. In an attempt to improve the quality every time I make nutmeg muffins I add a little more nutmeg. This year as I preheated the oven on Thanksgiving morning and pulled the beaters out of the drawer to make my bland muffins, I said to myself with the air of hyperbole: “I’m going to taste the nutmeg in these muffins if it kills me.”
Instead of using the 1 teaspoon of nutmeg that the recipe calls for, I used 4 heaping teaspoons. I could actually taste the nutmeg and had four muffins. Then I went for a run with friends and came back unusually exhausted, so I took a short nap. It was about 9am. I’d only been up a few hours. Upon waking from my nap I felt nauseas and like I was going to get a migraine. Matt, my boyfriend, suggested I skip Thanksgiving, but I love this holiday and drove to my father’s house to enjoy food and family.
The day was a struggle. I arrived still nauseas, still on the verge of a migraine with lots of pressure behind my eyes, dry mouth, and blood shot eyes. I kept burping up nutmeg and felt so strange. As a mild hypochondriac, I texted Matt: “if anything happens to me I ate a lot of nutmeg.” He informed me later that my text was confusing and he wouldn’t have considered it had I been rushed to the hospital.
Midway through the meal, I started realizing I had no idea what anyone was saying to me. It felt like I was falling asleep for 5 second intervals, but no one mentioned that I seemed to be falling asleep. Could I be falling asleep with my eyes open? Was I hiding whatever was transpiring in my body?
No. My brother-in-law thought I’d eaten gluten because I was acting funny. My grandma insinuated I might be drunk and suggested I go lie down. I did and I slept, but I awoke with the same symptoms. When I got home I told Matt how I was feeling and that it felt a little like motion sickness or altitude sickness.
Could It Be Nutmeg Poisoning?
“I think I have nutmeg poisoning,” I declared. We Googled it. It’s real. The symptoms are: dry mouth, blood shot eyes, nausea, headache, dizziness, memory loss, and hallucinations. Some people use it to get high. I don’t know why. It wasn’t pleasant. Apparently in prison, nutmeg is allowed because the high is so bad no one opts to consume large amounts.
Looking back, I imagine the moments where I thought I was falling asleep and couldn’t remember what people said to me were memory loss. It was terribly disturbing. On the ride home I had called my brother who had just moved from Virginia to Texas to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “Will, Happy Thanksgiving! How is Thanksgiving in Virginia?
Will: “I wouldn’t know, I’m in Texas.”
Me: “That’s right. I know that. So, how is Virginia?”
Will: “Maggie, I’m in Texas.
Me: “Yes, I know. I just don’t know why I can’t seem to remember that right now.”
It worries me slightly that my brother didn’t think that conversation was disconcerting. It makes me wonder how he feels most of our conversations play out. But, then again, he eats nutmeg too.
It probably didn’t help that foods at Thanksgiving contain nutmeg and I kept ingesting more. If I passed out my horrible plan was to utter the word “nutmeg.” My dying word would have been a quiet, labored, haunting “nutmeg.” And I can only imagine, with muffins passed down from generations, my family would have heard me and thought: Get the girl more nutmeg!
Keep Reading Maggie’s Blogs
Maggie’s poor brother has put up with a lot from her. In this story he puts her deodorant to the test.
One of Maggie’s favorite plank stories is of a great kiss.
Maybe Maggie is just a tad weird.
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