It seems the seasonal affliction takes on many different forms, proven by one Utah man being hospitalized after an eggnog chugging contest. Our holiday season hero is Ryan Roche, aged 33, of the city Lehi, who, after being coerced to stay and participate in the contest just as he was leaving, downed an entire quart of eggnog (sans alcohol) in 12 seconds — at an office holiday party with his wife and kids, no less.
Roche told ABC News that the previous record for eggnog-chugging was 22 seconds, which he pummelled to the ground by finishing the carton 10 seconds faster without so much as a taking a breath. He told KSL-Utah:
I've already decided, if I'm going to do it, I'm going to win. I just opened up my throat, didn't even swallow. I pretty much poured it down... I got done, and I was gasping, I couldn't breathe.
While Roche competitive spirit won him bragging rights and a $50 gift certificate to Ruth's Chris Steak House for this pretty impressive feat, he started feeling sick a couple of hours later and was rushed to the hospital by a friend, leaving his wife at home to care for the children. He regaled the tale of his near-demise to the local news channel:
I was pretty much shaking uncontrollably. I was shaking so badly, I was nauseous, and my breathing became a pant.
Now we all know that office holiday parties can get pretty wild, but this might be the first I've heard of eggnog-related, post-holiday party hospitalization. According to KSL-Utah, the doctors told Roche that he chugged the eggnog so fast that he had aspirated the drink into his lungs, in what they called "dry drowning" himself — which pretty much means some eggnog got into his lungs, causing suffocation. Who knew eggnog could be so dangerous?
They pretty much had to wheelchair me in, double IV, oxygen, and hooked me up to what they call the nuclear weapon of antibiotics.
ABC News consulted Dr. Robert Schilz of University Hospitals in Cleveland, however, who had said that the eggnog might have gone down Roche's windpipe, triggering pneumonia. I'll say it again: who knew eggnog could be so dangerous?
Roche spent an entire day in the Intensive Care Unit and then two additional days in the hospital recovering, conceding to ABC News how "not fun" his week-long struggle to full recovery was.
Now, two weeks after the incident, he said his eggnog mishap has become the butt of many jokes. He told ABC News:
People are emailing me pictures of eggnog ... it never gets old," he said. "I'm pretty competitive but, unfortunately, in this situation it got the best of me. But it's become quite the story.
Ultimately, Roche came out on top — he is well and alive now, with perhaps a slight aversion to the holiday drink. His advice for aspiring eggnog-chuggers?:
Eggnog — not ideal for the lungs.