As I get older, I start to realize that I can’t do whatever I want with my body and have it love me unconditionally. During my last physical, I got my first ever test for cholesterol that resulted high enough for the doctor to advise me to limit my diet. I really didn’t think much of it. I’d been looking into doing a keto diet (which is high fat/protein and extremely low carb, and is apparently very good for you) but never took any of it seriously. It also didn’t help that I’ve been a bit overweight for the past few years and have been fairly lax with exercise (I do walking and yoga, though).
Fast forward nearly a year, and I’m in the emergency room with the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life, stabbing through my entire upper abdomen and spine. I seriously thought I was dying, and my boyfriend was none the wiser. After a few rounds of vomit, an IV for fluids and morphine (praise be to morphine), and an abdominal ultrasound later, it was determined that I indeed have gallstones, and one of them is currently stuck in the neck of my gallbladder.
It was roughly 3am at this point, and the on-call surgeon was contacted but since my gallbladder was still intact and not in danger of bursting, I was sent home with prescriptions for vicodin and zofran, advice to severely limit my diet, and a strong recommendation to follow up with my primary care doctor.
About this restricted diet? No fatty foods (really no fat at all), no spicy foods, no alcohol, and no caffeine. So really, nothing good. The worst part has been the no caffeine, by far. I’ve been living off of saltines, rice, blanched veggies, and the occasional piece of chicken, and my body could not hate me more for it. All the carbs have me bloated and I’ve even developed a nagging headache, and with the added stress of moving in a few days, everything that doesn’t trigger my gallbladder DOES trigger my IBS, so I suffer anyway.
Two days after my hospital visit I was sitting in the doctor’s office where they took my vitals and talked to me about my very limited options: either continue to follow a heavily restricted diet and follow pain management whenever I get attacks (which I have a 50% chance of getting within the next year…no thanks), or just have my gallbladder removed completely.
I didn’t even have to think about it. I opted for surgery. So I have to wait for the referral to get approved now, but the sooner this little bad bitch is no longer a thorn in my side (quite literally), the sooner I can get back to eating the foods I love.
And more importantly, drinking coffee.
(I’m also pretty dead set on following a fairly strict keto diet after this, which is actually supposed to help lower high cholesterol levels, amongst other he alth benefits).