Friday, January 18, 2013

Don't let the door hit you

I am 24 hours post gallbladder removal surgery. Not feeling too bad. The cat is sleeping my left shoulder, as he does. Oddly, my right shoulder hurt the most yesterday. Apparently the gas they use in laparoscopic procedures is really hard on the phrenic nerve in your diaphragm, which for some reason results in pain in the right shoulder. Pain is crazy that way. It's called referred pain, and I love that they don't really know the mechanism that makes it work.

Having worked in health care most of my adult life, I always enjoy seeing how organizations handle the situations. To make it even more fascinating, I happened to have the surgery at my former employer's surgical suites. I was slightly alarmed that no less than 3 providers failed to ask me the "safety" questions in an appropriate setting (meaning, they all asked me if I felt safe going home in front of my husband, who would have presumably been the reason I didn't feel safe, if in fact I didn't). All the hand washing was appropriate. Yes, my brain is now broken, and I can't not look for it.

I was also impressed with their pre-op preparations. I took two showers with CHG (Hibiclens) soap before I entered the hospital, and then had to wipe down with more anti-bacterial wipes when I changed into "our matching pajamas", as my surgeon calls them. The nurse explained that it was based on a study (evidence-based! hot health care buzzwords!) that showed that it greatly reduced surgical site infections. I'm all for that, since the belly button can certainly gather some yuck. Plus, I love that she explained why it was necessary, which it seems like no one wants to take the time to do, and it's really important to the patient.

So, today I'm going to go for a walk, and take a shower, and maybe try to eat dinner with friends. In an analogy I've been working on but not yet perfected, it feels like the moody, violent roommate that no one likes has moved out of my abdomen apartment building. It's a bright day-future. We can re-arrange the furniture the way we like, and keep it a little cleaner. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Upon losing yet another organ...

So, after 2 months of off-and-on agony, my gallbladder surgery will finally take place tomorrow. Will I miss that jerk bag? Well, time will tell, I suppose. (Someone just posted on my facebook to "Eat an egg now!").

I do find it interesting that sacrificing organs that were provided in the human design is "no big deal" to medicine today. I did joke with my surgeon that he could take anything else "extra" he found in there. (He didn't find that amusing.) With that thought in mind, I initially resisted the idea. Why give up a perfectly useful sac just because it randomly makes you want to die?

But 4 more attacks later, I came around. Please! Take it out, preferably today (tomorrow should suffice, however). I also, through the magic of social networks, was reassured by the legions of my friends who had no regrets. This was nice to counter-balance two relatives who were against it.

I do believe that the outcome will be based on my attitude. Really, it is okay that I may not be able to eat a typical American diet with impunity. It is the stupidest way to eat in the world. I would much rather eat foods that are good for me, and this will be enforced by my own gut.

And we're back to listening to your gut. But I can do that! I have no other choice at this point. I'm still kind of scared, but it will be all right. If it's important, it will be hard. I can do it. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm no different than anyone else.

In case you're more results oriented than wandering oriented, you could just read this post at Lifehacker about changing your habits, and avoid all my self-induced dramatic warbling. I may not be original, but I try to be entertaining?

And just to keep it in the Gawker family, according to Jezebel, my search/find/rescue mission is at minimum meaningless.

I'm going to watch some videos, change my clothes and go to dinner with friends. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dr. Phil's Apple Cider Vinegar Cure

Here I am, sipping my delicious cocktail of apple cider vinegar and water. Why am I doing this? Well, because I am fool for the googles and gallbladders. Why aren't you doing it?

It did occur to me that it could be because I am a sucker. Straight up fool, naive faith-following simpleton who believes whatever she is told. There are elements of truth to this. (I do steer my life with the idea that if I can read the instructions, I can probably do any given task, although I've been proven wrong many times.) Who would believe that you can treat gallbladder attacks with apple cider vinegar? (I'll give you the answer quickly - someone who is having one within reach of the laptop.)

I would also like to point some fingers at Dr. Phil. I guess should have been a little more discerning, but I vowed to read as many books as possible in January. I didn't say they were all going to be brilliant. I do need a little perspective on this relationship crap. And damn if Dr. Phil doesn't have some good points... albeit, none of them are about apple cider vinegar. So if I can accept new information from Dr. Phil, then what else can I do?

Placebos are cool with me, too. Why not try the least harmful approach before the most harmful? I probably consume more vinegar in my salads. It's good for the local economy too, what with the apples and all. Although I don't really believe (oops, this makes placebos harder to implement) that I'm going to cure all of my health issues AND end up with a glowing complexion to boot, I wouldn't be sad if that happened, either.

But the real reason I'm trying is because I think want to be part scientist. I'm the fun scientist, messing with your household foods and celebrities. I take what I like, and leave the rest (I mean, isolate the contributing factors) to see what will work. AND I'm my own guinea pig, so there's no risk to you.

So here we go. 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of water, preferably before dinner, once a day.   When gallbladders attack (which they have been recently..... jerks), we put it in organic apple juice. Dr. Phil I only trust as far as I can throw him and as long as he doesn't start rambling about Jesus, but so far he's been pretty good. What's the worst that can happen? I will move on to dandelion supplements and Eckert Tolle?