Saturday, August 25, 2012
Amazing, it's been exactly a month since I last wrote. There was an extraordinary amount of packing, traveling, family, and fun in that month, though. Andrew had three weeks of training to do outside of Philly, so my parents generously flew myself and the kiddiwinks (a girlfriend's term for her children--love!) to Minnesota for two weeks. William adjusted quite quickly to the joys of a bigger space, with stairs, and a big yard to run in--pictures to come, I promise. He did, however skip nearly four days worth of naps. Ugh. Anyways. Then we all drove across Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula to my grandmother's cottage on Walloon Lake--again, pictures to come! Found out, the hard way, that not only does Madeleine not like flying, she also hates her car seat. She literally cried from one side of Wisconsin to the other. We were so glad to be at the lake after such a brutal car ride. So, what does all of this have to do with the scrumptious food pictured here? Well, let me explain. During my last pregnancy I had two gallbladder attacks. I just didn't know it at the time. I chalked it up to one of those horrible pregnancy things, like swollen ankles or acid-reflux that makes you cry. Then I had and attack the day before my mother arrived to fly us back to Minnesota. Unbeknownst to me, the gallbladder is extremely sensitive to fat. And I had had McDonald's twice that week and two nights of brie and jam as an appetizer. Add a lot of stress due to pending traveling and a genetic predisposition and voila, I'm your number one candidate for a gallbladder attack. It feels like intense gas pain, but it doesn't move, doesn't dissipate, and grows more and more painful, to the point that the pain creeps behind your right shoulder blade up. In the end I took a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, tylenol, and was promptly sick. The whole attack lasted four hours.
So. Now we get to all the yummy food. There are a few routes you can take when you have issues with your gallbladder: change your diet, manage attacks with pain relievers, or simply have the whole thing removed. The idea of having another surgery, with two little ones at home, fills me with dread. And the pain relievers they prescribed me simply dulled the pain. So, I decided to make some changes. I started eating more veggies, cut out the brie and red meat and tried to stay clear of butter. Then a week after the attack I had another one. So, bigger changes needed to be made. I did as much research as I could and started concocting a plan: no butter, eggs, red meat, and carbonated beverages (it actually moves the gallstones around--not good). I immediately started eating veggies at every meal. Lots of hummus, beets, lettuce, tomatoes and olive oil. Lean chicken and salmon were merely a topping on the salad. It's so strange--no eggs, butter, dairy, or meat. I went vegan in no time flat. Crazy! But, I feel good. I feel so good. And, although, diet might not fix everything, at least I know I'm doing the best that I can.
Honestly, the thing I miss the most is beer. Ugh. But, wine is delicious, and apparently one of the things, in moderation, that can be good for my little gallbladder. The things that I'm growing to love are plentiful: beefsteak tomatoes, zucchini patties cooked in olive oil, roasted beets and onions, basil, cherry balsamic vinegar with toasted pita bread. Vegetables are so beautiful and super tasty!
Anyways, I wanted to share, just in case you or someone you know is suffering from anything gallbladder related. If you have any tips, advice, general wisdom, please let me know!