Strike Two

This past Tuesday evening, I started to feel pain sort of under the right side of my ribcage. My first thought was, “I have broken a rib. I’ve never actually broken a rib, but this is what I imagine that would feel like.” I mentioned it to Josh, but concluded I couldn’t have broken a rib or I would remember how, and thought maybe it was just a severe pulled muscle.

By Wednesday it hurt to stand up, it hurt to sit down, it hurt to lie down, and it hurt to breathe, but I figured it would just go away and I had things to do so I tried to ignore it.

Wednesday night I had to get up with the kids in the middle of the night and I thought to myself, “It feels like I got kicked in the ribs by a horse.”

That was when it dawned on me: I had thought that thought before. In fact, I realized, I had thought the thoughts about broken ribs and pulled muscles before too.

As you may know, or perhaps not, when I was pregnant with Hannnah I started having gallbladder attacks that grew worse and worse. The gallbladder is the organ that helps your body digest fat. Whenever you eat fat, your gallbladder goes into action. When you have gallstones or some other sort of irritation or infection or inflammation of the gallbladder, every bit of fat you eat causes you pain. Because I was pregnant and surgery to remove the gallbladder goes in through the bellybutton, the surgeon didn’t recommend it because he would have a hard time avoiding the uterus. He suggested I try to eliminate fat from my diet and then said we’d try the surgery after Hannah was born.

So I didn’t eat fat for the next 6 months until Hannah arrived. None. I ate 12 egg whites per day, protein shakes, and skim dairy to keep my protein levels up. People always asked how I could stand to do without chocolate or pizza or whatever while I was pregnant. Those were people who have never been kicked in the ribs by a horse, I figured.

Anyway, after Hannah was born the whole problem cleared up. I wound up not having the surgery, because the surgeon said sometimes gallbladder issues just resolve themselves and don’t come up again.

But here we are and the gallbladder pain is back. Happy Valentine’s Day to me. It is really not a convenient time in my life to undergo surgery, so starting Thursday I went back on a fat free diet. It’s amazing how quickly things got better! I’m hoping I won’t have to keep this up for 6 months this time, but I plan to go for a few weeks then gradually add some fat back into my diet and see how it goes. If the situation doesn’t resolve itself by this summer, I’ll have the surgery then.

If anyone has any good fat free recipes for me to try out, let me know! So far I figured out how to make my bread without fat, and I stocked up on fat free yogurt (with doubled coupons, of course!) and I made an egg white salad for my lunch that involved lots of mustard and pickles and was tolerable. Meijer also has a new type of organic refried beans that are fat free and come in green chile lime flavor that are pretty good mixed with brown rice and salsa for a Mexican-ish dish to eat while the family enjoys other things. I’m glad that this time around I’m at home and not working full time because I’ll have more time to prepare good food for myself without having to eat the same thing day in and day out. Also, since I’ve already done this once, I’m not worried about it and I know there are ways to keep myself from feeling deprived.

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