thanks again

a picture of all the gadgets that are on the wall above a hospital bed.
It’s a little weird how COVID summer really felt like a departure from… life, but COVID winter is shaping up to look a lot like normal winter since I’m just inside working on projects. But I’ve had some news that I figured I’d share because it feels weird to NOT tell people I was in the ER last week. However, I am fine or mostly fine. The past few weeks have been a slog. I had a tooth giving me trouble, got a crown, that didn’t help, got a root canal, everything in there still feels weird but at least I can chew. Was a few weeks where I couldn’t, or only on one side.

So, I very much enjoyed chewing on my solo Thanksgiving meal (thanks Woodstock Senior Center, and my pal Marian who drove it over here) and went to bed feeling pretty okay about the world. But then was awakened early (8!) Friday morning with the kind of rough abdomen pain that says “If this doesn’t go away pretty soon, I need to head to the ER.” Fortunately I live across the street from the ER so this is not difficult. Also I’m in Vermont and COVID numbers are (were) low here so I didn’t have ER concerns. Long story short, the gallstone that I knew I had decided to make itself known, probably as the result of me eating a lot of unusual-for-me-these-days foods (pie! donut! mashed up sweet potatoes!). And it settled down on its own eventually–painkillers made the eventually be less awful–and I was sent home at 2 with low-fat diet exhortations and an appointment for last week. Everyone in the ER was super nice. Follow-up appointment went well and long-story-short gallbadder needs to come out at SOME point but probably not right now. It’s pretty low-key surgery, healing time isn’t bad. And I can get back to more or less my regular diet right now, which didn’t include any fried foods anyhow, not lately. It’s been a week, so far things are okay.

I told the surgeon that even though I felt confident in the hospital’s COVID protocols, I’d rather wait. She said this was reasonable. If it turns out I made a bad choice and I need it out sooner, I’m always going to be across the street anyhow. As people who know me know, I manage a pretty heavy anxiety load during the best of times. So, one of the reasons I haven’t mentioned this sooner is I really need to not hear people’s bad news stories–about hospitals, about teeth, about COVID, about gallbladders, about anything right now–something which always seemed to happen when I’d talk about my mom’s cancer or other various health issues. I know it’s a big ask, but I figured maybe I was better off making the ask then just sitting at home and worrying on my own.

What do you think?


  1. Jess, here’s a good news story. I’ve been putting off gallbladder surgery for at least five years — with the blessing of my surgeon. Also putting off rotator cup surgery (permanently?) with the blessing of that surgeon Obviously every case is different, but sometimes there is no need to rush especially with Covid on the horizon.

  2. Sounds reasonable to me.

  3. No weird health stories….just tea and sympathy…..miss seeing you.
    Wishing you a good winter with less pain and anxiety… know we
    are right close for anything you need…..wont send you any fried food!

  4. Oh that’s no good.

    This is what I did (do … have done it twice now) when I started having gall bladder pain because I do not want an operation… I call it my salad dressing cure!

    The day before you “take the cure” you can reduce your food intake if you want.

    On the day you take the treatment you should fast from lunch time but keep your liquid intake up (drink water or broth).

    Just before you go to bed mix together well (use a stick blender or whisk) the following : 1 cup light olive (or other low flavour) oil and 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can also add a small pinch of salt which can help to soften the flavour. MDrink the mix in one go (you can breathe between mouthfuls!). It doesn’t taste that bad (IMO) but the last few mouthfuls can take a lot of mental strength. ???? Once you have finished your nightcap go straight to bed & lie on your right side. (Clean your teeth, etc. before you go. )

    You may feel quite icky. You might even throw up (I haven’t but have felt very nauseous) Next day you may still feel very icky. And you may go to the #2 loo quite a bit or not at all. The following day you should feel better & will see some results. Your stools will probably be a bit weirdly coloured.

    You should notice an improvement over the following days. It’s so nice when the pain disappears ????

    The first time I took this cure I was told to drink lots of apple juice (too much sugar for my liking) & take Epsom salts ???? so things pass fast. The second time I did it I basically decided in the morning & did it that night & let my body deal with it.

    I did have some post pain but I think was probably some large stones being passed. Now no pain! Hurray!

    Best wishes ????????

  5. Glad to hear you are on the mend, got the teeths dealt with and have A Plan for gallbladder. You know we’re here if you need us!

  6. I think my new retirement goal is to live across the street from the hospital.