One night I decided to try some spicy hot sauce blend of extra hot peppers from south america. Oh, what a heartache and a painful heartbreak followed after that culinary adventure. All of a sudden my mouth was on fire with the incredibly strong potent hot chili pepper. I actually liked it at first. At first I anticipated that the hot sauce was going to be like Texas hot sauce. I had grown up eating Texas hot sauce. The tabasco sauce was actually too bitter for my liking and too hot so, I tended to stay away from foods that I knew were extremely fire hot most of my life. Anyhow, I was adventurous this one late night and I tried some yellow spanish rice with turmeric, jerk seasoning, curry, and green olives. I chopped some lettuce with my kitchen scissors and laid the lettuce on top of the bed of yellow rice. I was certain that this late night snack would have enough vegetable and fiber for a well balanced meal, even without my ever-present frozen broccoli. I ate just a little and my eye began to water and my nose began to run as if I was going to cry. I was feeling tempted to try this spicy new dish again to next day. So, I left the plate of food in my refrigerator over night. I tried the dish again the next night. It was still too spicy, but I thought it had flavor potential. My palate was aroused to a new feeling and flavor! Well, later that night I woke up! My stomach was hurting really bad. There was a pain in my right side!
The First Signs & Symptoms of Gallbladder Stones
I had experienced similar pain when I had been so sick that I could not get out of bed. This past experience occurred when I was in college and staying at the dorm. I was eating cafeteria food everyday! Anyhow, I wrote the college dorm, bed ridden, sickness off. I thought that the previous illness was due to stress and fatigue. Well, as a matter of fact every long term stomach problem I had in the past had always been related to the right side of my stomach near my belly button.
I finally, was forced out of bed at night with the foreboding sensation of vomiting. I revile vomiting! I cringe at the thought of throwing up! Throwing up means—I’m sick! I don’t ever want to acknowledge the idea that I am truly physically ill! Anyways, on this recent night only about six months ago, I was cajoled out of bed in the wee hours of the morning! My digestive tract had had enough. My body just could not tolerate this food that was trying to pass through my belly! I had no choice, I had to vomit. I vomited yellow spanish rice, jerk seasoning, fire south american hot sauce, green olives and tend chicken breast topped with lettuce. The food came out looking identical to the way it looked when I ate it. My body just would not digest one single morsel of this food.
I love spicy food and I had always eaten it with no problem in the past. I could not fathom the idea that spicy food was making me sick! I conjectured that I had food poisoning. I thought maybe the chicken wasn’t cooked properly. A whole slew of pathogens filled my scientific mind. I though perhaps I had ingested salmonella, or botulism. My refrigerator had just stopped keeping food as cold as it used to. If a refrigerator temperature is not around 50 degrees Fahrenheit then there is a risk of food poisoning. Well, I automatically blamed the temperature of the frig for the vomiting.
I had just about run out of food. Therefore, I decided to eat out until my frig was repaired and defrosted properly. I ate out for a few days avoiding meat products because I thought that meat was causing my stomaches and vomiting. Eating out didn’t solve my problem. I would eat rice dished from chinese food places and then have a severe stomachache late at night. If food stays out on the counter or in a warm refrigerator for more than 2 hours than CDC (center for disease control) advises people to throw out that food. Don’t eat leftovers. Well, I was eating left over fast food now. Because my frig did not work well I left the food on the counter overnight and thought nothing of it. I had eaten left over before and I had never gotten sick from food poisoning.
Then there were the theories. I started to take over the counter medication to try and cure my chronic indigestion. I tried antacid both chewable and liquid forms (Pepto & Tums). The antacids had no positive affect. Then I tried gas pills medication. Ah, I felt better. Then I thought maybe it was just gas after all! However the gas pill medications only worked once. The I tried laxatives because I thought I might have a bowl obstruction blocking my intestines. The laxatives only created another potentially dangerous health risk (liver damage, dehydration, and kidney failure). So, then I took all natural detox, digestives teas. These teas contained natural laxatives called senna root. The FDA lists senna root as a non prescription laxative and a herbal food supplement. But, if someone uses any form of laxative frequently the bowls may become dependent on the supplement to function. In a nutshell, laxatives are bad for your body if used long term. Laxatives can cause bloody diarrhea, black stool and liquid stool, stomach cramps and vomiting. All of these symptoms mean someone should stop taking laxatives and see a doctor.
I also thought that I had a peptic ulcer for a while. I read that bleeding ulcers could be fatal. Also that no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like tylenol and aspirin are called NSAID and they can cause peptic ulcers. Also caffein can irritate your stomach. I tried to stay away from coffee and soda pop as well as chocolate. This was a misconception because caffein actually can contribute to the cure foe my problem.
A Trip in an Ambulance with Fire Rescue Firemen
After 6 months of random attacks of stomach pain on the right side and vomiting—I decided that I needed to know what to eat and what not to eat. The only way I would find out was if I went to the doctor. So, one night after a 8 hour stomachache and vomiting—I crept down the street to the drugstore and asked the pharmacist for help. She could not help me because she was only a cashier and assistant for the the pharmacist. I asked the cashier to call the ambulance because the pain in my side was just to excruciating. It felt like a sharp knife stabbing me in my belly button. I thought that I also might have an inflamed appendix. If my appendix would rupture then I would have a fever as toxic fluids leak into my body and cause death. I was calling the ambulance to make sure that I was not suffering from acute appendicitis!
I was dressed in a brightly colored sundress. I was in such a rush I forgot to put on underwear. I was asked to start an IV in my hand to prepare me for intravenous drugs. They gave me sugar water to keep me from becoming to undernourished because I had been vomiting. They also took my blood pressure and temperature. I wasn’t running a fever so that was a good sign that I did not have a potentially fatal illness right at that point in time. Finally the ambulance arrive and I was lifted into the back of the ambulance on a stretcher. The Ambulance drove at a calm pace toward the nearest hospital. When I finally arrived I was jilted when the stretcher was removed from the ambulance.
The pain would not subside for still another 2 hours of waiting in the emergency room. When the nurse put the thermometer in my mouth it triggered my gag reflex. I started to vomit rice and beans with chicken. I had no idea what cause the attack. I suspected food poisoning from the chicken—but my conjecture was wrong. Eventually the doctor came to see me. He touched my right side and said that it looked like my gallbladder might be inflamed. He told me that I most likely have gallbladder stones because of the location of my abdominal pain.
The doctor informed me that gallbladder stones were a very common illness. Most people have gall stones. However the gall stones remain silent or un-noticed. An example of a gall stone attack would be runners cramps. The gall stones are caused my the build up of bile. Bile turns into hard stones when it is not secreted enough by the gallbladder. Bile is liquid that is produced by the liver. The bile helps the intestines to digest fat, cholesterol and vitamins. The absorption of vitamin is also associated with the gallbladder. The hard stones are made from a solid piece of cholesterol or calcium. The cholesterol gall stones are different from the calcium gall stones and are sometimes dissolved with different herb treatments.
The emergency room doctor went on to tell me that the gallbladder surgery was the most common surgery performed in the United States. The procedure is called laparoscopic gallbladder surgery (Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy). About 3 small incisions are made in the abdomen. Air is blown into the body cavity to make room for the tools. A magnifying glass type of an instrument is inserted to see under the liver where the gallbladder is hidden. Then they use something similar to forceps to reach in under the liver and remove it.
First, I was scheduled for a CAT scan x-ray to see if I had any bowl obstructions. The CAT scan would also show if the gallbladder was inflamed and if I had heartburn acid reflux in my throat. The Cat scan confirmed the swollen gallbladder and acid reflux . Then, I was asked to be examined with the sonogram machine. The sonogram technician saw the medium size gall stones instantly. She only needed to touch my stomach on the right side for a split second to see the many multiple gall stones. The diagnosis was confirmed I had cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder by gall stones blocking the gallbladder duct).
I was in so much pain that the nurse administered a morphine drip while I was waiting in the emergency room. After a while the morphine had very little affect on me. I thought maybe the nurse was not giving me enough because did not know how much I weighed. When they asked my how much I weigh I did not know what to tell them. I had not been on a scale since I was in high school or college. So many years had gone by that I was not certain of my actual estimated weight. Anyhow, the morphine drip was elevate up to the stronger and more affective drug called hydro-morphine. My pain instantly faded away in a flash. At first a flare of heat ran through my body when the hydro-morphine was injected into my IV. The flare of heat in my veins would quickly subside and the pain would instantaneous melt away. Wow, I though this pain killer really works well!
Unfortunately, I was placed in a wheelchair and asked to stay in the hospital overnight so that they could run more tests and CAT scan abdominal x-rays. I was treated with medicine all night long. Nurses came and took my blood pressure. They drew blood more than 6 times. They ran all kinds of test on my blood. The blood work revealed that I was otherwise healthy. I was then a good candidate for the gallbladder removal surgery. Now the decision had to be made: do I want to have my gallbladder completely removed?
Should Someone Have Gallbladder Surgery?
I stayed 2 days in the hospital. There were IV hooked up to me all day and all night. Finally I woke up in the morning and I was told that the surgeon would be meeting with me. The Surgeon said that he was going to conduct the surgery that same morning. The nice tall curly haired Latin Hispanic doctor was concise about explaining the procedure of removing the gallbladder. I told him that I would need some time to think about it.
Later that day a woman came to my bedside. The woman was a surgical nurse and was part of the surgical team that was going to remove my gallbladder. She said that the gall stones were just going to keep coming back and causing problems for me in the future. But of course she would say that because it is her job to remove gallbladders otherwise she won’t get paid. I told the woman that I would think about it.
Next, a tall Haitian man with a smooth shaved head and smiling face came to my bedside that same morning. The Haitian doctor told me that everyone has gall stones. Gall stones are what cause runner cramps. After you have been running for a long distance. The gallbladder causes the runners cramps and that is how most people experience a gallbladder attack. He also went on to tell me that smart people would have their gallbladder removed. I seem like a smart girl. This gallbladder was just going to keep giving trouble for the rest of my life. Why not just have the surgery and remove it now while I am young and healthy enough to endure the surgery. He had seen older people die from gallstones that migrate to other organs and also ruptured gallbladder. He said that he performed the surgery on an 80 year-old woman and that had to cut open her whole chest and make a huge scare to remove it because she waited too long to get the surgery done. Then he also went on to tell me that people in the Amazon do not have gallstones. It is the American fast food diet that causes the gallstones and the gallbladder surgery is very common.
Suddenly, and immediately, a light went on! Did he just say that people in the Amazon do not have gallbladder stones? Right away I went to my smart phone and tried to go online to research gallbladder stones and treatment. Ah, perhaps he was trying to tell me that the online store on Amazon.com could help me find alternative treatments for gallstones. I told the nice Haitian surgeon that I would think about it some more. I most certainly would not be having the surgery that morning. I wanted to go home and research the gallbladder stone treatments some more before I make a decision to have my gallbladder removed.
The Haitian doctor walked away and said alright. But it wasn’t alright because my primary care doctor was called and asked to come to my hospital bedside. He was a red headed man with black framed glasses on. He examined my stomachache. Like the other doctors he pressed really hard on my swollen gallbladder and asked me if it hurt. I had been off of the hydro-morphine for a couple of hours and the intense stabbing pain had subsided. So I told the redhead Polish doctor, no it did not hurt. He said to me that I was lying and that I was a liar. Now, I did not know whether he was joking or not. How could he say such a think to me how rude! Then he told me that he did not want to be sued and he did not want to be my primary care physician anymore! He also said that he had seen people die from gallstones drifting into the pancreas. Then I told him that I still was not going to have any gallbladder surgery that morning and if my condition got worse then I would come back and have the gallbladder removed. First, I wanted to look into alternative treatments instead of surgery.
The redheaded Polish doctor told me he would sign for me to get discharged from the hospital. The nurse returned with my discharge papers. I signed the release form saying that I refused surgery. Then she gave me 2 prescription drugs scripts from my redhead primary care doctor. She said one was for constipation or nausea and the other was for pain killers. Now, I already told the redhead doctor that taking laxatives had made me sick with liquid stool and nausea. So, why would he not listen to me and give me strong laxative—this laxative would only upset my gallbladder even more. Then the painkillers would get me addicted and I would depend on the painkiller to get rid of the symptoms of the other medication that he prescribed. I just didn’t understand why they did not just give me medication to get rid of my gallstones instead of painkiller and laxatives and nausea medication. Well, I decided that I would just have to find out on the web!
I was taken out of the hospital in a wheelchair. A special white van for sick people took me home and dropped me off at the door. I went home to my empty apartment. I had forgotten to turn off the air conditioner in the living room. There were baby cock roaches hiding in the dark hot corners of the shade hot apartment. I decided to schedule an appointment with another doctor who was a specialist at treating gastrointestinal digestive problems. I called the doctor’s office and asked if they took my healthcare coverage. I was in luck that they did. I was elated! For just an instant I saw hope for a cure! I would have to wait 1 month to go to the specialist.
Later that month, just a few days after I got out of the hospital I had another attack after eating a small portion of rice with oregano on it. The gallbladder attack lasted a few hours. I vomited and ached all through the night. I had taken the Haitian doctor’s advice and I went online to Amazon. They had several treatments for my condition. One was called stone breaker, “Chanca Piedra.” This was a tincture that included a liquid medication with chanca, celery root, and marsh mellow root. I also ordered something called bile acid. The bile acid pill were in capsule form.
The medicine arrive in two days. The UPS man failed to deliver then to my door and I had to go all the way across town to pick up the package at the UPS delivery center. The owner of the small store was associated with UPS. He was late opening his doors that morning. I had to wait an extra hour in the searing heat for the UPS connection point to open it’s doors. The I had to wait an extra 2 hours for the actual UPS truck drop off. Meanwhile I went to a nearby gas station and got a strawberry margarita from Bud Light and some peanuts. I read in my research online that peanut butter and alcoholic beverages get rid of gallbladder gallstones. I felt a little tipsy when the UPS truck finally showed up with my pills. I went to the Italian restaurant and had a small bowl of soup before I went home.
I felt just fine fore many days. Then one day I took a lot of tincture drops and a lot of bile acid. I ingested rice, which is a complex carbohydrate. I also had some bread and cornflakes then later that night I had a vomiting spell and a stomachache. This attack laster all night. My gallbladder seemed to be throbbing and pulsating for about 2 days.
I decided to try another bottle of pills from Amazon. I selected a more potent form or chanca piedra. The is chanca was in green capsules that were 500mg each. I decided to take 4 large green chanca pills every day. I also decided to stay away from complex carbohydrates like white rice, bread, and pasta. I took the whole bottle of chanca 500mg pills. I needed a great deal of water to swallow the pills. But soon I found out my own large pill swallowing technique that involved using a straw and a large amount of water. After the bottle of 100 pills was gone I went to the doctor. They examined my gallbladder with a sonogram machine. The sonogram technician found it hard to locate any gallstones. Finally after much effort he found 1 gallstone that was 1 cm in size. Previously when I was first diagnosed in the hospital a female sonogram technician told me I had a lot of stones. I went from having multiple stones that were easy to find with sonogram machine to having just 1 gallstone! The chanca piedra pills had worked better than the liquid tincture! I was feeling better and wanted to see if finishing another bottle of chanca piedra pills would get rid of my last gallbladder gallstone!
I have finished the second bottle of pills today and I fell just great. I have also started taking the occasional bile acid pill after meals just in case. I also ordered some large pills with celery root and marsh mellow root in them. So far I have not had any more attacks in about 3 months. I have stayed on a no carbohydrates diet for the 3 months. However in the past week I have tried to reintroduce bread back into my diet in small portions because all vegetables and chicken breast diet was giving me a bit of diarrhea. I have not had any trouble in past week with the bread. I think the 4 large chanca pills everyday has affectively cured my gallbladder disease and gallstones and I have not had any attacks since!