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Remembering Old Body Parts

It’s been two years now that I’ve been without a gall bladder and I don’t miss it at all. Good riddance to unnecessary internal organs! Especially ones that fill up with hardened stones of cholesterol and try pushing said stones through a duct half their size. The word ‘pain’ doesn’t do the feeling justice.

My nine hour gall bladder attack is now my benchmark for any pain I experience. When I have a headache, muscle pain, or menstrual cramps I just ask myself “Is this worse than my nine hour gall bladder attack?” The answer is always no, so I know I’ll survive, even without the nice narcotics the doctor prescribed me around hour seven. Lohrtab makes you loopy!

Prior to my gall bladder attack, the thought of natural childbirth frightened me, but now I feel like I could birth a 10 pound baby with no problem. It can’t possibly be much worse than passing a huge gall stone.

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kathryn • November 20, 2005 at 5:47 pm

Having been through both gallstones and childbirth, I’d have to say childbirth was less painful but not much.


Kirsten • November 21, 2005 at 4:49 am

My mother tells me childbirth is nothing to bad period pains… I think this may be propaganda to encourage the production of grandchildren.


Mia • February 15, 2007 at 11:53 am

Oh Lortab! Loopy is not the word. I had jaw surgery in December and took that for a week…hell if I can remember most of what I said while loopy. I’d forget what I was saying mid-sentence. But, oh, the relief from pain was sooo good that the loopiness was worth it! :) I don’t recommend jaw tinkering unless absolutely necessary…


Chelle • February 16, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Wow.. ive been looking out of curiosity if my gallstone ‘attacks’ would be as bad as childbirth.

Im 21 and have just had my gallbladder removed, thankfully i only suffered with gallstones for 7 months, but i had long attacks in the end, one that went for 36 hours – thats what landed me in the ER and what started the removal of the gallbladder.

However most of what ive read seem to be that people usually have attacks from 40 minutes to 4 hours. Im i guess ‘happy’ to find that someone else has suffered lengthy attacks like me.

Good luck for the next 30lbs.


Wendy • May 15, 2008 at 7:16 am

I’ve had both gallstones and childbirth and I’d rather repeat the childbirth than the gallstones no question!

Mind you I did have a pretty quick labour of only 5 hours as compared to be horribly ill for several months with the gallstones and the obstructed bile duct etc.

Yeah, go on, I’ll have another baby.


scfrogprincess • December 23, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I have not had gallstones or given birth, but I have had kidney stones, and those were bad enough for me! I was given percocet and then all the hospital workers started looking like characters from 2 of my favorite shows (Grey’s and Scrubs). I swear my doc looked like a cross between the plastic surgeon (McSteamy) and the new military surgeon that just joined Grey’s.


Dana • July 26, 2009 at 8:58 am

You wanna hear something weird? I’ve run across a couple of sources over the years who think that gallbladders pick up stones not because the person eats too much fat, but because they didn’t get *enough.* The idea is that the gallbladder would start making stones out of relative disuse. I know you think you ate fat like there was no tomorrow, I’m talking about the relative proportion in the diet. From the sound of things you used to be a carb fiend, not so much a fat fiend save for whatever accompanied the carbs (as with ice cream).

Another thought: My little girl’s dad lost his appendix *and* his gallbladder within months of one another. He had the appendicitis first, then after they removed that, he began getting the gallbladder attacks. Turns out the two organs share a major nerve or something, and it apparently got nicked during his appendectomy. I’ve since spoken with other people who’ve had both surgeries and they report similar experiences. So it’s not always diet, although it probably was in your case since you don’t mention an appendectomy.

Oh, and it’s not a completely unnecessary organ. You needed it for processing certain kinds of dietary fats. You don’t need it for all of them but if you consume a lot of vegetable oil, you’ll miss it eventually. It was also responsible for making bile salts which are necessary in beta carotene conversion to vitamin A. So if you aren’t eating sources of premade vitamin A, you need to start. You might feel OK, but vitamin A deficiency takes a while to creep up on you. Eat the eggs with the yolks. If you like liver, eat it often. Stuff like that.


Jen @ The Short Years • August 2, 2009 at 9:33 pm

I experienced childbirth and gall bladder attacks within two weeks of each other and for me, childbirth was certainly worse–but not by a huge amount. The thing about childbirth is you know exactly what is occurring, you know why it is occurring, and you know something happy is going to be the result. When you have a gall bladder attack? You just think you’re dying of pain and you have no idea why.

(I’ve been a reader of yours for awhile now and am going back and reading through some of your archives because I know you mentioned that the South Beach diet worked for you. Probably going to give it a try myself. I know you probably hear this all the time, but your weight loss is very inspiring! Way to go.)


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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