It happened; I thought I was having a heart attack. It hit fast and hard, right between the ribs. As a 50ish female, I had heard that we can’t always tell if they’re having a heart attack. I was sweaty, but then again I’d been getting the beloved hot flashes for a while now (that’s another story). I was nauseous, but not enough to throw up so I ruled out food poisoning. The pain between my ribs moved in waves, but there was always some form of discomfort and when the pain was stronger I had difficulty breathing. All this took place within a matter of minutes.
My son, a senior this year in high school, insisted that his Dad call 911. I overruled and had them drive me to the hospital. It was less than four miles away. My hubby checked me in as the nursing staff started an EKG and blood workup. It turned out not to be a heart attack, thank goodness. But the doctor theorized that I was “probably” suffering from a gall bladder attack. Who’d a thunk it? A few pain pills later and I was sent home with a prescription for a gall bladder sonogram. I felt better.
The next day, I was reminded by my Mom that my sister had her gall bladder removed in her 50s and my Mom, now 82, had hers removed just six months ago. So it’s prevalent in my family. It turns out that we don’t really need our gall bladders to eat, drink and be merry. So the worse that could happen is that I find out that I have a gall stone and a surgeon decides remove my gall bladder.
I had the results forwarded to my family doctor who I saw a few days later. I learned the test was “negative” for gall stones. In other words, what I experienced the other night was a gall bladder attack and the pain was from passing a gall stone. The pain was coming from my pancreas…located right between the ribs. You see once a gal stone leaves the gall bladder it travels to the pancreas, pushes through a narrow opening into the intestine. He said that it will probably happen again and suggested I lay off fried or spicy foods.
It was what I learned next that started me on my blogging adventure.
The sonogram included my right kidney, liver and gall bladder. He said that my liver showed signs of fat deposits. Yuck. He recommended I start taking cholesterol meds. I knew my cholesterol count was high, but not out of the “safe” zone. So I asked, “I’m about 50 pounds overweight, if I lose the weight can I improve my cholesterol levels.” He said it could and gave me three months to lose the weight and if there was no improvement, I would have to start taking the meds. I accepted his challenge. I have to lose 50 pounds in 100 days.
A half pound a day, easy right? Not so fast, this means putting myself front and center of my life! It’s something I haven’t really done since the kids were born and I’m not use to it. So I decided to start this blog. I realized that I can’t do it alone. I figured there’s got to be others like me, woman who might want to join me on my journey of self improvement, personal growth and rediscovery.
To share your story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your support, ideas and comments are always welcome.
To find out more about cholesterol check out the American Heart Association and type Cholesterol Q&A in the search box. It should answer most of your questions, I know it answered mine.