Attack of the gallstones
Yes, I am obsessed with gallstones. No, this is nothing to do with being an expat. But it is to do with developing a nasty disease whilst living 5000 miles away from my husband, the one who should be looking after me in my time of need. I suppose “in sickness and in health” has a caveat (“unless you live in different countries“).
The first gallstones attack comes one summer morning, out of the blue, for no reason other than I eat a salad for lunch. The salad contains olive oil and avocado, but at the time I am not to know that any fat I consume is likely to set me off into a fit of toe-curling, screaming agony.
It takes a while – two more attacks, an x-ray, CT scan, an MRI, a pregnancy test and the donation of most of my blood supply – for the doctors to ascertain the cause of this horrific pain: a nasty little collection of stones residing in my belly.
Whilst waiting for the op to remove my gallbladder (apparently I don’t need it), I embark on a rigorous low-fat diet which makes me an instant expert on all things gallstones and gallstone-friendly-diet related.
My whole life changes overnight. I become terrified of fat, even the good stuff. Husband L supports me from afar, but it’s times like this that I miss having my husband around; especially after the op, when I am bedridden for days.
Obviously I write a book about the whole thing.
About six months after the whole hideous thing starts, I self-publish “The gallstone-friendly diet: everything you never wanted to know about gallstones (and how to keep on their good side).”
My book is a little unorthodox, and definitely unusual, in that it is half autobiographical snippet of my life, half recipe book. But the book gets noticed; it seems I have touched on an epidemic… who knew gallstones were so popular?
I am selling around 80 copies a month, enough that it catches the attention of a traditional publisher. After 30 years of being a writer, this is what gets me taken seriously? I suppose I should be grateful to my gallstones, wherever they now might be.
Until the book is published traditionally later this year, you can find it here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gallstone-friendly-diet-Everything-wanted-gallstones/dp/1985261103