I got your attention with the soft serve, didn’t I? Yeah, I knew that would intrigue you. Especially on hot days like this! Should you be in need of some vegan soft serve too, head on over to Healeo on Capitol Hill. (Sorry non-Seattlelites, you’re outta luck on this one!) Their chocolate hemp soft serve is amazing and it comes with your choice of toppings. They also have a wide selection of fresh juices, raw foods, and supplements. I think I know where I’ll be this summer…
I got some interesting news that I wanted to share. I’ve written on this blog about how I became vegan due to my digestive issues. After 11 years of suffering from stomach pain, it has been getting worse in the last few months. I began seeing a naturopath recently and we did an ultrasound. It turns out that I have gallstones.
If your reaction is anything like mine, it might go something like this… Gallstones? What the heck is that? Ok, gall-stones- stones in the gallbladder. And where is the gallbladder? What does it do again? Oh, it stores bile, right? Bile helps digestion… ohh, that explains a lot.
I have to admit I was pretty clueless about gallstones before this. I find it fascinating how many things our bodies deal with on a daily basis: processing nutrients, removing waste and toxins, fighting disease… our bodies are pretty amazing. Yet, we tend to forget about our bodies until something goes wrong. Today I am very grateful to my body and I know that, in sickness and in health, we are in this together.
At this point, there’s a lot of waiting around for more tests and getting more information to determine if I should get my gallbladder removed. Until we have the next steps figured out, I am working on my own healing plan: good nutrition, physical activity, self-care (i.e. more trips to the spa and the beach), and meditation/visualization exercises.
I have a couple of hopes in sharing this story with you. The first is to remind you of the importance of your body and that, regardless of your current state of health, I hope that you are taking care of yourself. Self-care means different things to different people, but my wish is that you make time – in whatever way is best for you – to nourish your body, mind, and soul. It makes a difference.
My second hope is that my experience inspires you to trust your instincts and listen to your body. I’ve known for a long time that something was wrong and I knew that my diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) wasn’t it. I know the frustration of years of doctor’s visits with no tangible results. However, the one thing that you can do is listen to your body. Your body will tell you exactly what it wants and needs.
My body told me that I needed to stop eating meat and dairy. It turns out that a vegan diet like mine that involves lots of raw foods and limited soy and gluten is the perfect diet for the treatment of gallstones. Had I ignored my body’s wishes and continued to eat fatty & processed foods, meat, and dairy, there is a good chance that I would have stressed my gallbladder and caused one of the stones to block the duct – resulting in emergency surgery.
Finally, I simply want to share my gratitude. I am so grateful for the people in my life that have stood by me and supported me through all of this– years of ER visits, daily stomach pain, going out to eat at “special” restaurants because of my dietary needs… Thank you. This is a healing time for you all as well.
And, thank you to my gallbladder. It has worked so hard all these years – and without proper recognition. I know that I am a healthier person today than I would have been if I had not had this pain.
Ok, I’ll stop with the sappy stuff now. Go eat your soft serve.