Post #678 So Where’s He Been This Time?

November 7, 2019 at 9:02 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #678 So Where’s He Been This Time?

Getting old sucks.  Things I used to shake off in a day or two just a few years ago suddenly become more virulent and body altering.  So, the weather up here has turned towards winter – damned axial tilt! – and I just didn’t want to admit it.  I picked up a slight cold that eventually turned into pneumonia.  About two weeks ago, I woke up with a fever and a hacking cough and waited a few days before going to see a doctor.  By that time, I felt like I was on the mend, and the doctor agreed but told me to rest for the rest of the week before heading back to work.  Before that happened, the fever came back in full force and I went back to my own doctor, this time with Partner/Spouse in tow.  Between the two of us, we managed to give her a fully detailed accounting of the illness and most of the pertinent points of my medical history.

So I’m on a strong course of antibiotics and rest.  Several tubes of blood have been drawn and xrays and ultrasound are scheduled for Monday.  It looks as if all the symptoms could also be indicative of my gall bladder turning sour.  It may not be bad enough to have to remove it, but in all likelihood, it will mean that I’m going to have to adjust my diet to keep my potassium levels up, and keep my internal organs happy.  I miss being a teenager and eating two quarter pounders with cheese and a large order of fries before dinner.  After three days of the antibio, I’m starting to feel human again.  I’m still getting what I call fever flashes, but I’ll talk to the doctor about that next week.  The biggest difficulty is it all leaves me feeling weak and lethargic.

So the two tasks in front of me are to learn how to adjust my diet for 1) added potassium, and 2) gall bladder health.

Potassium is actually pretty easy to control with diet.  Everyone knows about bananas, right?  But there are a ton of other foods that are even higher in potassium, and it turns out I like most of them.  Cooked spinach, for instance has nearly twice as much potassium.  Potatoes of every kind are a great source, as long as you leave the skins intact.  Tomatoes and tomato sauce are also good, as well as oranges and orange juice.  The list goes on, so it’s a wonder that I have low potassium at all.  But there it is, so I will eat with an eye to the K.

But I also have to pay close attention to that pesky gall bladder.  I mean, what the heck is it and what does it do, anyway?  Well, first, it’s located under the liver because it works with the liver very closely.  The liver produces bile which is stored and released into the small intestine by the gall bladder.  Bile helps break down dietary fats into digestible material.  Fun thought, huh?

However, gall stones and gall sludge can inhibit the release of bile which causes back up and pain and fevers and other nastiness.  I had an infection in gall bladder when I was 19 which I didn’t get treated for quite a while because I didn’t know what was going on.  That was way before the internet, and other than the occasional stomach pains wherein it felt like a kitten was trying to claw its way out, I felt perfectly fine.  So for the last half century I’ve largely ignored it and attributed the symptoms to other things.

So then the question now becomes, what to eat and what to avoid?

Let’s start with what to avoid.  Fats.  There, I said it, and I hate it.  Now having said that, there are good fats and bad fats.  So, the bad fats are the fats we avoid in a hundred other diets for other issues.  So, the rib eye steak with the wonderful marbling and layer of sizzling fat?  Not the best.  The sirloin steak with the all the iron rich muscle fiber and next to no marbling and fat strips?  Perfect.  Hamburger with 20% fat should not be eaten.  Hamburger with 10% fat is fine.  White meat from birds is good; dark meat from birds is less so.  Some parts of the pig are great; other parts are poison (but bacon is SO tasty!)

What should be eaten?  Fresh fruits and veggies.  Legumes (beans, lentils, peas) are good.  High fiber grains, and flours are good.

Essentially, everything they’ve been telling us all along is the right thing to do.  Major adjustment in my diet?  I’m no longer eating any fried foods.  We don’t eat a lot of fried foods in our house anyway, but now they’ll be gone.  Tater Tots and fries can just as easily be baked to crispness as fried.  Corn tortillas can be dry cooked, and the meat filling can be roasted rather than fried.  You get the drift.

It’s mostly about being sensible with what we’ve known and followed/ignored since the 70s.  And if that doesn’t work, the little organ will get yanked and I’ll be forced to follow the guidelines or suffer the consequences.

One bad thing, no chocolate.  One good thing, wine is okay.  So I gotta take the bad with the good.

I’m not sure how I’ll be feeling on Sunday so there may or may not be a post.  I will certainly update as soon as I hear from the doctor about the tests on Monday and what course we’re going to take.

And now I’ll leave you with a laugh:

And as always,

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