Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No salted caramel macarons for me, then

Well. Today I went to Hutt Street on a follow-up visit to the nice surgeon who removed my gall bladder and, while he was in there, (gulp) biopsied (is that a verb?) my liver.

The good news is that there is no new bad news about the liver, and that everything that was eating at my innards has now been surgically removed and is healing up nicely. The bad news is assorted: (a) that gallstones can in fact form in the bile duct, so there's no guarantee that I won't grow more, and (b) the confirmation that the condition of my liver is not at all what it should be (NB this has nothing to do with drinking, so there) and if ignored and neglected could easily lead to something called non-alcoholic cirrhosis, which is exactly like alcoholic cirrhosis except that you didn't have any fun. And cirrhosis -- well, you know.

Now Hutt Street, as Adelaideans know, is an excellent place to have coffee and cake. I had coffee. No cake, no biscuits, no gorgeous French patisserie and absolutely, positively no salted caramel macarons. Not today, not next week, and only very occasionally as a special treat ever again. Sugar, fat and alcohol, formerly three of my main food groups, are off the menu for the foreseeable.

The bright side is that if I take this seriously, as who would not, then my days as a traditionally built lady might be numbered. Goddess knows I'm already ten kilos less traditionally built than I was when this all hit the fan two months ago. It could be the start of a whole new look.

23 comments:

Ampersand Duck said...

Wow, I don't know whether to pump my fist or wring my hands. Erm, yay?

I'm very glad you're all clear, and I guess the feeling good will kick in along with the shedding of unnecessaries (both bodily and comestibles).

I feel better about my drinking now, knowing that liver damage happens regardless. Russian roulette!

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

'Yay?' is about right, I think.

Brussels sprouts for dinner. (I like Brussels sprouts, fortunately.)

paul walter said...

"Dieting made easy".
We are glad it wasn't the drinking, though (according to you).

Anonymous said...

Hutt Street. Isn't that where the Womens' Christian Temperance League offices were situated? You don't think your surgeon.... no, surely not.

That's very unpleasant news about the liver, I must say.

TFA

Elisabeth said...

Good and bad rolled into one. I suppose you could say, that's life. More good than bad though, by the sound of things.

Meredith Jones said...

yay then. and going down in clothes sizes is easier than going up--all you have to do is have stuff taken in. btw word verification is cruffsat.

skepticlawyer said...

And no panadol, either -- my cousin finished up with non-alcoholic cirrhosis thanks to (very moderate) over consumption of panadol based painkillers during an illnes. She has to take the ibuprofen/anti-inflammatory sort now, always with food.

The NHS consultant called panadol 'a known liver killer'.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks SL, that was my impression too, so it's good to have it confirmed. Of course, I've been told not to take anti-inflammatories either, for other reasons. That leaves my best friend codeine. But oh for the one truly blissful moment in hospital, when a nurse came in and said 'The surgeon says we can give you a shot of pethidine.' I remembered to thank him for that when I saw him today.

persiflage said...

Glad there is some good news with all the newly imposed forms of denial, and weight shedding, whatever the cause, is quite gratifying, too. What a lot of trauma you have had to endure of late. I hope your recovery proceeds in leaps and bounds, and that you will not need any of those pain-relieving drugs.

Another Outspoken Female said...

What complex bodies we have, and machines that go ping to warn us of conditions we were previously ignorant of.

Not that any decent patisserie would touch the stuff, the new hepatotoxic evil is high fructose corn syrup. That cheap little sweetener hiding in almost every fizzy drink (including those lovely little Italian ones), ice cream, confectionary etc. Likewise agave syrup may be tarred with the same brush. It appears to be metabolised in the same way as HFCS, something to do with ratio of fructose to sucrose.

There's a great transcript on the fructose/liver damage connection (causing fatty liver etc like alcohol can) on the ABC Health Report http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2007/1969924.htm

via collins said...

ahh, pethidine!

During my knee-repair nightmare many years ago, i made my acquaintance with this fine, fine drug. i feel your happiness there.

thanks as well to SL for the heads up on panadol. i've always avoided it unless critically necessary, there's just been a niggling feeling that there has to be a down side.

and there it is.

Zoe said...

OH NOES YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR NAME TO CRUSKIT'S CAT OR SUMMAT!

Stay well, darls

DeusExMacintosh said...

Actually, you can't win with fizzy drinks, artificial sweetener is bad for the liver too (but I'm afraid they're taking my Diet Coke when they pry it from my warm dead hand).

You can rehabilitate your liver to a certain extent if you go to a proper medical herbalist and get some milk thistle. It tastes gross but if you start with the strongest fluid-extract for a couple of months, then down to the normal tincture for one more you can then make do with the capsules and scotch is again for life (or at least the weekends) and not just for Christmas.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks all for your kind comments. This sort of experience can be quite alienating and isolating, so it's lovely to read these threads.

AOF, thanks v much for the link. Have taken info on board.

Zoe, yes, Cruskits Cat or Carrot-and-Beetroot Cat or Weight Watchers Frozen Pizza Cat. (According to Sandra Cabot, raw carrot and beetroot are the two best things you can do for your liver. Something to do with beta-carotene. Can anyone think of a way to render raw beetroot edible, apart from grating it for salad like carrot?)

DEM, fortunately I've gone off flavoured fizzy drinks whether artificially sweetened or not, and would just as soon have mineral water or soda water. (This is Adelaide, so I draw the line at tap water except in an emergency.)

Anonymous said...

I remember using a blender to prepare a drink of raw carrot & raw beetroot (and apple?) when my father was ill. The flavour was rather earthy, though you could try disguising that with ginger.

If sugar intake is an issue, it may pay to run it past your doctor first: there's a fair bit of it in carrots & beets.

TFA

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

TFA, sugar is an issue only in the sense that one is sternly told to get one's weight down and keep it down. I don't think the sugar in veg or (in moderation) fruit is sufficient to outweigh their benefits in the weight-loss department.

Anonymous said...

Oh that's good news - I was envisaging some problem with the glucogen-glycogen-whatever metabolism in the liver.

TFA

elsewhere said...

Well, I only lost 1 kg riding 800 km so you're doing a lot better than me.

That fructose/corn syrup thing always gives me IBS every time I go to America. I don't eat much artificially-sweetened food, but it's impossible to avoid in the States.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh but El, you don't have any to spare! I, on the other hand ...

Wonderful blog about the bike ride. I can sort of see the romance of it, but the voluntary and self-inflicted physical torture is beyond my understanding.

Another Outspoken Female said...

What deus said re St Mary's thistle/milk thistle/silybum marianum (how could you not love a herb with the botanical name silybum?). Good EBM for regrowing healthy liver cells. There's some similar action in globe artichokes - here's a nifty liver friendly way of eating them (ie not dripping in butter or oil) and it tastes amazing. http://confessionsofafoodnazi.blogspot.com/2007/09/more-tales-from-spring-clean.html (for non-vegans they taste even better using some anchovies instead of dried tomato)

Armagny said...

Oh. Some good news but very sad about the salted caramel maracons. Reference noted btw, next time I will offer something more spartan instead.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Hee hee. Once you'd mentioned them, I couldn't stop drooling at the very thought!

Ann O'Dyne said...

Nutmeg is the recommended condiment on those brussels sprouts.
Wishing you well.