We had pork and chicken adobo for dinner a few nights ago. When I took a piece of pork from the serving bowl, Alex commented that I shouldn’t eat the fatty pork belly because I do not have a gall bladder anymore. I said nothing and she continued in a slightly louder voice and higher pitch, “I know about the gall bladder. We discussed that in Biology class. Your body cannot digest the fat…” Etcetera, etcetera and ending with “You will die early”, a line delivered with matching glare and glower. One thing about Alex, when she starts talking about something, she has this tendency to just go on and on. Takes after her father. If it were Speedy doing that kind of talking, we call it nagging. But if it’s Alex, I call it concern. A cute kind of concern. :wink:
Of course, I understand. She’s concerned because she doesn’t want to deal with the thought of losing her mother anytime soon. And I know about my condition. But it isn’t exactly accurate to say that, minus my gall bladder, my body can no longer digest fat in food. The gall bladder stores bile produced by the liver and makes the bile more potent so that digestion of fat in food is more efficient. Had it been my liver that got into trouble, then, I would be really worried. The thing is, my gall bladder was surgically removed because it hadn’t been functioning as it should for a long, long time. In fact, it was doing me more harm than good. What I always thought was hyperacidity was actually gall bladder stones that triggered very, very painful episodes. Because the stones went undetected for a long time (doctors kept prescribing antacids), it came to a point when the gall bladder itself could no longer be saved.
The truth is, I have no illusions. I know I lost an important organ but that doesn’t mean I’m going to consider myself a semi-invalid for the rest of my life. I know a lot of people who get scared after a major surgery, or after being diagnosed with something, and they suddenly make earthshaking lifestyle decisions. This is especially true with middle aged people and older. I know at least two people, much older than I am, who were diagnosed with mild hypertensive condition and their response was to start ingesting drug cocktails that they thought would have the effect of reversing time and returning their youth. Their own mortality was suddenly staring at them in the face and they thought that by making drugs (okay, medication to make it sound not so bad) a daily habit they were assured of health in their old age.
I’m not like that. Life is too short to be lived in fear. People who suffer from mild illnesses but who get scared so much that they worry endlessly are more likely to die sooner from hypertension and heart ailment. What many people do not realize is that the scare about fat in food has a lot to do with fad. Scaring people shitless is big business, didn’t you know? Every health scare has corresponding products (and, ergo, profits) in the pharmaceutical industry. So you have all these pills and drinks that can supposedly flush out the fat from your body. What for? Fat is essential to our health because they help carry fat-soluble vitamins within our body.
It doesn’t mean that I am ignoring the glaring truth that too much fat in food is bad for us, gall bladder or no gall bladder. It’s because we know it to be true that we have been eating more fish and chicken than pork and beef for months. And more than three times as much vegetables and fruits. It’s not like we eat adobo more often than twice a month. The thing is to regulate the amount of fat ingested and to adopt that policy as a lifestyle.
The question now is whether I should call the attention of Alex’s Biology teacher and point out that she is giving her students inaccurate information.