web analytics
Gallbladder attack, gallstones, ER

The Night Macaroni and Cheese Almost Killed Me

by Deborah Cruz

It’s been a crazy few weeks, so crazy in fact, that I’ve been too busy to actually write about it and my gallbladder attack. Lots of life choices have come to a head and not in a good way. Not in the ticker tape parade, I just unlocked level 1000 in life success kind of way, but in the what the hell have I been doing to my body over the past 40 plus years sort of way. My body mutinied on me.

Two weeks ago, Easter Sunday or the night on Walking Dead that Daryl got shot and I should have been rioting, I was instead ignoring the hell out of The Walking Dead and the possibility of Daryl being shot because I felt like I myself was dying. I say that literally, not figuratively. My body was attacking me over either macaroni and cheese or my Mother-in-law’s amazing cheesecake; trying to kill me and I really wanted to give it the satisfaction of dying just to be out of my misery.

Remember a couple weeks prior, I thought I was having a heart attack and ended up in my local emergency room? That night I found out that I had gallstones and that was my first ever gallbladder attack brought on by a Mexican birthday celebration meal, I was in excruciating pain.

I was given some intravenous meds, including a nice morphine push and I felt great. The ER doctor didn’t seem to think I needed my gallbladder removed because we thought the whole thing was precipitated by my stomach that was irritated from the 1800 mgs of ibuprofen that I’ve been taking every day for the past 6 months thanks to my broken leg. I watched the “bad food” or so I thought for a couple days and then I went back to eating whatever I wanted, because that’s what I do. I’ve always said, I’d rather workout for 3 hours a day than give up French fries. I know better now.

P.S. Anyone who tells you to eat whatever you want because the chance of having another attack within a couple weeks is rare is not your friend. Ignore them because they are full of shit and obviously never survived an acute gallbladder attack.

So anyways, 2 weeks ago, the Sunday before the Thursday that I left for Spring Break at Disney World (the same trip I had to cancel in October because of the broken leg) I had my second attack. It was 10 times worse than the first one. It was transition labor with no medication terrible. I have a high pain threshold and I tried to wait it out for 4 hours, it never subsided. It only got worse. Finally, I had to call my brothers to come over to watch the kids while my husband took me to the ER at 1 am in the morning.

Aside from the body splitting pain in my gallbladder and stomach, I was vomiting pure bile and nauseous. My stomach was messed up and I could not get comfortable. I was in so much pain; I couldn’t get above a whisper. I tried everything; heating pads, drinking vinegar, drinking water, laying on the floor, on my back, on my stomach, upside down. I was trapped in my body being tortured. I sat on my bed and sobbed in desperation and excruciating pain.

After all was said and done, I spent the entire night in the hospital trying to get the pain manageable. After three rounds of Zofran, Dilaudanum and something else, I can’t remember (in my defense, I was pretty drugged), I was finally sedated enough to drift in and out of consciousness through the attack. It was agreed that I needed to have the gallbladder removed at my earliest convenience, which is now. Remember, I was going to Disney World or bust for spring break but changes were going to have to be made.

Immediately, I was told that I needed to go on a low-fat dairy, reduce my fat, cholesterol and carbohydrate intake diet. There would be no butter, cheese, red meat, pizza or Mexican food in my near future. It was fine with me because there is no food in the world worth a gallstone attack. Seriously people, watch your cholesterol and fat intake. So, I went to Disney World on a severely restricted diet and I made it work. You’d be surprised at how many options you find when you look. I’ll write another post about that later.

Anyways, it’s been 2 weeks since my last attack and I’ve lost 13 pounds. I’ve never eaten healthier in my entire life, my blood pressure is down and I am waiting for the call from surgery to schedule my removal.

In case you are wondering why I am still having my gallbladder removed even though I have the attacks under control with diet, I am removing it because both doctors told me that once you have a gallstone attack it’s not a matter of if you will have another attack, it’s a matter of when and I simply don’t want to go through that excruciating pain ever again if I can avoid it.

Needless to say, let me serve as a warning to you, watch your fat and cholesterol intake. Move around and work out because gallbladder removal surgery is the most performed surgery in the United States and I’m sure that has a lot to do with our super-sized, super fat, super sugary, high cholesterol diets. It’s rich food. Ironically, gallbladder issues don’t exist in poorer countries.

What would you be willing to give up to avoid this kind of pain? For me, I’d gladly give up all foods to avoid another attack.

Have you ever had a gallbladder attack?

The Night Macaroni and Cheese Almost Killed Me
Article Name
The Night Macaroni and Cheese Almost Killed Me
Sometimes life throws you a curveball at the most inopportune time and you find yourself some place you never imagined you'd be like the ER in the middle of the night on Easter Sunday, three days before you leave for Walt Disney World. Life isn't always fair. Here's what you need to do to recognize and survive a gallbladder attack.
Publisher Name

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Mary Ryan 2017/12/03 - 2:24 pm

Glad to hear everything worked out for you. I am suffering also. I did change my diet and was doing well up until I got a craving for some coffee and decided to have it for two days in a row. My stomache was ok day one but by the second day it felt like someone poured acid into it. I thought I could do ok and keep my gallbladder with just watching my diet but I might just end up having to get it out. Its getting old real fast dieting all the time and not being able to eat what I like especially my coffee and my chocolate. lol

Unexpected side effects of Gallbladder Surgery 2018/03/09 - 10:44 pm

[…] wonder how it feels to have gallbladder removal surgery? Remember the night when macaroni and cheese almost killed me?  Well, this past Wednesday, I went to the surgeon and had gallbladder surgery. I thought, […]

Suzi Lynes 2018/08/28 - 5:26 pm

At First when I started to read tour story…I thought you invaded my mind.. OMG last Fri I Thought I was having a heart attack,,,No Joke and with a few test later after Iv Of acid reducer and Pain meds .. It was determined to be my Gallbladder.. I thought for sure it was a volcano blow out at the top of my stomach and right upper area under sternum.. I have Acid Re-flux so I thought really was an Ulcer or I had drank acid out of an Angry Orchard can… Just had my CT scan IV and drank some horrible purple stuff…. Im in wait mode while Dr decides whats is next.. Bland diet helps but its a steady burn lol today I had 1 bite of Mac n cheese .. What could it hurt,,,, I looked it up and found your story,,, I am praying for death but it is not my time..lol .. I will never eat out of my circle of bland food friends again..lol TY for sharing your story as it was mine too…:) Peace out…Suzi

Melissa 2023/01/28 - 11:02 am

So you had the surgery & you still feel like you’re having gallbladder attacks??

Deborah Cruz 2023/01/30 - 4:19 pm

I am fine after the surgery. The only issue I had was that no one warned my that after surgery, you can feel like you’re being stabbed until the gas in your body dissipates ( from where they had performed the surgery). That was a not fun surprise but it was bearable. Much more bearable than the horrendous gallbladder attacks. I did have to suffer for almost a month before I got the surgery because I had spring break scheduled and couldn’t cancel the rescheduled trip. It was the weirdest Disney vacation I’d ever been on. I do try to watch what I eat just because it’s better for me but honestly, since the removal I’ve had no other issues. Good luck and I would 1000% recommend the surgery if you are in a lot of pain. I’m not a fan of surgery but it was less scary than the hours of attacks I had gone through.

Hope you feel better soon!

Barry Lister 2020/01/15 - 1:50 pm

The worst pain I ever had…and it can last for days, at its worst.
I cried and screamed. I hope you are ok now.

Shameka 2021/09/07 - 1:56 pm

Yes I have had a gallbladder attack on several occasions, just so happens it has happened during this pandemic and I am unable to get to my gastro doctor let alone have the surgery. I have been watching my fat intake as well walking after I eat and just really trying hard to change my way of eating. Your 100% correct, I don’t ever want to feel that pain every again. It was worse then me 3 C-Sections. Did ever have the surgery and how have you been since if you have? Thanks for sharing.

Andrea Marchand 2022/12/23 - 2:57 pm

Thank you so much for your story. Tomorrow is Christmas and I’m contemplating have a little macaroni and cheese but after reading your story, I’m not going to. My gallbladder surgery is 4 days after Christmas. And I’ve also lost 14 pounds since I was diagnosed with gallstones. And I am eating low-fat foods and just trying to eat healthy. Thanks again.

Melissa 2023/01/28 - 10:53 am

Hi! Your story sounds much like mine! I just suffered my 2nd gallbladder/gallstone attack! My first attack was over a year ago, September 2021 (lasted 16 hours). It’s now January 2023. I havent eaten in 5+ days because I’m terrified that I’ll anger my gallbladder. The pains lasted over 48 hours! And was also 10x worse than my first attack! My nearest hospital did an ultrasound, as they did last time I had this issue, & both times they found nothing. They never gave me pain meds. They didn’t even give me IV fluids until I went back to the ER the next night.
A family member of mine had the same issue with ultrasound showing everything looks “normal” so she had a test done using dye. That test showed that her gallbladder wasn’t functioning at all & then had it removed. I’m curious to know how you’re doing after having your gallbladder removed. I’ve heard that a lot of people still have many issues after the removal. Like instant diarrhea after eating, lots of foods they can’t eat, etc. I’ve also read that there’s natural ways to repair the gallbladder like change in diet & natural supplements like vitamin D3. I’d love to know how you are doing now!


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More