Monday, March 16, 2009

The Finish of the Queen of Sicily

Cheryl's herbal remedies "Bible" suggested the following:

500 mls of high quality olive oil
6 - 8 lemons

Starting early evening when you have no work or other commitments the next day, every ten minutes take 50 mls of olive oil at a time followed by two tablespoons of lemon juice to wash away the taste.
Continue until the whole 500 mls is gone.
If you vomit, don't worry, just carry on taking the doses.

When it is all gone go to bed and lay on your right hand side.
Place a bucket inside your toilet bowl to collect the stones as you pass them, so you can count them.

If the gall stone attacks continue, repeat the exercise once a month until they disappear.

Now, a smarter person would have guessed they were in for a night of horror.

Didn't Gran regard olive oil as the best laxative available? As children, weren't we routinely given just a teaspoon of olive oil (followed by a drink of black tea) just to keep our little bodies regular? The consequences of 500 mls should have been very, very evident.

It did, indeed, become very evident to me that night.

I gagged a few times on the last few doses of oil, had about a glass of straight lemon juice left after I took the last dose and gulped it down with appreciation. Oh, the taste of oil in my mouth was repulsive.

Sleep came quickly...but not for long. After the first couple of rushed trips to the toilet I started to throw up at the same time and was permanently parked on my throne. It was winter and I grew cold. My little house was a warm house, I had no heating whatsoever, not even a little one bar heater. I chanced a quick trip back to the bedroom to grab a blanket to wrap around myself. Some time later, after I'd nodded off for a few minutes, and nearly fell off my pedestal, I scurried back again to get a pillow. I discovered that if I propped the pillow up against the wall on my left hand side and leant against it I could achieve the closest to comfort I was likely to come that night. In the early hours of morning, shivering with exhaustion, and growing increasinly cold I had to once again drag myself away to find another blanket.

Daylight came. I heard the farmer next door bringing in his cows for the morning milking. Morning came and I was still firmly ensconced. Tired, tired, tired. Exhausted. Finally, around mid morning I stumbled back to my bed, dragging my blankets behind me. And slept till after dark. Got up, had a drink of water and went back to bed.

Sunday I remembered I had a dog, poor creature.

I didn't think I would ever see the funny side of all this but when I saw Cheryl during the week, we laughed and laughed. I think it was about this time that I remembered the last line of 'the cure", about repeating the exercise once a month. That was when I vowed I'd rather face the surgeon's knife. Which I did eventually and to this day I think it was the easiest of the options.

PS Stone count: there were literally hundreds, all green, and they ranged in size from little ones the size of a pea to big 'uns about half the size of my thumb in length and diameter. Impressive!

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