On birthdays and holidays, many girls get chocolates or flowers from their fathers, but my dad is a little different.
One day I receive a package of Godiva gallstones. Wow! I imagine glistening gallbladder sacs sliced open, oozing with coconut cream, cherry chunks, or nutty nougat, and then I lift the cover off the gorgeous gold box to discover seventeen clear containers with tight-fitting lids. Arranged artfully inside—like specialty chocolates—each tiny jar a surprise: from purple-pigmented pebbles to tan tapioca pearls, tricolor treasures to jaundice-yellow gems. One has a solitary three-centimeter rock. Ouch!
An inflamed gallbladder is painful. But who gets gallstones? In medical school, they taught us a simple way to identify the typical patient. Just remember the four Fs: Fat, Fertile, Females, in their Forties. Now I’m excited every time I see heavy middle-aged women walk into the clinic.
I smile as a big lady named Belinda walks in. She says, “I got shooting pains in my belly going to my right shoulder blade, Doc.”
On her exam I note pain in the right upper quadrant of her abdomen. I try to hide my excitement. “I bet you have gallstones. Let’s get an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.”
“Really? Gallstones?” she asks.
“Wait, wait, wait. I have to show you something.” I open my gold box. “Look Belinda! Aren’t they beautiful?”
“I got gemstones in my belly?”
(Excerpt from: Pet Goats & Pap Smears)