Godiva Gallstones

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)

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4 comments on “Godiva Gallstones
  1. Sarah says:

    OMG. This should not have made me laugh (being a sufferer), but it did.

    By the way…three cm? Double-ouch.

  2. Sarah says:

    @the Sarah above: I was JUST going to say that. I laughed out loud (and winced a little in remberance).

  3. Richar says:


    This is really funny.

    What I really appreciate is how you inwardly laughed when you diagnosed a case of a disease that you really love. I felt the same way!!

    However, now when I see a new case of “Sham Peer Review” or State Medical Board abuse, I feel a sense of sadness. I always listen very carefully to the tone of the voice. Besides listening carefully to the caller’s “story”, I take particular note of the tone of the voice. I always wonder to what extent the Physician is depressed or even if a doctor is suicidal.

    Phone calls to us in the middle of the night are always urgent until we suspect otherwise.

    Keep up your writing !!

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