There are good stones, and bad stones. . .

. . .and grind stones, and gall stones – Mama Rose, Gypsy

I kicked off my Labor Day weekend in the emergency room of Piedmont Hospital. I’ve been having awful pain since last Wednesday, gradually getting worse each day, especially at night after meals. My husband kept asking me if I needed to go to the ER, and I stubbornly said no, because the last time I went to the ER with stomach pain, they basically told me I had an upset stomach and sent me home. This pain was similar, but much worse.

After being up all night Thursday night with pain, we ventured over to the urgent care doctor on Friday morning.

We went in, and I told them my symptoms and the nurse told me to go to the ER. “It sounds like your gallbladder. They’ll need to do an ultrasound. You should go right away.”

So, we went to the ER. I saw the triage nurse right away and explained my symptoms. “Sounds like your gallbladder,” she said. (Also, to note, my mom and sister have both had their gallbladders removed)

After three house in the waiting room suffering from “attacks,” they finally admitted us into a room. About 2 hours later the doctor came in to see us. Again, I explained my symptoms (apparently, they don’t read charts anymore), and the doctor said, “It sounds like a gallbladder attack.” He explained I would need to have some blood taken and an ultrasound.

It was another hour before the blood was drawn, and another hour before the ultrasound. Another hour passed and they gave me some pain meds that actually worked. After another hour, with D trying to sleep on the uncomfortable railing of my bed, and me drifting in and out of sleep interrupted by really loud hospital announcements, we finally got the diagnosis.

“We don’t know what it is,” said the Doctor. “Your bloodwork was fantastic.” (Thanks vegan diet) “Your gallbladder looked normal on the ultrasound.” He noted a few things that they noticed, but didn’t seem to concerned about. “We are scratching our heads, because you show all the signs of gallstones, but we don’t see anything wrong.”

So, I was sent home (another hour after the diagnosis) with the number of a GI doctor to do some sort of MRI on my gallbladder to see what else might be wrong. I get to eat a “bland” diet and exist on painkillers until we know what’s wrong. Until then, it’s just mystery pain. Since it’s Labor Day Weekend, this probably won’t get resolved until next week.

So think of me, while you are lounging by the pool, Mojito in hand, honoring this labor day weekend. I’ll be sitting on my couch with some ginger ale and a banana.

Anyone else have weird mystery stomach pains? Isn’t a plant-based diet supposed to prevent these types of illnesses?



9 thoughts on “There are good stones, and bad stones. . .

  1. Oh gosh!! That blows. I hope you’re doing better now! When you’re in Memphis, hit me up if you want. We can do lunch or something! I’ll be at VCC too….on another note, I’ll be in Atlanta for VegFest and I’ve never been! Can you believe that? It’s so close. Anyway, I saw your handy dining guide, which I’ll definitely reference when I’m there. Do you know what neighborhood VegFest is in so I can plan meals in neighborhoods around it?

  2. I’m feeling much better now, thanks! I’ll definitely hit you up in Memphis!

    I’m going to be out of town during VegFest for a wedding. I’m bummed to miss the inagural fest; I’m sure it will be awesome! It’s going to be held in the historic West End neighborhood and there are some great vegan options right around there:

    -Healthful Essence is Carribean Style vegan ( They have great combo platters, veggies, mock meats (like “fish” patties).

    -Tassili’s Raw Reality ( has a great selection of raw items.

    -Soul Vegetarian (879 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30310) has vegan southern soul food.

    -Just a 15 minute drive away, in the Old Fourth Ward/Inman Park area is Dough Bakery, which is definitely worth checking out. They have a vegan deli, and all vegan bakery (with soft serve). (

    -Also, definitely check out Little Five Points ( It’s such a fun neighborhood, very Bohemian feel. There is a brewpub called Wrecking Bar that has vegan specials on Tuesdays, and has a few vegan items that rotate on their menu. Their beer is also vegan.(

    I hope that helps! I’m excited you’ll get to check out the city.

  3. Yes I too have crazy abdominal pain. So much that I can’t stand up straight sometimes. Thinking back to the time I went to the hospital in high school, it was probably the same thing. The sent me home saying it was gas. I had an ultrasound yesterday. Of course I want it to be negative but I also don’t, because I’d rather have an explanation for what’s wrong. It’s kind of like my knee X-rays which came back clean and now I live with pain and knowing it’s not what the dr sent me for, but knowing nothing more. Have you had your specialist appointment and MRI yet?

    1. That’s exactly how I felt. I don’t want anything to be wrong, but I want to know what’s causing it, because it HAS to be something.

      I did have an appointment with the specialist and went for the MRCP. The MRCP showed a dilated bile duct. I have to go for another test – ERCP – at the end of the month to see what’s causing the dilation.

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