Home Remedies (Geopolitical and Otherwise)

Today at the commissary I bought "recycled" tissues. Now I'm wondering what that means exactly. It sounds sort of gross, doesn't it?

Daisy felt that my spoof of Governor Palin using mom tactics to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "...denigrating the Israeli homeland." I take issue with that. I was denigrating the Israelis; I was also denigrating the Palestinians. But I wasn't denigrating the Land of Israel and its Occupied Territories. Which happens to be the homeland not only for Jews but also for numerous Palestinians who stubbornly refuse to just go away. What's wrong with those people, anyway? Can't they take a hint?

[Warning: geopolitical discussion ahead - feel free to skip to the asterisks.]

I agree with Thomas Friedman's line of reasoning on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the Israelis have avoided deciding on a real solution to the problem for over 40 years now, and they are paying the price. You see, in 1967 they had 3 choices:
  1. They could have kept Israel a democracy by granting all the Palestinians in the Territories equal rights and citizenship in the state, but then Israel would no longer have been a Jewish state.
  2. Or, they could have kept Israel a Jewish state and a democracy by not holding onto the Territories.
  3. Or, they could have kept the Territories and kept a Jewish state by not granting full citizenship rights to all those Palestinians. But that wouldn't be a true democracy, now would it? It would be what Jimmy Carter dared to call it: apartheid.
The Israeli government never made a real choice, as any of the solutions would have been politically unpopular with a large segment of the population; but it has slid towards number 3 up there. Anyone who wants a (much) better picture of the situation is invited to read Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem - it's a fun read, too, all about his adventures in Lebanon during its civil war.

So, Daisy, I'm going on like this to show you that I understand the gravity of the situation over there. But people (well, people like me, anyway) make jokes out of things that are just too upsetting to think about otherwise (library fines, for instance). Call that post wishful thinking on my part, okay? You wanna know my other solution to the Jerusalem issue? We should give the whole city to Disney. Imagine the fun biblically-themed rides and attractions! Because, really, I'm sick of the fighting.


Now, where was I? Oh, yes, recycled Kleenex. What's up with that, anyway? Next thing you know, they'll be recycling dog poop.

Larry is concerned about me because I'm drinking a quarter cup of lemon juice/olive oil twice a day in an attempt to get rid of gall stones. Every time he sees me downing my "cocktail," he starts muttering something along the lines of "We do have health insurance, you know."

Yeah, I know we do. But I have this irrational fear of being cut open, so I am going to persevere. And, hey, this whole gall stone experience is great for weight loss. I can't eat anything fatty without getting sick. Is that a perfect disease, or what?

[Sue, stop googling "gall stones." You don't have them. It's a disease for us old ladies in our 40's.]

I dragged Larry out on a date last night (he was tired, but I figure we'll get enough rest when we're dead, right?). We went to a local bookstore and looked up college costs and said, "Wow! That sucks!" As we headed back outside to the car, I pointed out the moon, which was a weird orange color. Larry said, "And it looks as though it were sliced in half!"

Um, yeah. Half moons look like that. Really, I don't think he gets out enough, do you?


  1. First, thanks for the lesson in international politics and intrigue. Recycled Kleenex, you say. Is it Kleenex made from recycled paper or something made from recycled Kleenex?
    I cannot fathom the gall stone cocktail, but it does sound better than being slit open, so there ya go.

  2. I don't think you are being irrational about the gall bladder issue. If you can avoid surgery for you really should. Once the gall bladder is gone the bile that it stored now empties into the bowels causing chronic diarrhea. My mom had to have hers out and we did not know this fact. The surgeons won't tell you either, they just want to cut you up so they can get their fee. Later when her diarrhea wouldn't go away a gastrointerologist explained to us the process. Sorry if this is TMI, but please if you can avoid the surgery, you should. ;-)

  3. I had one attack of gall stones--I thought I was going to die. I didn't do the cocktail, but did watch the diet and have been fine since.

    I was boggled by how willing the Dr. was to just take it right out; I'm with you, I'd like to avoid the knife.

  4. Suburaban correspondent lives up to her correspondent portion of her title!!! Impressive!

    On another note recycled kleenex sound like theyou would hurt my already chapped nose.

    Any luck with the gall stone cleansing? Brian did this "cleansing" thing once where he drank 1/4 cup olive oil followed by 8 oz of grapefruit juice and then laid on his left? (can't remember) side for 15 minutes. It was supposed to cleanse his system. Recommended by a dietician and herbalist during our "alternative treatment" days dealing with his cancer. Unfortunately, it cleansed his system so well, it cleansed out all his "Western" meds that kept him from having swelling and seizures due to hs tumor as well, and he had, well, swelling and seizures. He had to stop cleansing.


  5. I had the laparoscopic surgery for gallstones back in 2001. Minimal post-op pain. When they asked me to rate the pain 1 to 10 after I came out of anesthesia, I told them 3. Before surgery, it had been about 15. I didn't even have to use my post-op pain meds. Four ittybitty incisions that healed quickly and flawlessly. Your mileage may vary. I don't like hospitals, and I don't like needles; I would have the surgery in a heartbeat, should my gall bladder be so presumptive as to stage a comeback.

  6. I liked your spoof.

    I'm unsure of your gall stone cure.

  7. Oh thank god you posted the last paragraph, the bit about your husband was the only part of the WHOLE post I understood.... :)

  8. Does your gallstone cure recipe work for weightloss, too? I'm interested, unless it has the same results as gallstone surgery. Because I really don't enjoy diarrhea. And after one major surgery (I think the surgeon said "OOPS" or some other 4-letter word) I'm also an extreme avoider of being cut open.

    I appreciate your well-thought-out explanation of the Israeli/Palestinian conundrum. Just don't mention any of this to Disney!!

  9. My husband would agree with Lynn's assessment and relative pain ratings. The first time his gall bladder acted up, he was in Cleveland on business, and an EMT crew slapped him into a bed at the cardiac hospital (imagine the phone call: "Honey, they think I'm having a heart attack. If I don't make it back home, tell the kids how much I love them..."). The second time, he bet me a hundred bucks that his pain was worse than all seven of my unmedicated deliveries put together. The third, he actually CUSSED ME OUT because I was only going 30 mph over the speed limit en route to the ER. Then he had the laparoscopic surgery and has been living happily ever after. So I dunno...you can have your lemon juice/olive oil cocktail; I'd rather have the surgery and the pain meds.

    Coming up next...I'm blown away by your knowledge of the Israeli/Palestinian issue. That's entirely sincere.

  10. Like you, I need humor to deal with the big, hard stuff.

  11. Ha! You know me so well. I hope your gall stone cure works like crazy.

  12. I really liked your spoof. Don't politicians all act like spoiled kids, at the expense of their constituents?

    If you can't have fatty foods, wouldn't olive oil make you sick?

    If you should decide on the surgery, I would write in black marker on the stomach "Gall Bladder". I'm just a little paranoid. I'm afraid I would go in for, say, an appendectomy and come out with a heart transplant or something. I have heard some pretty off-the-wall stories.

  13. Good for you on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This has become a "do not touch" topic in America. I actually will check out the book you mentioned--I mean, eventually, as I'm having trouble staying conscious lately, until I go to bed, at which point I'm so uncomfortable I keep waking up. You know the drill.

    I have nothing to offer on gallstones, having never (thankfully) dealt with them.

  14. amy - There is actually a lot more variety of opinion voiced in Israel on this subject than here in America. American Jews are expected to march in lockstep with the Israeli lobby.

    toni - Thanks! Something else to worry about!

  15. The World Is Flat was practically a prerequisite for moving here. I really enjoyed it, so why didn't I ever read any of his other books? I don't know. Now at least I know which will be the next one I read. Thanks for the recommendation.

  16. Humor is my way of dealing with things that a hard and I can't really fix....what else are you going to do and just because you cracks jokes doesn't mean you don't "understand"

    So, I too am all for preventing surgery....maybe if we all worked on preventing stuff, it would cause health care rates to drop? I'm not sure - haven't really thought it through - but it seems like if prevented possible diseases in the first place, it would save some money someplace. Maybe I just don't understand.

  17. If we can't laugh about stuff then we might as well be dead. I'm right with you and add my thanks to those for the book recommendation. School doesn't start for me until the 24th so I have to cram a lot of reading in the next few weeks before college hell begins again.

    Careful about the gallstones. They can dislodge, block the duct and cause an infection that will spread to your entire body if misdiagnosed. (It happened here, NOT FUN). Good luck, getting older sucks the big blue banana.

  18. Gotta say, gall stones, not just for old ladies. I had my gall bladder out at 34, just after the birth of my 2nd child. And I have a friend and a niece who had theirs out in their 20s.
    Just FYI the surgery, while a painful recovery was better than the getting sick with practically every meal. I swear! I'm a huge wuss and I did it. Use the health insurance!!!!

  19. I haven't gotten to gallstones yet, but with my current stress levels, I'm just waiting. Are gallstones like fibroids -- they run in families? Just hoping here... ;)

  20. Gall stones are horrible. Had my gallbladder out 2 months after having my baby, and life is sooooo much better without the pain. The laproscopic surgery isn't the greatest, but considering the pain I was in, and being in the hospital for a week recovering from pancreatitis (due to the stones) with a 4 week old at home, the choice was easy.

    BTW, I have to say I love you blog layout. Please tell me how you did it, because html makes my face break out!

  21. Thanks for the commentary/explanation about the Israel/Palestine issue. I will look for Friedman's book because this is something I know very little about and it gets tied into our American politics so often.

    About gallstones. Bleah. I had my first gallbladder attack when I was 27, right after childbirth, so unless 27 is the new 45...

    I saw a surgeon who DID tell me about the possibility of nasty after-effects from surgery. He also told me that the bile can still form stones; they will just lodge in the ducts instead and be just as painful. So, no surgery for me. :)

    I don't have any big stones. Most of what they saw on the U/S was "gravel" or "sludge". This surgeon recommended I not try any cleanses because in his opinion that was a good way to get the stones moving and when they are on the move is when they get stuck and HURT. He said that autopsies show lots of people die with stones (not die OF the stones) that they never knew they had. He said we may even discover some day that they serve a function in our body that we don't realize now.

    SO...(what is it about your blog that makes me blog in the comments?) his suggestion and what I do and what has kept me from having surgery for 19 years now: Stay regular, eat fiber, drink lots of water, and keep your fat intake steady. Not necessarily LOW or NONE, just STEADY. Apparently what gets the gall bladder stirred up is getting a big load of fat after not having much for a long time.

    The keeping regular thing and drinking water have done the absolute most for me. If I start getting heartburn I know I'm headed for a GB attack in a few days unless I work on the fiber and water.

  22. Thanks for the info, Beth! So, as I see it, I'm better off having a big bowl of ice cream every day, rather than just once in a while?

  23. Heavy stuff on a Monday morning!

    You know, they do recycle elephant poop and use it to make lovely stationary.


  24. I'd keep those recycled kleenex for the kids. Use them as leverage - "you do your math or use a recycled kleenex. It's your choice."

  25. wow. You must be tough. I had my gallbladder out two years ago, (when I was 25) and since then, I've only had one side effect from having it taken out, and that's really bad heartburn when my stomach is completely empty. My attacks were terrible. My first one was while I was in labor with my first baby. I was determined to have natural childbirth, but my "contractions" never went away, so I got an epidural and was in HEAVEN! Two weeks after I delivered I thought I was in labor again, long story short, I had a gallbladder full of stones. (my surgeon told me they're like time bombs waiting to go off because my attacks were triggered by salads and crackers, not cheeseburgers) the surgery went fine, and my pain was minimal. The worst part is sitting down and having your pants waistband rub the incision at your belly button. Well, that is unless you wear low-rise jeans. BTW, I just had my second baby naturally and while it wasn't a cake walk, I wouldn't say the pain even came close to the attacks. I hope yours don't get any worse. I'd hate for anyone to have to live with that...

  26. I've had 4 major surgeries, having 4 large babies cut out of my abdomen. It wasn't too bad, I mean I hurt quite a bit, but they do give you good drugs. For a while afterwards, you can grab your incision and say stuff like "Oh, I don't think I can do those dishes/vacuum/make dinner etc. Also, I've heard that knitting is actually really good for the healing process.
    But then again, a good friend of mine had her gall bladder out a while ago, and the surgeon goofed big time by cutting her bile duct, and then blamed his mistake on her for having weird anatomy, because apparently, her bile duct was in the wrong place.

    Maybe you should just stick with eating a bowl of ice cream every day.

  27. Wow...she makes us laugh and brilliant political commentary too! Go you!
    I loved that book myself. I think Friedman gives a balanced view on things. Refreshingly rare.
    Good luck on the gallbladder thing! Ick.

  28. Sorry about the gall stone. I hope it goes away without surgery.

  29. Okay, a long bloody conflict in the Middle East wrapped in recycled Kleenex, topped off with a gallstone cocktail?

    I need a Tums.

  30. A friend recently posted a comment on my blog saying she got rid of her gallstones on the 80/10/10 diet, which is 80% raw carbs, 10% protein and 10% fat. It sounded like an awful lot of work, but it did rid her of her gallstones, so it might be worth a shot. www.foodnsport.com (where the title of the website comes from, I don't know)

    Also, as a fellow self-inflicted-sufferer of library fines, I thought I'd share: A librarian recently, most kindly pointed me to www.libraryelf.com. If your library is supported, it links your card # to its system and notifies you when you have impending due dates, fines, etc.

  31. I had my gallbladder out 2 years ago when I was 26... SO worth it! The laparascopic surgery was great (as far as surgeries go)... the abdominal pain afterwards was really bad for about 4 days post-surgery but it's been awesome since then. I also have slight heartburn sometimes, and a lactose intolerance that I'm sure isn't related (!), but the benefits far outweight everything else. And I can eat junk again :) (not sure if that's a good thing but, you know...)

  32. Wow. It's not everyone who's brave enough to tackle those hot political discussions on Kleenex! Sorry about the gallstones... which I'm now off to Google. Just in case.

  33. I know nothing about anything. for real. So reading any sort of political information is like drinking a much needed glass of water. I'll have to go read your Palin post. I'm sure it was great :)

  34. Um, yea, that gallstone thing...my 81 year old dad ignored his for a long time. Well not so much ignored it as he just didn't tell a SOUL it was bothering him, despite the fact that he visited a physician of some variety MANY MANY TIMES. So what does he do?

    He waits till it doubles him over in utter agony and he nearly died because the bugger was GANGRENED! He could've had laproscopic surgery with a 4 inch scar off to the side of his belly. Nope, now he has full on battle scar that is at least 8 inches long and uneven because they started laproscopically and quickly discovered a rotted organ.

    He had the nerve to apologize for the inconvenience of asking to be taken to the ER...uh gee dad, this is a blip, you DYING would be an inconvenience.

  35. Okay, you just said the magic word. If the thought of gangrene doesn't get me to the doctor,nothing will.

  36. my husband hates when i buy recycled tissues... not soft enough apparently. but i buy them anyway to relieve my eco guilt.

  37. If you have your gallbladder out, you really have to watch eating fatty foods, such as french fries, because your gallbladder is what breaks that down for your body.

    For more information of getting rid of gallstones naturally and avoiding surgery:


    Of course, if your gallbladder is shot and gangrenous, using natural methods is a little like calling the fire department after your house burned down.

  38. Um, not to worry Sue or anything, but my teenage daughter has gall bladder problems.

  39. I had my first gallstone attack at 19. I got my gallbladder out at 33. Three days later I was at a Christmas party. Three days before it I was *extremely* unwell. Like, writhing on the floor at work from the pain unwell.

    It's not great, but if you've got stones it really can be best thing to do. And you should consider stopping the flushes because if you do send your gallbladder into spasms, you're increasing the chance of it contracting hard enough to lodge a stone in your bile duct, and then you've got big, big issues. And it still won't clear the big stones but it'll give you a lot of pain.

    Of course, I had a lot of stones, to the point where my gallbladder was distended and pushing against my ribs. I counted 207 in the bottle they gave me, including seven the size of normal dice. Wanna see a picture? :)

  40. Re college costs: my kids go to Brigham Young University, and it's under $5500 a year tuition. That's not missing a zero. Add, if I remember right, about 15% for those who aren't Mormon, still, it's a good school and cheaper than sending them to the UCs here.

  41. Oh Feisty, you're a brave lady! I'll put an edit on my blog so you don't have to see it here. Don't click unless you're brave. :)

    Here you go: Bleah.


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