Who Needs a Gallbladder Anyway?

Four days before her 20th birthday Veronica was admitted to the hospital for an emergency surgery that since then has changed her life forever. The surgery was a result of a gallstone that grew 1.5 cm in her gallbladder due to an infection that was causing her excruciating pain. A week had passed and Veronica quickly noticed her symptoms were not normal. She had her follow up appointment and the doctors had prescribed her pain killers which helped mildly with the pain but she still suffered from nausea, diarrhea, and extreme weight loss. Her biggest worry was how long this healing process was going to be, and if she would ever be able to get back to her “normal” life. Timing was not in her favor either and winter break was coming to an end, therefore she needed to go back to Chico hoping the new medication doctors gave her would be more helpful.

Unfortunately, that was not the case and Veronica spent at least one day every two weeks in the Student Health Center. The symptoms were not only affecting her body, but were affecting her schoolwork as well. Her mother even told her she needed to take the semester off, but Veronica refused. Since having put so much effort in the previous semester, she wouldn’t let anything get in her way of a bright future. As she realized the medication prescribed to her wasn’t helping her feel better at all, she decided to change her diet to an all vegan diet. Unfortunately, that ended up being counterproductive because the sugar from the food in that diet caused her triglycerides to become high. Three months later and Veronica still continued to struggle, mind you being one of 10% of people who experience post-surgery complications.

After finally being approved by her insurance to be seen by a gastroenterologist, she had an endoscopy procedure done. Her results showed that Veronica had an enflamed, red stomach and white spots on her esophagus. Once again, she was prescribed more pharmaceuticals that came with unbearable side effects.

Desperate for a solution, Veronica turned to Holistic medicine as an alternative therapy. This method has practitioners who consider the whole body in the sense that if one part of it isn’t working then the rest of it is thrown off. With this medicine, Veronica isn’t completely free of her symptoms but can finally have them under control.

It has been eight months since the surgery and she is now about 60% recovered. She still takes it day by day experimenting with what foods she can hold down, maintaining her weight to a healthy one, and controlling the numerous symptoms she has been dealing with. This life changing experience has changed her outlook on the FDA, the Pharmaceutical business and the medical field over all. To raise awareness for the information she was never provided with, Veronica wrote her opinion column last week for The Orion on Holistic medicine versus FDA approved medicine and how she was able to regain control of her life. Veronica is taking this experience and making a career out of it, hoping to one day work with an organic food and beverage company.