I was thinking about the positive things I have got out of the Gallstone Experience, because, weird though it might seem if you've been reading all my moaning, there have been some. I've already mentioned how scarily high-fat my old diet was, and how I've learnt where fat hides in convenience foods. When I'm able to eat anything again, I do intend to keep up low-fat supplemented with occasional sausages, fake cheese and ice cream, which'll be healthier for me in the long term. For example, pretzels are easily as crunchy and salty as crisps, but even regular pretzels have a smidgeon of the amount of fat in even "low fat" crisps, and reduced-fat pretzels have all of 0.5g of fat in a packet. Less eating of complete junk has to be a good thing.
Another thing is that I have actually lost "weight". While I still don't want to be congratulated for it, shifting 12kg aka 28 lb aka 2 stone has got to be good for my joints, provided that when I'm better I exercise properly again.
I have learned that it is a Good Thing for me to take painkillers when I'm in pain. This is something that really surprised me. I really did have all this wiring in my head that painkillers are bad for you and should be avoided wherever possible. But actually, being in intense pain is far more stressful for your body than taking painkillers carefully, as directed. I now need to get that tattooed on my forehead, so I remember it.
The most important thing which I realised today is that I have miraculously gained the Ability To Say No. I was "famous" all the way through school and at college for taking on too much - in particular, pointless causes that few people cared about. ("But I have to do it! If I don't, no one else will!" with the unspoken assumed belief that that would be Bad). Somehow, I have learned that, even if I am being offered money to do something, if it could potentially make me too exhausted to do something that I have already committed to, I should refuse it. Honouring my existing commitments is more important, and taking care of myself is even more important than that.
I would, of course, have preferred to have learnt all this without the pain, antibiotics, trips to hospital at 3am and having to give up cycling (grr!), but do you think I'd have paid attention to the lessons then? Hmmm.