So a while back, I had gallstones. This meant suffering semi-random gall bladder attacks, which left me pale and writhing on the ground in pain.
After several ER visits and doctor examinations, my doctor recommended surgery.
Naturally, I wanted to see what else I could try before it came to actually being cut open and getting my gall bladder removed.
There was a popular remedy I’d seen online, involving fasting and drinking epsom salts to clean you out, then drinking olive oil. So I gave it a shot.
It was horrible. Drinking olive oil straight is dis-gus-ting, so bad that even today, years later, the smell makes me a little queasy. It also didn’t help at all. Ultrasounds before and after showed, if anything, more gallstones after the olive oil. I ended up getting the surgery, which was meant to be outpatient but due to a complication ended up being 3 or 4 days in the hospital.
Flash forward to today – the surgery has been effective, and life without a gall bladder is largely the same as before I had it out. If you’re curious, the only real change is if I have a fatty meal, I’ll have to go to the bathroom 30-40 minutes later.
My mom just forwarded me a quote she found, thanks to Google Books, from Ellingwood’s Therapeutist, an eclectic medical journal from 1914:
If there is an infection of the gall bladder with gallstones, give an ounce of olive oil twice daily, which has a tendency to liberate the stones. This remedy was first suggested by Dr. Horatio Firth of Brooklyn, N. Y., and is on record.
Dr. Horatio Firth is my great-great-grandfather, on my mother’s side. So it turns out that drinking olive oil, the popular remedy I found on the internet, was actually invented or at least popularized by my direct ancestor.
Small space-time continuum, eh?
p.s. Thanks for nothing, great-great-gramps! Bleh.