The KFC locations in Minneapolis closed recently. As I saw the boarded up windows, I felt nostalgic. After all, KFC put me in the hospital.
I was 17 years old. KFC was our family’s traditional Friday fare. Even though I had been diagnosed with gall bladder stones just the previous year, I thought nothing of regularly eating fried foods. Besides, I loved fried chicken and biscuits!
That night, I suffered a burning pain in my abdomen. This is the same problem I had been having nearly every month since my gall bladder stones were discovered. The pain of the “attack” is comparable in intensity to labor pain. Like labor, the pain comes in waves. Like labor, the pain can leave you sweating and straining. Unlike labor, the pain does not result in a bundle of joy.
This time, the pain didn’t go away after several hours. I was still sweating come the dawn. Finally, my worried mom took me to the hospital.
I was scheduled for emergency surgery. The gall stone had actually plugged up my pancreatic duct, which was back-washing bile into my stomach and making me even more ill. Luckily, the gall bladder is not a necessary organ. It was removed, along with the offensive stone.
The surgery was not without its perils. I needed a blood transfusion the next day, and took a week to recover. My stomach bloated to incredible proportions. My mom later confessed that she was afraid I was going to die.
I didn’t die. I went to my junior prom shortly after being discharged from the hospital. My beautiful green prom dress needed to be taken out to accommodate my bloated stomach. I was also unable to do much dancing.
KFC is not a source of fear for me, despite its role in my emergency surgery at 17. Regardless of the reason for the restaurant closings, I know that my eating choices are what caused my medical troubles. KFC was just the vehicle.
What is the vehicle that is driving you away from your own health goals?