Bye Bye Gallstones–I’ll miss you. Maybe.

October 25, 2012

My Running

So I had my gallbladder surgery. I assumed that “outpatient” meant quick recovery. I also assumed I’d be back in my running shoes by Saturday, which is in 2 days. Nope.

First of all, “outpatient” means no hospital care. Nothing to do with recovery time. And I won’t be getting into my running shoes on Saturday….and probably not even next Saturday. And MAYBE not even the Saturday after that!

I feel like I’ve been duped.

Plus I came back from surgery weighing two pounds heavier. What’s that about? I’ve been on nothing but soup and crackers. Water and juice. Popsicles and sugar free jello. And still two pounds heavier. When something is removed from your body I don’t think there should be a ( + ) in weight. When I met with my surgeon pre-op…I asked when could I start running again. She answered: “as soon as you start walking.”



I have been a McDonald’s French fry addict since I had my first McDonald’s French fry. I’ve been a fast food junkie for I don’t know how long. When I got the gallstones I had to modify to a strict diet of no fried foods, no dairy, and no high in fat….because I was not about to have this surgery before my Nike Half marathon in San Francisco. Thank God I made ONE good decision! I had visions of this surgery happening on a Monday….me going back to work on Tuesday…going through the McDonald’s drive-thru on Friday and going for a long run on Saturday. Oh! And standing on the scale and seeing a 4lb weight LOSS. ( – ).

insert music stopping, record screech here….

Well that’s not how it went. Instead it went like this: Surgery on Monday. Out of work for the rest of the week. Sleeping all day Monday and Tuesday due to pain pills, that I swore I wouldn’t take. Groaning when I had to stand up and walk to the bathroom. No appetite but forcing myself to eat soup and crackers so the pills wouldn’t make me nauseous. Getting a headache from sitting too long. Finally able to shower on Wednesday. Standing on the scale and still seeing the 2lbs (+) and if scales could talk this one would be sticking its tongue out at me with its thumbs in its ears, wiggling its fingers.

All that could dissipate in a matter of seconds if I knew I’d be lacing up Saturday and going for a run! It won’t be happening though. And I’m struggling with being okay with that.

I’ve worked hard at maintaining my speed, my distance, and my health. And now it all just goes bye-bye. The nurse told me I would probably not be able to run for 4 weeks. I cried. My daughter was bringing me home from the hospital (haha that just made me laugh….cuz don’t parents usually bring their babies home from the hospital?) and out of the blue she looks over at me and I’m crying. Silently with tears coming down my face. “Mom?! Are you okay? Do you hurt?! What’s wrong?!”

“I can’t run for four weeks”.

It seriously affected me that much. I have fallen head over heels with running. And to be apart from it–I want to say its gonna kill me. But my experience has shown that what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

How in the world am I going to get stronger from this? I have a friend who totally gets me. She had to go a year without running due to a physical illness. A WHOLE YEAR!! And she came out of it stronger. Mentally AND physically. She got back into her groove and is now at the fastest she’s ever been.

The weird thing is: I want to keep eating like I was eating when I was diagnosed with gallstones; healthy.

Now if anyone knows me at all—they would say “OMG. Where is Renee??”. No seriously. It’s me. How did that change? I am waiting for the gym next door to my work to finish their remodel and reopen on November 1st because I’m going to cross train.

I have already started my next journey and I didn’t even know it. The journey of love.

Because you see–I was always someone who hated me. And picked on me. And never let myself breathe. And this new way of thinking is very different for me. Wanting to eat right. Wanting to cross train. Wanting to be a better runner.

To go from: “you’re so fat. What’s the use. No one would want you anyway….” to: “you’re right where you’re supposed to be. You’re doing all the right things. You’re doing a great job. You will never settle again….” is a true miracle. . I can see clearly the title of my blog: running has helped me become my own friend.

And Gallstones helped me get a hold of my eating. My circle of friends remind me I am motivated through pain. Its true. I couldn’t get a handle on my eating until I was diagnosed with gallstones. And getting a handle on my eating made me see how much I like to eat healthy. Don’t get me wrong…I will have French fries. Just not everyday. How is it—what always seems to be a bad thing always turns out to be a blessing?? I hate that, but love it at the same time.

Four weeks off of running. What the hell am I going to write about??!


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About rsouleret

I am a mother of two beautiful girls. I work full time. And I run. ILML.

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5 Comments on “Bye Bye Gallstones–I’ll miss you. Maybe.”

  1. Donna Says:

    I love this! And yes, after I wrote a blog I feel foolish because so few people read it and I thought to myself those exact same words “Renee gets me.” Sure is an awesome feeling. I know how mentally hard it is not to run and the fear that you will regress. But you won’t, not much and not for long anyway. Don’t be afraid to read some inspiring running books during this time! Oh – and you nudged me to get my eating back on track. Thank you for your writing!


    • rsouleret Says:

      You’re paving this running journey for me. I like watching you and following. I appreciate your experiences. I keep telling myself one day I will be able to post a a picture of my Runkeeper with a 9 min mile. (Yours was 7 but your 7 is my 9). Haha!!! Thanks for being an inspiration Donna!! Xo


  2. love2trailrun Says:


    I thought the same exact thing today “Renee gets me.” Very few people actually read my blog, but I love that you relate, and likewise.

    Don’t worry about slackin’ off. You are on fire and 4 weeks won’t put out that flame.

    Don’t be afraid to read some inspiring running books! I can recommend some, but I always send mine to my brother after I read them. Thanks for writing this!


  3. Heather Says:

    From 2001 to 2010, I thought I would never run again. Simply being able to run even though I am slower than ever has brought me piece of mind and balance that I had been missing but I have a much different perspective about finding the joy in running. Any day that I can run is a celebration regardless of speed, pain, weather or any other thing that used to frustrate me…at least I am running!

    Four weeks will seem miniscule in the long term. You will be back in no time and you will feel better than ever.


    • rsouleret Says:

      I can’t imagine 9 years!!!!! Yes 4 weeks seems like a blink compared to that. I see myself running before the 4 weeks…but not working on speed. Maybe like a mile or two…or three. LOL. No, seriously…I will practice patience during this time!!!! (Sigh)


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