The next time you are at a Chinese slaughterhouse, playing Texas Chainsaw massacre with cow cadavers, prepare to be strip searched. That’s right, remove your bloody jumpsuit, yellow rubber gloves, galoshes, spattered goggles and hard hat. Open your mouth wide as they probe your alimentary canal (throat/digestive tract) , then bend over and do your best Fletch impersonation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfZiAiYNcI8) or pray the backscatter x-ray device is working instead.
Alright I don’t know if they go to quite these lengths, but I have read that the abattoirs in China, similar to diamond mines of Africa, carefully scrutinize outgoing workers. What the heck are they looking for? Cut of Kobe (beef not Bryant)? No- that’s Japan. Flintstones sized slab of ribs? Not that either.
Their prize is far smaller contraband. Round. Kind of rhymes with “falls” but, easy now, doesn’t start with “b.” We’re talking Niu-Huang, aka “yellow thing of cattle,” aka gallstones. Some cultures, particularly in Asia, prize this bi-product of the meat industry as an “antipyretic”or substance that reduces fever (aspirin, ibuprofen etc) as well as antidote in folk remedies. I might be tempted to pop a few as a cure for melanoma – I mean why not right – if it wasn’t suspected that I already have a few of my own.
Gallstones are deposits in the gallbladder, a small organ that stores bile, which is a digestive fluid made in the liver. They consist of cholesterol, salt, or bilirubin (discarded red blood cells). Tomorrow, despite threatening to go the ER by the end of the week, I have another endoscopy appointment or probe of my stomach and small intestine. The doctors want to do this before ordering a more detailed study of the gallbladder. Either way they are leaning towards gallstones as a likely culprit for the pain and discomfort of the last few years.
All I know is I feel like I gulped down a few choice cactus trees, whole. But I am glad that things are at least changing at this point and feel like we may be on the right track. Prayers answered.
Just know that if it does turn out to be gallstones, you can have my “yellow things” if you want for free, at no charge. Who knows they might even make a nice pair of earrings or a beaded necklace, with the center piece being a small sac-shaped organ /gallbladder, which they usually take out as well. Sounds lovely don’t you think?
Stay tuned and thanks, btw, for your continued support and well wishes.