The gall bladder just doesn't get as much press

My mother recently suffered the unfortunate event of having her gall bladder removed. She is the eldest of two brothers and three sisters and was the only child still with a gall bladder.

Some families have a family tradition of meeting up for a barbecue on the Fourth of July. My mother's family gets together to have body organs removed. I am happy to say all went well, but I am now left with the strong likelihood that one day I, too, will say goodbye to my beloved gall bladder.

I wonder what makes the lonely gall bladder go out in our family. I presume the gall bladder is lonely because no one ever tells you anything about it. All the other body organs get lots of press, and you can get a lot of advice on how to save them.

Take the heart for instance. I now know if you eat Cheerios it will lower your cholesterol and it is good for your heart. I know this because it says on the cereal box that Cheerios are approved by the American Heart Association. To my knowledge, the American Heart Association has not yet approved Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops or Cocoa Puffs, which means my heart is doomed. Now, Cheerios may have contributed $10 million to the American Heart Association, for all I know, but at least I know they lower your cholesterol.

Drink a couple of glasses of red wine, which contains the heart-healthy substance reservol and you will open your arteries and live longer. I tried this approach, but figured if two glasses was good a quart would be better. It did not make my heart feel better, but I will say it is an excellent diet plan because I didn't eat for three days after that.

Drink lots of cranberry juice. It's good for the urinary tract, especially if you have an infection. That's what they say. I don't know a single soul ever cured by drinking cranberry juice, but it's still being drunk by the gallons.

Eat carrots for your eyesight. Drink milk for your bones. Eat meat, loaded with zinc and iron, for your liver and muscles. Take saw palmetto for your prostate. I understand Tiger Woods eats it by the bushel baskets.

Eat fish for your brain. It is a sure bet Mike Tyson and Nancy Pelosi have never been to a Red Lobster or Long John Silver's in their life.

Even the colon has a diet plan: Eat oat bran, salad and whole grain bread.

My pet donkey, Bambi, eats better than that. But if you want a healthy colon, sacrifices must be met.

I could go on and on, but there still wouldn't be a single mention of the gall bladder. Besides, if I eat all this stuff to stay healthy, I'll weigh 300 pounds. I think I'll just go ahead and schedule to have it removed next week, might as well take out the appendix, too. No telling when it will start acting up. After all, it is about time for another family reunion.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.