I’m fasting before I have to brave the dark, foggy drive into Visalia this morning to have some blood drawn. I woke at midnight on the 9th of November with excruciating abdominal pain that put me in the hospital for a week with an infected gallbladder, an errant gallstone stuck somewhere in my plumbing beneath my sternum.

At my age, ambulance paramedics and emergency personnel are trained to assume chest and abdominal pains are likely to be a heart attack. Despite X-ray and a CT-scan, the correct diagnosis required two trips to Emergency before beginning a regime of antibiotics and pain killers. Too infected for surgery at the time, we’re currently working towards a date to remove my gall bladder, a month or so away at best.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we got rain, the grass is coming, the Angus bulls are out and the Wagyu bulls arrive next week—it’s time to brand, our annual dance around the weather with the help of our neighbors. It’s good to be back home.


10 responses to “Home

  1. Hoping you are without pain till they get to fix you altogether! Best of luck.


  2. Get better quickly John. Hoping for a great outcome at the end of this trial.




  3. Sorry to hear of your problems. Does this mean we are both getting old? Surely not… My best to you and Robin. Bill


  4. Best wishes for an easy road back to health.


  5. John-I so empathize. Had similar adventure in 1980–very scary and horrendous pain complicated by being a single mom with a busy 2 year-old and needing to work full time. Glad you will soon be done! Staying positive is essential–hang in there!


  6. I sure hope this is a quick effective surgery and you are back in your boots in no time!


  7. I hope you feel better soon.


  8. glad it is being dealt with


  9. Heather Hafleigh

    John, Just catching up on my emails. So sorry to hear what all you are going through. Hope all goes well. I know a few folks who have had their gall bladder removed and are doing just fine. I will think good thoughts and wish you well. I listened yesterday to Andy’s podcast with you. So interesting to hear your history, lots of which I sure didn’t know. Fascinating. So glad to hear your voice and stories about your life. Hope branding season goes well for you. Hello to Robbin. I am plodding along, still gardening full time, doing a few photographic projects for my dear friend Malcolm Margolin, and hoping to go to a branding or two. Hadn’t planned to go to Elko, but the lineup sure looks good……I treated myself to the gathering in Texas for my birthday, and had a fun drive out to it with Dave and Denise. Love those guys. Take care and keep us all posted. Your friend, Heather



  10. Sorry to read you’re not feeling well. Hoping you’re feeling better soon.


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