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Stuff happens. Not all of it is pleasant (or profitable). Bye, bye gallbladder.

OK> Here’s the reason for my disappearance:

I had a gallbladder attack. Had it not been misdiagnosed, it would have been routine to remove it. Five days later it got worse. We did more diagnosis and figured the real problem.  A brilliant surgeon in Fresno, CA, Dr. Kelvin Higa removed it. Higa is really, really good. If you need yours out, fly there (as I did) and get Dr. Higa to take it out.

I didn’t get to keep my gallbladder. For those of you who can stomach this, there’s a gruesome picture of it below.

I try to learn. The biggest lessons from all my medical issues of the last two weeks:

+ Medical problems happen to all of us from one moment to another. Healthy as a horse one moment. Not so the next. Take changes very seriously. Learn everything you can about what you might, or might not have.

+ Not all doctors are competent. I have been told I have a case of medical negligence against the doctor who misdiagnosed my gallbladder problems as hiatus hernias. Had I not had a wonderful doctor in my family who didn’t believe that diagnosis and insisted on more tests, my gallbladder could have burst and I could have died. It was that serious.

+ We all need to have doctors who will go the extra mile on your behalf. Many have set themselves up as “concierge” doctors and are on call 24/7. This is the best idea in medicine ever. I repeat: the best idea in medicine ever!

+ Covid is still around. My 44-year old son-in-law and my 75-year old partner have had bad cases of covid. Masking on planes, etc. remains critical, if boring. But no one knows where you get this crap from.

+ Friends have also contracted pneumonia recently. One didn’t take it seriously enough and died. I repeat: He didn’t take his “little cough” seriously. He lived his life fully, burning both ends of the candle and then died.

I don’t want to sound depressing. Life is fun. I’m getting stronger from day-to-day. I’ll be back on the tennis court in two weeks.

But, when medical sh*t happens, we need to take it very very seriously.

Stay well my friends.

Favorite cartoons

My take: Not for a long, long time.

The picture of the century

Now for the picture of the century. Here’s my gallbladder inside me, later removed. It was the size of a small mango and weighed five to six ounces. What causes it all? According to Dr. Google:

“When gallstones get stuck while traveling through the duct (tube) to the stomach, they block the outflow of bile, which causes the gallbladder to spasm. This usually leads to sharp pain, like being cut by a knife, under the rib cage in the upper right side or center of the abdomen.”

You can live happily without a gallbladder. I am proof of that. I am happy. And I don’t have a gallbladder, any more. Thank you Dr. Higa.

Simple diagnosis: If you have a pain in the hand upper quadrant of your stomach area, it’s your gallbladder telling you “Get me outta here before I make your life really difficult.

The stockmarket remains seriously confusing and unpredictable. The energy stocks have ebbed, while Nvidia, Apple, AMD, Meta, Google and Tesla have edged up. My most consistent performers have been my U.S. treasuries, now paying as much as 4.8% for three months. Fantastic place to put cash. I’m holding all of them to maturity.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Promise. — Harry Newton