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Progress report

Gerard’s still in the hospital but things are looking slightly up. His last COVID test was negative, so that’s good. He has somewhat better pain control although his back spasms are still formidable. He also has had some physical therapy to get him walking again, but he’s got quite a way to go.

He noticed in the comments that people were talking about sending funds to help. He’s deeply appreciative of that. So it’s an excellent idea. The address on the blog underneath his photo is actually a mailbox service, so any contributions sent there will be held for him. Here’s that address: Gerard Van der Leun, 1692 Mangrove Ave., Apt: 379, Chico, CA 95926. Or, if you’d prefer to send money through his other page – the one where he takes subscriptions – here’s the link to that page. Lastly, starting some sort of fundraising page at GiveSendGo would be a great idea as well.

Gerard sends his heartfelt thanks to you for all the good wishes and prayers.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Joan of Argghh! January 11, 2023, 7:37 PM

    Wonderful to hear of progress!

  • Rob De Witt January 11, 2023, 7:49 PM

    Man do I hear you about back spasms. Just spent an hour with a physical therapist this morning because back spasms started the day. This has been going on with me since 1952 when we were seven and I had Polio. The bitch, as you’re learning, is that any kind of sickness that lays you low inevitably leads to the back problems. It’s good to lie down, but too much is deadly.

    Drugs of course don’t help; physical therapy and acupuncture – and chiropractic, somewhat – have been the only direct address. I encourage you to do the exercises (mostly Pilates) the PT gives you, and walk.

    A lot.

    I’m about to buy a $1000 extra-firm pillowtop mattress which I have great hopes for, having had a couple of wonderful nights’ sleep on one at a friend’s house.

    I know Olive is glad to have you home; hope she’s a snuggler. The deep purr of an affectionate cat has been a true balm.

    Stick around; in a few months I’ll be older again, and you’ll have to catch up.

    • ghostsniper January 12, 2023, 12:52 PM

      Rob, what brand and model is the pillowtop?
      Couple years ago you recommended My Pillow and I bought them and have been happy with them.

      • Rob De Witt January 12, 2023, 7:58 PM


        Pretty sure it’s a Serta Perfect Sleeper. Can’t be sure without first-hand investigation at a Macy’s which is about 40 miles from here. Research continues…

        • ghostsniper January 13, 2023, 10:55 AM


      • Snakepit Kansas January 14, 2023, 6:20 AM

        I got two firm My Pillows for Christmas. I love them!

  • Joe Krill January 11, 2023, 8:40 PM

    I gotta ask. Did Gerard have the jab?

    • Freddo January 12, 2023, 2:51 AM

      No, you didn’t have to ask. If you want to do small minded political theatrics, go do it on facebook or twitter.

      • John Venlet January 12, 2023, 4:16 AM

        Freddo, Joe’s question is legitimate, not small minded, and is asked, I surmise, out of true interest in Gerard’s well-being. If I recall correctly, from the early stages of this Gain of Function Flu fiasco and rollout of mRNA vaccines, our esteemed host did receive a vaxx shot, and mentioned in these pages, though I do not have the time or inclination to search for that information.

        Joe and all who frequent these pages desire only positive things for Gerard, and act on this through prayers, questions, and donations. These actions are not small minded.

        • Dan Patterson January 12, 2023, 4:42 AM

          Nicely stated. Thank you for that.

          • Rodney King January 12, 2023, 5:26 AM

            Can’t we all just get along?

            • Tom Hyland January 12, 2023, 8:16 PM

              No Rodney, we are never going to get along while open conversation about the big fat elephant in the room is ignored or disallowed.

        • Klaus January 12, 2023, 9:48 AM

          Joes question is absolutely a credible one. Sadly though Freddo seems to be a shining example of it’s much easier to fool someone than it is to convince them that they’ve been fooled.

        • Anonymous January 14, 2023, 8:29 AM

          at that I got the first two Feb ’21, and none following. had covid bad in ’20, and very mild 2X again to date.

          remember they held the vax card over heads.

      • Joe Krill January 12, 2023, 7:07 AM

        I do not do theatrics, I do not do Facebook and I am not into pseudonyms. I have genuine concerns for Gerard’s health.

        • Freddo January 14, 2023, 3:58 AM

          Good. To elaborate: if – for example – one of your friends is diagnosed with lung cancer you do not go to them and ask whether they smoked, whether they knew or did not know that smoking is carcinogenic, and you do not explain how you never smoked and coincidentally don’t have lung cancer. You wish them the best and – if practical – ask if there is anything you can do for them. Likewise if someone has heart issues (esp. if they have a history of heart issues), you don’t ask them whether they were vaxxed, whether they know there is a growing mountain of evidence that the vax has serious long term consequences, often heart inflammation, and how you were smart enough to avoid the vax and/or boosters. You wish them well, and if your preferred way to do that is “I gotta ask. Did Gerard have the jab?” you may in the future want to run your best wishes by a friend for a quick editorial review.

          • John Venlet January 14, 2023, 5:09 AM

            Freddo, your criticism of the question of whether the vaxx is involved in Gerard’s current health issues presupposes that the question is asked in order to berate or reprimand Gerard for being vaxxed. Nothing could be further from reality. While they may be a commenter who would say “It’s your own damn fault,” in all the years that I’ve been frequenting these pages I’ve not noted more than one or two who would have the audacity or mean-spiritedness to rub Gerard’s face in acknowledging being vaxxed. At this particular point in time, the question of whether the mRNA vaxxes are creating health problems for individuals is valid, and if the medical establishment is not considering the possibility of the mRNA vaxxes role in many usual medical problems and “died suddenly” occurences, the medical establishment is proving that they are continuing to abrogate their responsibility in providing health care.

            We live in troubling times, and if we are not questioning what is happening around us, and to those we care for and love, we too are then abrogating our responsibility.

            • ghostsniper January 14, 2023, 7:02 AM

              To take it to the next level John, neither did Gerard berate the people here that were against the jab. As always, he was decent about all of it. Not sure what Freddo’s going on about. I believe he is a noob so maybe he should pipe down and pay attention for awhile before sticking his nose in and getting it chopped off. shrug

          • Joe Krill January 14, 2023, 3:57 PM

            Freddo, I do not know how to handle your thinking. I wonder if anyone has ever relied on you for anything or was it not your problem? My question was based on the “fact”that different modalities are appearing with some of them offering therapeutic treatment to counter the effects of the “jab”. As far as your childish “example” I did have a very close friend who did have cancer. He was undergoing intense chemo and was not responding well. His white blood cells were not springing back quick enough. I communicated with a wholistic doctor who recommended a vitamin/mineral regimen. I secured the products, he asked his oncologist if he could take them. The oncologist said yes but he must stop 1 day before the treatment and could resume 2 days after. He beat the cancer and the oncologist was amazed at how quickly he turned around. Another example. I had a very close relative who had a botched operation. He had pancreatitis but was diagnosed with gall bladder problem. The “premier” hospital he was in was at a loss. More times than not the doctors would come out and say he was not going to make it. I called almost every big name hospital in the country looking for an answer. I got the answer from Walter Reed–it was how they treated wounded soldiers in combat. I had them send the information–the local “premier” hospital followed the regimen to a T. He recovered and lived another 3o some years. Both of these examples happened years before I ever set eyes on a computer. Some day Freddy I hope that you learn that life is about helping people, not helping yourself.

  • Dan Patterson January 12, 2023, 4:41 AM

    Me and Gerard haven’t met; we know one another only through the medium of writing and reading, mostly on this site but occasionally from an email exchange. Maybe it’s wrong of me, but I cannot help but think of him as family, a cousin or uncle too far away and too busy for convenient travel but connected in a way only family can be.

    It is a treasure I do not take for granted, and a rare extension of affection from my not yet melted heart.

    In the days when the mailman’s visit was happily anticipated, a surprise postcard from a faraway place was a delicious vicarious trip – hurriedly jotted notes on the back described the wonders and weather, toils and trouble – and by sending it the reader was connected to that place, if only by imagination. That’s what this site is like for me.

    It pains me that Gerard is in distress, though improving it looks like, and it saddens me I cannot be there to help like I would for a cousin or uncle not so far away. Or a neighbor. Though Gerard is none of those, he is a fast friend by the strength of the postcards between us.

    I’ll send some money, it is a practical tool for assisting. It won’t be much but it is accompanied by sincere affection and prayer for his best health and continued healing.

  • jd January 12, 2023, 7:22 AM

    It’s distressing that Gerard is still in the hospital where he is
    probably not walking much. I think the best things we can do
    for him are (1) to PRAY, (2) contribute financially as we can by whatever
    method works for us and (3) also try to get the word out to other blogs
    we know he has frequented in order to multiply the first two. Certainly
    if anyone has experience with fund raising sites, that would no doubt
    be helpful.

  • John the River January 12, 2023, 7:42 AM

    Some reason the updates are all on the (what I think of as the old site) original site only?
    Do get well soon. This month has been brutal for me with friends of long standing being taken suddenly. Starting to really feel my age.
    Two directly due to the pandemic two year halt in cancer screenings. One died from Covid after being vaccinated and boosted with the less than useless vaccine.
    Gerard’s writing have been a bright light that is greatly needed. God Bless.

  • Tom Hyland January 12, 2023, 9:34 AM

    It has been widely revealed that Fauci paid BIG bucks to weaponize the virus. It was an extra nasty flu but it was also revealed that children stood a 99.995% of recovery and adults were not far behind the kids. Let us not forget the world wide assault on EVERYTHING that was enforced by governments and the police. CJ Hopkins is an American ex-pat living in Berlin and who coined the phrase “Covidian Cult” to describe the multitudes who swallowed the fiasco hook, line & sinker. Just like any religion the Covidians will never stop believing. I recall Gerard mentioning he got vaxxed. I hope it was only once and, obviously, it wasn’t one of the instant kill shots. I hope they aren’t threatening him with boosters and he has a physical advocate in the hospital with him. Here’s Hopkins’ latest article… lest we forget what these murderous bastards have wrought.

    • Terry January 12, 2023, 6:40 PM

      Yes, murderous bastards. Sub-human mongrels whose only goals in life are a free ride at the tax payers expense ($) and immunity from prosecution.

      Hang ’em all by the neck.

      Now the health care scare crows are part of the gang.

    • Snakepit Kansas January 14, 2023, 6:23 AM

      Fauchi will have a hard time spending that money in hell.

  • C January 12, 2023, 10:31 AM

    Yesterday after reposting the givesendgo information, I finally had time to look for reviews about that site. One review I found said 80% positive and 20% negative. Some complained that the money raised was not soon enough available. There were some other complaints (lack of communication, etc.). Of course we can’t know the true sources of any of the ratings. I ended up thinking that maybe getting a third party (like givesendgo) involved might be more headache than it was worth. I did gather that g0phunnme was not happy about gSg competition. Perhaps GV’s mailbox service would be fastest and most secure after all. I doubt I could ever bring myself to send cash through the mail.
    I have learned in recent years that sending checks in “everyday-looking” envelopes, possibly in a regular-size greeting or note card, without any labels to rouse interest, is probably the best way to send them. (Not in the non-see-through boxed envelopes.) Just wanted to pass on my further thinking.

    • John Venlet January 12, 2023, 10:39 AM

      I’ve sent Gerard cash in the past. I use the smallest priority mail USPS box available. They ship flat rate. Put a used book Gerard might in enjoy in with it. If I’m not mistaken he lost most of his books in the Paradise fire. Or toss in some other goody. The cash will get there then.

      • C January 12, 2023, 1:59 PM

        Yes, there are secure forms of USPS mail, with tracking numbers, but I am mobility-challenged at present, and it is difficult for me to get to a place where I can do that.

        • Gordon Scott January 12, 2023, 2:53 PM

          C, I am pretty sure that USPS will bring you such a box and pick it up when sealed. Check the USPS.gov site.

  • SK January 12, 2023, 11:03 AM

    Great idea John Venlet to include a good book!

    • C January 12, 2023, 2:06 PM

      Gerard has read and owned so many books that I wouldn’t have any idea how to choose one.
      I have always accumulated books, to the point of overflowing, necessitating “weeding” (which has not happened in the past 5 years). 🙂

      • John the River January 13, 2023, 6:57 AM

        May have to wait until Gerard is home but when he was putting his library back together after the Paradise fire, I sent him a long list of books I had on hand and had him pick the ones he wanted. Which I shipped to him.

        • C January 13, 2023, 10:02 AM

          Good idea.

  • Gordon Scott January 12, 2023, 2:56 PM

    C, I am pretty sure that USPS will bring you such a box and pick it up when sealed. Check the USPS.com site.

  • Lance de Boyle January 12, 2023, 3:52 PM

    I hope I don’t come off as a smarty pants.
    My trapezious was in spasm for about a year. Got worse and worse. Finally, physical therapist slapped a TENS until on the muscle. It let go after 3 sessions. Whenever it starts to tighten, I use the device.

    I have three. If you want one, Gerard, I’ll send it.

    • LadyBikki January 13, 2023, 10:47 AM

      I have a back muscle that spasms, a result of an auto accident decades ago.
      The TENS unit is miraculous.
      On another note, although I’m a relative newbie, I recognize the absolute genius of our host and have been sending checks the last few months.
      Yes, there is a paper trail but I’m in northern Maine, have a GSD that is the offspring of east European border guard dogs and quite serious about home protection and I’m well armed and an excellent marksman ( I’m a woman…f*ck changing the language to suit snotflakes ).
      Also I’m not young and not afraid of much.
      I’ve donated through GSG and if memory serves its a Christian based organization. It seems to be a viable alternative to paypal. If I lived closer I’d volunteer to administer a fundraising effort through them but I’m literally as far as one can get from Gerard and still be in the same country.

      • Lance de Boyle January 13, 2023, 9:49 PM


        You sound like someone I’d like to know.

        I bet you’d be good in a bar fight!

        • LadyBikki January 14, 2023, 10:34 AM

          Bar fight ? Nah…too expensive but I do take that as a compliment.
          I drink at home ( a nice shot of Blanton’s Bourbon does nicely ).

          • John Venlet January 14, 2023, 11:25 AM

            If you’re pouring Blanton’s, LadyBikki, pour me a double.

            • LadyBikki January 14, 2023, 1:00 PM

              Consider it done.
              Any friend of Gerard’s is a friend of mine.
              May God bless and heal him…we need him !

  • robert kendall January 12, 2023, 4:26 PM

    I’m a big believer in coconut water for re-hydrating the body. the kind without added sugar. Its way cheaper at grocery outlet

    • ghostsniper January 14, 2023, 7:05 AM

      What is the benefit of unflavored-unsweetened coconut water over filtered tap water? I’m interested.

  • Ginny January 12, 2023, 4:28 PM

    Continued prayers for your recovery. We miss you.

  • Terry January 12, 2023, 6:58 PM

    Since learning of Gerard’s hospitalization, I have become even more resentful of all dot gov. Now the bastards have infected my mentor and friend with their poison.

    The bastards are running around like wild hyena’s totally unrestrained from any horrendous criminal activity while we pay for it with our hard work. Damn, I am so pissed.

  • Tom Hyland January 12, 2023, 7:34 PM

    The HITS keep coming. Lisa Marie Presley… Elvis’ daughter.. dead at age 54 of cardiac arrest. I appreciate Gerard for allowing participants at American Digest to vent… to scream sometimes… about what’s going down. This is an amazing fine location for lucid minds to congregate. Pull through, Gerard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_eU8C_fzo

    • ghostsniper January 13, 2023, 11:04 AM

      From over at Vox’s place:

      (none are so blind…)

      To be informed about how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones is the smartest thing we can do. I chose the vaccine.
      — 12 March 2022, Lisa Marie Presley

      less than a year later…

      Lisa Marie Presley, US singer and only child of Elvis Presley, has died at the age of 54, after suffering a ‘full cardiac arrest’.
      — 12 January 2023

      • Tom Hyland January 13, 2023, 8:30 PM

        Yep… I read that same item this morning at Vox and thought it was too hard to place here. I don’t want to kick anyone when they’re down. You know who I’m thinking about, ghost. But WTF… let’s be real and wake up some folks… no time to be shy. It’s getting surreal how many social types who felt a compunction to tell everyone that they rolled up their sleeves and were poked… and now they pay the ultimate price. Lisa wasn’t wishing prison upon the unvaccinated… like a lot who have recently departed. She was just writing to her fans like she felt a need to tell them where she’s coming from. All of this is too freaking weird.

        • ghostsniper January 14, 2023, 4:08 AM

          Probably most of the people that got jabbed did so out of gov’t-media induced fear. Then they turned that fear toward others that weren’t so fearful. Presley is one of them. She could have gotten jabbed and then shut her yap. But she chose to run her jibber and try to make others feel guilty for not getting jabbed. Petty tyrants. I have no use for them.

          • Snakepit Kansas January 14, 2023, 6:29 AM

            Some of us had to get jabbed to keep our jobs due to Gubminnt contracts. We refused to get our kids jabbed.

  • AesopFan January 12, 2023, 8:59 PM

    Gerard — so sorry to hear you are ill. I have always enjoyed your posts here, and your comments at New Neo. Prayers and best wishes for your recovery.

  • Mike Austin January 13, 2023, 12:20 PM

    Damn it Gerard. Hurry up and get better. I’ll take a few shots of whiskey for you tonight before my prayers.

    • John Venlet January 13, 2023, 1:19 PM

      I second your motion, Mike, but if both of us are drinking whiskey for Gerard this evening, before prayers, he may end up with a contact buzz. I’m quite concerned for Gerard.

      • Mike Austin January 13, 2023, 2:02 PM

        Same here. I dread checking American Digest every morning. And I am not a pessimist at all.

        • jwm January 13, 2023, 5:47 PM

          A fine and noble gesture. I don’t do demon rum, but I’ll take a cue from you guys and break a bud for my bud in a few. Contact high, indeed. 😉
          Prayers, and God Bless.


          • ghostsniper January 14, 2023, 4:11 AM

            I yearn for a contact.
            And I Jones big time.
            I know where I could get some but it is a 2000 mile road trip each way (Oregon).
            Not really doable.
            So I continue to yearn, and Jones.

    • Snakepit Kansas January 14, 2023, 6:31 AM

      Good idea and it cannot hurt. I think I will swill a few glasses of Zinfandel.

  • Anonymous January 13, 2023, 2:38 PM

    a go fund me, yet?
    whatta ya got taffy in yer pockets?

  • MikeyB January 13, 2023, 3:18 PM

    I chose the vaccine and booster. Now I have moderately high blood pressure (160/120) where before it was barely 110/80. Makes one wonder WTF I did to myself? Oh well…my choice, my consequences. Now it’s daily walks and meds to control.

    Got the flu shot too.

    Just recovered from a bad case of RSV.

    This winter sucks.

  • Vanderleun January 13, 2023, 9:39 PM

    Gerard here. Struggling with pain and neurological issues. Thanks and God bless. Hard to use phone keyboard.

  • TC January 13, 2023, 9:48 PM

    Prayers your way, sir.

  • Teresa January 13, 2023, 10:02 PM

    Much love and prayers lifted up for you Gerard from a mother in northern Maine. Formerly a nurse, I would no longer give anyone medical advice ever again but my faith in my Father remains steadfast. He will give us beauty for ashes.

  • jd January 14, 2023, 5:51 AM

    As you can see, many are praying for you, Gerard. We miss you, we’re
    worried about you, we love you. Thank you for making the effort to
    communicate with us.

  • John the River January 14, 2023, 6:24 AM

    Wondering about Miss Olive. In a kennel, with a friend, holding down the fort?
    Considering a donation to GoPetMe.

  • Mizz E January 14, 2023, 6:50 AM

    ”Watch, O Lord, with those who wake or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels and saints charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones, shield your joyous ones. And all for love’s sake.” – St. Augustine

  • Jim in Oxford January 14, 2023, 8:18 AM

    All that matters is that, right now right here, we all wish for Gerard to get as well as possible as soon as possible. Whether it is through your thinking of him or through your prayers, we who enjoy this website with him a speedy, and full as possible, recovery. If C.S. Lewis was right (and I think he was) the Son of God was made a man to enable men to become sons of God, and if we reach for that goal, we can help Gerad in his hour of need.

  • David Zincavage January 14, 2023, 11:33 AM

    There wasn’t one, so I started a GiveSendGo campaign for him. It is not published yet, because I need Gerard’s phone number as the beneficiary.

  • jd January 14, 2023, 6:55 PM

    Good for you, David. Thank you. Maybe if you post above on the latest “update”,
    the updater could make some arrangement. He must have the number.

  • Hoss January 15, 2023, 8:01 AM

    More prayers Gerard.

  • Humdeedee January 15, 2023, 8:04 AM

    Dear Gerard and Updater, thank you 🙏 for keeping us posted on the progress and condition of our beloved blog host. Thanks 🙏 to all of you readers and supporters for your prayers and well-wishes, of which I whole-heartedly participate. And thanks 🙏 be to God for His wisdom in knowing the best time for everything, including healing and understanding.

  • David Zincavage January 15, 2023, 9:29 AM

    No word from GiveSendGo.com. I guess they do not work weekends. Hopefully, they’ll publish Monday.

  • Jack January 19, 2023, 6:36 AM

    Gerard, I’m still thinking of you and praying for your recovery. Do keep your head up and push on through this at your pace and God Bless You as you progress.

  • Wendy Laubach January 19, 2023, 7:24 AM

    I’m trying to set up a GiveSendGo page, but apparently it would require entering Mr. Vanderleun’s phone number, which of course I don’t have. It’s not published, but it’s part of the recipient verification process.

  • Anonymous January 19, 2023, 3:25 PM


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