I have been blogging now for almost three years – thanks to those of you who have stuck with me throughout. For the odd person who has read every blog – hats off to you and cheers.
I originally started writing back in 2015, following a period where I felt a little lost, with the completion of my master’s degree and the first of several unfortunate work events.
I was looking for something to occupy me – it has; 400-odd blogs x 30 minutes each = 200 hours or, eight days of my life. Probably more – these are conservative estimates.
This was also, for whatever reason, during a period of existential uncertainty – what if I die tomorrow? I am reasonably healthy, but who knows. Sudden cardiac arrest. One of my biggest fears – not the dying but being unable to say cheerio to my family – this blog was an insurance policy should the bad thing happen, there would be something left behind for my kids to refer back to in years to come.
Then, there was the knowledge that I was acquiring, experiencing and discovering – fantastic new ways of working, or organising, patient care, safety; mindfulness and person-centred care became two of my biggest themes, with episodic forays into my life and my past, mostly by stanza.
Over the years, thanks to the analytics from WordPress, more people have been accessing and reading the blog – this is not necessarily a reflection of my growing skill or ability to write, it could just be me becoming more embedded in Google. Last year there were 11,000 views, this year, to the end of March there have been over 5,000.
Again, I don’t know where I am heading with this. Here is a map of all the countries where the blog has been read (this is not taking into account folk using VPNs).*
I guess the bottom-line is two questions – first, am I getting anything out of this; what is the difference between jotting my thoughts down in a diary for my kids to find after I have gone and, second, are the blogs making any difference – are they influencing perhaps, care?
Yesterday there was a picture of a dying man featured in the media; the hospital in Dundee** had allowed his collie to visit him – despite the hospital rules and regulations; I think back to my post about my patient who died before getting to see his dog***; I think of patients in pyjamas, the gentle martial art of dementia and delirium – all these things. Do they have a value?
I am reading a fascinating book at the moment – Also Human by psychologist Caroline Elton. Elton describes an element of eternal dissatisfaction that is inherent not in the lives of all doctors, but some; the never-ending goalpost of success and accomplishment.
This links to the Adlerian explanation for people becoming doctors and nurses through the mechanism of compensation – relating to a loss early in their lives which they have been unable to accept; a form of coming to terms with grief by doing.
I doubt I will achieve a formal analysis of my actions, but most important for me is what next. Do I continue? Where will I be in another five years’ time (supposing I am still alive) – 800 blogs, 20,000 views?
I have heard it described that we live in a Facebook/Twitter economy of likes and smileys – they more the better; like a drug that satisfies a need until the next time.
There is a form of avoidance I sometimes practice when people upset me; I stay away. Perhaps from daily visits, tweets or whatever, I fall into silence. It is a form of passive-aggression, where I curl-up inside myself and wait. Usually, until I have forgotten whatever it was that started things off.
How about I allow the blog to drift.
I’m away to alphabetise my library.
*I might keep going until I get someone from Sub-Saharan Africa, Greenland & Mongolia.
**My alma mater!
***For the life of me, I can’t find this blog. I might have written it in my imagination…