Friday, June 29, 2007

It Seems Like a Year

Well, as of today it's been a year since I began this blog. Months before that, "blog"was a vague concept, something I'd heard about. Probably had read a few of a political nature, but the idea of having one of my own didn't register. I stumbled upon medblogs as I began to think about ways to hawk my book on the internet. I overdid it. Got deservedly chastised for some egregiously self-promoting comments on a couple of very worthy blogs. Shameful. I still cringe, Orac. Sorry.

Eventually, it dawned on me that I should just start my own blog, and I was amazed at how easy, how free it was. At first I was pretty clueless, and my cherry-popping post was some sort of terrible toe in the water. Back then, I had no idea about site meters, tagging one's posts; didn't include pictures or links. I've gotten a little more ept. Among the great things, in fact, is the ability to link. Readers of my book will have found a surfeit of footnotes: linking to relevant info is a boon. In fact, if I write another book, it's gonna be harder -- I'll be wanting to hot-link all over myself.

I'm not exactly swamped with readership, but there has been the occasional mention on a widely read site, with resulting viagral changes in visitor graphs. A couple of times, Surgeonsblog has been mentioned as a worthy read among medblogs. Best of all, I've loved reading comments from all over the world, and I've gotten emails from readers with really wonderful ideas, or testaments that reading here has been informative, entertaining, even inspirational. All that is highly gratifying. If this all began as a self-promoting book hook, it's become way more -- way better (to me) -- than that. Heck, I hardly even broach the book anymore.

On the other hand, with my surgical life now pretty much limited to assisting others, the inflow of ideas derives from a diminishing reservoir. Not unlike my urinary stream, there's more effort required to maintain the trickle. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve, but at some point they may start running down my leg. I will, however, in a what's-the-worst-that-can-happen frame of mind, post a poem I've had sitting around a while. At least one English major puked in public print at a previous post of perceived putrid purple prose. But what the heck. I've got a year under my belt. I can take it. Besides, it's been vetted in Mexico.


Daniel said...

I would just like to say that your blog is my favorite of all med blogs. It is your blog that I enjoy reading the most. Your stories help inspire me to push myself to be a surgeon(if you check out my blog you will understand). So keep the blogging coming and yes your right your readers are from all around the world, I'm from the UK and even though a UK surgery may be totally different to US your stories still interest me.

Lynn Price said...

Happy blogday, Sid. Wouldn't miss a day without checking in on your site.

Tom McNamee said...

Congratulations on your year! Like other readers, yours is my favorite med blog. Now I just wish you were my next door neighbor. I'll bet your non-medical commentary is just as much fun.
Although your genitourinary analogy went a bit far...
When I was a kid, I worked in dialysis and I wanted to be a doctor. I never tried. I always regretted that, and now I while away my days hassling my grown daughters about their life choices. It's become a family joke, which is fine by me. Your blog captures the reasons I wanted an MD. The science, the chance to care, and the privilege of being asked to make a difference. Please keep writing, I know there are young docs-to-be out there that need you.

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Happy blog birthday! Many more years to come...

Anonymous said...

Although your last paragraph made me laugh out loud, I think it's WAY premature (not even trying to stretch a pun here) to associate such an analogy to your obviously virile and fertile mind, so many seeds waiting to be sown... (ok, I lied)


As I've said before, even to people in real life (yes, I know some), buy the book of course, but the blog is almost a guilty steal in getting just as good a quality, in real-time, from the same source.

The stories and perspectives may change, the frequency may diminish, but I doubt this site will be fading anytime soon. Mazel tov!

Unknown said...

Both the blog and the book are great reads. I check this blog daily and even when I am on Vacation!! Happy first annual blog day.

scalpel said...

You are truly an inspiration in multiple facets of life. I hope this year is only the first of many.

jmb said...

Happy blog anniversary from a faithful reader. I'm sure you'll think of something to keep us entertained.

Anonymous said...

Several weeks ago I requested my local library to buy your book. Yesterday I got a notice in the mail that two copies had been purchased. When I went to the library today to pick up a copy to read, both had already been checked out. Oh well, it won't make you much money, but I'm sure you'll gain a lot of new fans.

Enoreios said...


Love the blog- Though I've been busy and need to read several posts from the past few weeks, I suspect the quality will be just as impressive as it always is.

I'm glad that you've found a new outlet for your writing, but your initial motivation for starting a blog was quite right: I bought & read the book months ago, despite the fact that I'd never have given it a second look before the blog.

And really, if there comes a day when you run out of good things to post about, (highly unlikely), just make 'em up. We'll never know!

Congratulations again,

(A long overdue note from a serial lurker.)

Anonymous said...

One of the top med blogs!
Your writing continues to be highly enjoyable.

Cathy said...

Happy Blogiversary day! I have heard you mention before about visiting the political blogs. Do you ever visit Michael Totten's blog? Oh, its a good one.

Bruce said...

Happy anniversary, Sid! I love a good story and yours are terrific.

You have a gift. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

In my humble view, I interpret your mission as teaching the up-and-coming doctors of today the humanity of medicine in spite of living in such a quickly-paced society. I hope you continue to do so because you're one of the only few who provides such invaluable lessons. When I was in the most intense phase of my recovery in the '90s, doctors were impatient and snappy and rude to me because I took longer to think of what I wanted to say or what mine or my Kids' symptoms were. I feel such peace with knowing that new doctors read your blog and might learn to take a few extra, caring moments.

FetchingGal said...

Happy Anniversary! If you ever run out of ideas you could always pick up a new hobbie... >:)


Anonymous said...

Happy Blogiversary Dr. Schwab! I'm happy that you're a part of the medical blogosphere! Please don't stop writing! I can't imagine this blog not being here.

I'm sure that you've got a lot of writing left to do ... even if you happen to think that your reservoir is diminishing. I believe you'll find that there's always something to share ...

I know that there will certainly always be plenty of people waiting to share it with you. :o)

Anonymous said...

I liked the book and like your blog.

I am a librarian. I have read most of the Dr & Nurse & EMT boks out there. Yours would be right up there in the top 5. (I am afraid I got your second hand on Amazon)It is not a main stream publisher & maybe things could have been edited a bit more, or a little slicker; but I liked it the way it was.

You just wrote a book, why shouldn't you write about it in your blog. As I see it a blog is different then a book because it does not cater to an audience. It is just a daily chunk of you thrown out with no apologies.

SeaSpray said...

Happy blogoversary to you.
Happy blogoversary to yooouu.
Happy blogoversary Dr Schwa-a-ab.
Happy blogoversary to you!

Congrats on your 1 year blogoversary! I forgiven for my other comments yet? :)

I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog! It has been a blessing to me and gotten me through some challenging concerns, some of which you know.

It is informative, interesting, sensitive, humorous, helpful, heartwarming and at times has left me in awe. (Oct 7th -Taking trust)still one of my favorites. :)

First I found Urostream then through her Surgeonsblog and Fat doctor blog. I was totally HOOKED! I bought your book right away and loved it. I brought it to my doc's office showed him and I had it with me to SDS when I was going
in to have another stent placed back in December. I was showing it to staff and one of the nurses exclaimed, "You're reading that before you go into the OR?" to which I smiled and said yes that I was enjoying it. She got a paper and wrote the title and your name down. Does this mean I get one percent of your royalties? :)

Surgeonsblog is STILL one of my favorite blogs.

BTW and I know this is so late now - BUT I LOVED surgical series you had going there. Very interesting and I had actually printed it out so I could read all at once - took notes to respond and had questions and then had gotten sidetracked with other things. I even like how you finished it up with your OR report.

It is interesting to see through a doctor's eyes. I have told you that you have opened up the surgical world in a way that I have just wanted to soak everything up. I have worked around surgeons and it never occurred to me to ask questions. I never once thought about their jobs, not even when I had my 2nd c-section. Maybe this year because I was possibly faced with a more serious surgery or because I was in the OR so much - it was just more of my world and I wanted to understand more. Please know that I have appreciated everything - even if we aren't exactly on the same page. :)

Also, I haven't really said anything yet and probably should on my blog but my May renal scan looked good and the consulting doctor thought that it looks like I am healing. Even though I do sometimes feel things I am embracing the good news and not looking back. Besides - I have two good urologists that I trust following my case- what more can a girl ask for? :) I will be looking for work soon.

Again - I have truly appreciated this blog and in some of my scariest moments anticipating the surgery with its risk factors- this past winter I came away from here feeling reassured and more at peace about it all.

Thank you for that -thank you very much. :)

Both of my urolgists and my private doc were excellent and patient when it came to answering my questions. I think my main urologist will have a special place in heaven for the patience he demonstrated with this patient - going through the ups and downs of this chronic condition. :)

That said - they could only do so much and it was the times I was home thinking about things that coming to this blog or the urology blogs, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning that helped get me through. To explain exactly why would make this comment longer than it already is but you docs should know that you do make a difference with the things you write. You Dr Schwab are one of the more attentive Docs that respond to comments and the dialogs are interesting. :)

Sid Schwab said...

seaspray: thanks. And none of your comments have ever been a problem, so there's nothing to forgive.

Amanda said...

Happy blogday, Sid! Mine's coming up on the 18th of this month.

Your readership outshines mine by a landslide... but I guess it would have helped if I'd made a few more posts in the first nine months of that year. Heh.

Way to go... and just keep on going with it. I'm sure you'll find things to share. It appears you have a remarkably creative mind.

Judging from the number of comments this post has spawned, your minions abound ;)

Amanda said...

P.S. The "minions" comment is meant in good fun and as a good thing. I consider myself one of them, even though I think my first comment on this thread might have been my first comment ever on your blog.

It cannot be said enough: you rock.