I would like to thank each and every one of you for your words of encouragement over the last three weeks since the inception of this blog. Today marked a significant event by surpassing 100 followers who receive an email with each blog post. As of tonight, there have also been almost 2000 viewings of these posts from at least 20 countries worldwide. I find these metrics informative as I really have no idea how many views happen on Facebook or Twitter but with the blog data I get a sense of how many of you are out there!
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these pieces and really appreciate the feedback on each topic. The last few weeks have included correspondence with someone from another country who was unaware that Propranolol could be used for hemangiomas and a practical suggestion for starting children on propranolol in a day clinic type of environment. I look forward to the opening of such a clinic in our hospital in the next year or so. There is no doubt that the topic that garnered the most attention was the use of breast milk by body builders. Although this was a more playful topic it did raise awareness of the use of donor breast milk and who knows whether or not a unit somewhere may look into this through the communication that the post generated. The Sympathetic Note to the Anti-Vaxxers caused an explosion on Twitter that left me exhausted after 3 days of exchanges with people opposed to vaccination. I have to say that although it was tiring, the amount of websites, articles and information from that side of the argument that I was provided is worthy of a post in and of itself! I learned a lot from individuals on the other side of the promoting health coin and I feel as if I am a better doctor for it as I now have better insight into the basis for many of their arguments.
I have to say the pinnacle of this experience however was an exchange with someone who attributed their child’s autism to the MMR vaccine. After a bit of a lengthy exchange I was sent a picture of her beautiful daughter with a thank you for having given them some relief after reading the post on MMR. Their daughter was lovely as was the knowledge that I had helped someone who I would have otherwise never met if it weren’t for this medium.
Your support has kept my enthusiasm for writing up and on a local front I also want to thank the doctors, nurses, dieticians, RRTs and others who have encouraged this medium for education. I have really enjoyed being stopped in the NICU, IMCN or hallways to chat further about this post or that. It means a lot!
Moving forward I look forward to many more opportunities to share with you. I would like to add that I have created a twitter feed at @NICU_musings to talk about these and other topics not on the blog for those of you who are more bent on Twitter. There is also now a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/allthingsneonatal where discussion can also take place if you are more of a Facebook fan.
I will leave you with this news story I read tonight which reminded me of the power of community generosity that many of you know we have been blessed with here. Charitable giving is a very special and important thing and this story seemed right to finish off on a high note.