Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Year of Blogging

Well it has been one year since the inception of this blog and an interesting year it was, as outlined in my last post.  And as promised this post will contain some nerdy, but kind of fun, information collected by Blogger during the year. Blogger is the Google platform I use to maintain the blog.  They kindly keep track of how many times a page is viewed,  the approximate location of the viewer and the ten most viewed posts among other things.

Page views:

The number of page views was about 2200 for the period 8/6/13 - 8/4/14 or about 180 views a month but suddenly the last post went viral!  The National Parkinson's Foundation (NPF) mentioned my last blog post on Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday and suddenly the blog received almost 700 pageviews on 8/5/14 alone!  So now the number of views as of this writing is 3055!  Thank you NPF and welcome new readers, I hope you enjoy reading It Is What It Is. 

 Reader location:

The top ten reader locations are shown in this graphic.

Not much to say about this list, as one would expect, most viewers are in the United States. The top five States are Colorado, Tennessee, Maine, Florida and California.  A number of readers from other countries are also following the blog which is pretty cool!

Ten most viewed posts for the year:

Of course the winner for this year is the post which was mentioned by NPF, What a Year!.  The next most popular was the post about visiting the University of Florida Movement Disorder Clinic which is carefully disguised as a post about Hanging at the Beach! Others making the cut include Cognitive Training about playing Lumosity with PD, Team about Partners in Parkison's, the Kripalu Wellness Retreat post, the post about Staying Motivated to Exercise and Support about our visits to the local support groups.

You can view these posts and others from the Popular Posts listed just below my profile or from the Blog Archive,located near the bottom of the right hand column.

So there you go, some nerdy but interesting (well to me anyway) information about the blog over the past year.  Again I want to thank all of you for your support and hope you will stick with me for another year as I travel this road of living with Parkinson's Disease.  I plan to continue staying on top of  current Parkinson's Disease research and I will continue to look for a clinical trial that I can join. I am quite aware of what "might" happen in the future but that doesn't mean I have to give in, I will continue to fight and maintain a positive attitude because I believe we will beat Parkinson's! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What a year!

It's is a time for anniversaries, first and foremost, Mara and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary with a trip to a cabin in the Smokies for some R and R and a wonderful dinner at a new restaurant we found nearby.  We had a great time and came home rested and relaxed in time for a nice pontoon ride on the lake for my birthday.

Last week was also my one year anniversary as an official Person with Parkinson's.  A lot has happened in the last 365 days which somehow included a lot of beach time!  I have researched Parkinson's, met other PwP, both in person and on the web, took up Yoga and Tai Chi, and started this blog.  I have alarms set on my watch and my phone to remind me to open the little pill container I carry with me at all times and take my medication timely.  I have been to the University of Florida Movement Disorder Clinic to experience a multidisciplinary and patient centered approach to dealing with PD (highly recommended) and will return next winter for a follow up visit. I chronicled that visit in this blog post.

We attended a week long retreat with about 70 other PwP and caregivers sponsored by National Parkinson Foundation at Kripalu where we had a great opportunity to share symptoms and how we were dealing with our diagnoses.  We heard from professionals who provided us with information and ideas, plus it was my first experience with yoga.  We stay in touch with many of the other attendees via email and Facebook and I highly recommend attending this retreat if you are within 5 years of being diagnosed, check out the NPF website for more information and dates for this year's retreat. Again you can read more about it in this blog post from last year.

The most important thing that has happened is being on the receiving end of endless support from my family, my friends, other PwP I have met, support group members, readers of this blog, and other bloggers and Twitter followers.  I can't say thank you enough for all of the support that has flowed my way since my diagnosis.  It is amazing and I am humbled beyond words.

If you read other blogs by PwP you will notice that we often talk of the downsides to having Parkinson's but we also talk about how the diagnosis also opens  new doors and you meet new friends and your outlook becomes what positive actions can I take to beat this disease.  As Michael J Fox notes in this graphic, "..something is what it is and.there's got to be a way through it".  Again thanks to all of you for supporting me in trying to find that way and maintain a positive attitude.

Speaking of new doors opening, in a previous post, I discussed the new Partner's in Parkinson's, a joint effort with the Michael J Fox Foundation and AbbVie, a drug company.  They are holding events around the country and we signed up to attend the event in Atlanta in September.  Since that post we have been contacted by the Foundation and asked to participate in a break out session called  'Building Connections with Family, Friends and Community' which is focused on how the entrance/existence of PD has influenced the way we navigate and build relationships with others and how it has driven us to take action to get involved in making a difference for PD. It will be a moderated discussion with Q & A and we will be on the panel with three others with a connection to Parkinson's.  We are looking forward to it, hopefully it will not be a soft voice day for me.  :)

Next week this blog will be one year old and I plan to have a short post to celebrate that anniversary on or around August 6th that will include some nerdy statistics about number of visitors and stuff like that, see you then.