Friday, June 06, 2008

I Missed That?

Wouldn't it be great if there were a screensaver that looked like an aquarium? Somebody should invent that.


You know what else would be cool?
A post about blog statistics.
That would be cool. Especially if I wrote about my own blog. What could possibly be more interesting?


My blog had it's fourth birthday last month- May 21st- and what did I post? Nothing. I sat there like a virtual lump. No cake.

I passed the 1,000 post barrier a long time ago. A looong time ago. Did I celebrate? No...I didn't even notice.

I overlooked visit number 30,000 and forgot to acknowledge #31,000...I expect # 32,000 very soon. Perhaps it will be you. When I first started blogging, my blog would go days without a single visit, gradually I started getting the 'hang' of things, with some help from Lyzard and Susanne, two of the first blogpals I made, two blog veterans who probably remember the old days when one was forced to learn basic HTML coding just to add links to Blogger, still a useful skill for doing this and this the hard way...don't get me started on "old-school" template changes- they were not for the faint-hearted neophyte. I had to be rescued from my first template change by a teenager...horrible, it was.

It's weird going back and reading old posts where I wrote about drinking-or was obviously drunk. When I blog, I tend to change names and details to protect the guilty; as a result of my blackouts, there are entire posts that I don't remember writing and conseqeuntly I'm not wholly certain if they are accurate and who the characters are supposed to represent...there's a specific date when my posts suddenly stop and when they begin again , it's the day after I was released from the hospital .
Those, I remember.
After my hospitalization, I think the whole tone of my blog changed- I certainly became more prolific, if nothing else- 397 posts in one year?
If I could afford a therapist, they'd probably tell me that I used my passion for blogging as a substitute for drinking. I'd agree with that. Sublimation , it's called.

When I started talking about it , I found that some of my bestest blogpals have similar stories...the blogworld is full of survivors who have a way of finding each other. I've blogged quite a bit about my 2005 crisis, but it wasn't the first medical disaster of my life...

Late in 2001, I was diagnosed with a severe neuropathy of the Ulnar nerve in my left arm ;I was expected to lose it and no one could say why, just that the nerve was dying and taking my hand with it and amputation at the elbow (to avoid necrotic decay of my dying hand) was the first option- the insurance company made me see a doctor not my own; after one set of tests, it was decided that I'd get a quick chop-off, a one-time pay-out and a prosthesis and then they'd be done with me, avoiding the hassle of paying for expensive surgeries and months of physiotherapy.

I found this to be extremely discouraging news and when I told my regular doctor he nearly flipped out. He's the gentlest man I know, but he got mad as hell and somehow arranged for one of his friends-Dr. Kenneth Bowers, a man who, in my considered opinion, is one of the finest orthopaedic surgeons alive- to save my arm.

Doc even convinced the insurance company that this was not "elective" surgery, as Trigon first tried to claim. Trigon really wanted to apply the bonesaw...I don't really know why. Doc said it was cheaper for them...after I lost my arm, he said, I'd lose my job and I would become the Gubbermint's problem. I wasn't very sanguine about relying on Federal care...I was on probation at the time and I was convinced that they would rather lock me up than pay for my SSD. In hindsight, I was probably right...

It took almost a year after the operations, but I regained complete use of my hand. I can still play guitar. Better than before, I think.
While my left hand was recovering, I discovered that the trick to really cool guitar-playing is what the right (or picking) hand does. It was enlightening, but I digress...Sling knows what I mean.

Number of neuropathy-related surgeries: 2

It's getting close to three years since I last took a drink. Before that, I was drinking 12 beers and a fifth of liquor almost everyday. My hands trembled in the morning and I pretended no one noticed my lunch breaks- a breathmint hides everything, right?

I had no idea how unhappy I was.

That knowledge came later. In the fall of 2005, I had been feeling poorly for a long, long time and I decided to lay off the booze for a day or two and see if my stomach settled down.
It didn't.

Instead, I went into full-blown alcoholic withdrawal, which is a very bad place to be.

Number of grande mal seizures in 36-hour period:3

Number of alcohol-related surgeries in same period:3

Number of seizures while in surgery: 2

The second seizure should have killed me. No one present expected me to survive , I lost more blood than a body can hold. I'm glad I was unconcious for that.

While I was in hospital in 2005, I kept getting visits from shrinks and therapists who tried very, very hard to get me to admit to "suicide ideation" and depression. I reflexively lied about this..."of course", I said, "I never, ever think about fact, I'm hardly ever depressed at all, I drink myself into oblivion every night because I love life. Now can I PLEASE have some Valium in my IV?"

I didn't believe myself and I'm not sure if the shrinks did or not, but I didn't give them enough info to have me institutionalized; I was released after nearly a week of "observation".

One of the nurses said, without much compassion, that she expected they'd see me again in a few weeks. I was told that most people who arrive in the ER in my condition don't live for more than a month or so...usually the liver fails...or the heart...or the kidneys. Or a stroke. Sometimes it's suicide...was I sure that I wasn't going to kill myself?

It was something to think about.

After the hospital I started enjoying things that I had long ago forgotten or overlooked- get this: at one point before I got sick, our Music Director tried to talk me into accepting a prime radio time spot, but I turned it down because it meant I'd have to stay sober until seven PM, something that I couldn't imagine doing willingly...damn.
What the hell was wrong with me then? Today, being a radio DJ is one of my all-time favorite things- I passed it up in favor of drink? That's a powerful demon at work.

Number of broadcast hours logged since I quit drinking: 196.

Number of months I had to wait for another chance at a good time spot: 24

Oh hell. It's tomorrow now and I missed visit #32,000. It came from France and was someone I don't know looking for info on Gong guitarist Steve Hillage...someone in France likes good music.

I recognize most of my friend's IP 'signatures' on my Sitemeter but sadly, my pals only comprise a small percentage of my traffic, an awful lot of strangers pass through here, looking for Godzilla-only-knows what...

Percentage of blog traffic generated by one specific post: Seventeen.

I can't seem to add links (or pics) from work, if you don't believe me, go to Google Images and type in "tying lois", without'll see. My sitemeter lists visits by entry page- one out of eight visits begins at that particular post, driven by that trio of images. It has been viewed over 4,000 times...not many comments though. Puzzling.

Number of worthless perverts on-line: Infinite.

But this post isn't about useless perverts. It's about...statistics? I dunno what it's about. I'm writing between batches of paperwork and it's hard to stay last statistic and then I'll be done:

Number of cherished blogfriends made in the last four years: Finite but priceless.


Susannity said...

Hey, don't forget you are the inventor of 'whalanol' too! =D

Peopleburg got the most hits on my blog ever. It was crazy. But only one person left a comment lol.

billy pilgrim said...

it's like we're all in bob hartley's (newhart) therapy group. i'd like to be mr carlson.

is ub 40's one in ten on your next play list?

yellowdog granny said...

did i ever tell you how much i admire and love you?..if not..i'm telling you now..i admire your strength, humor and your so glad your my friend...happy anniversary..happy birthday, and congratulations...for your sobriety, your blog, and your life...js

Sling said...

You really are an inspiration my friend.
You've managed to literally bring yourself back from the dead through your sheer strength of will,and remarkable character..
I'm proud to know you!

Craig D said...

Wow, you were right!

All those blog statistics were so cool!!!!!!!!

Hmmm... I don't hve the slightest clue how to monitor such things, ese I might be tempted to do such a cool posting, too.

Congrats on the whole non-amputation thing.

Kids, just say "No" too booze.

Allan said...

Sus- Whalanol is looking more feasible all the time... remeber those joke posts I use to do about Hagfish farms? Those are coming true.

BP- You be gettin' the UB40 you be wantin'!

JS- You make me very happy.

Sling- Thank you, that means a lot. When I grow up,I want to be like you. Seriously.

CD- Site stats are sublimely geeky.I mean cool , that is...

Click on the sitemeter icon at the very bottom of'll link you to directions.

Anonymous said...

I love this post, and there is so much to comment on. But I'll limit myself to saying happy belated blog birthday and I'm glad to count you as one of my blog friends. Priceless indeed.

Allan said...

You inspire me.Thank you for that.

yellowdog granny said...

every one wants to be like sling when they grow up...even me..

Donn said...

You are the real deal..the authentic article..
what a great decided to do it and you made it happen.

You are amazing!
You get an A+ for being an excellent Human Being.

angel said...

ooh 4 years!!!??! wow... very impressive allan!
and i'm VERY VERY glad you're still blogging!