Enjoy These Typos Made by Medical Secretaries

I would like to thank Imogen Olsen, a fellow member of SfEP, for drawing my attention to these typos made by medical secretaries in the NHS Greater Glasgow area.

  • The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  • Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.
  • Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a
    40-pound weight gain in the past three days.
  • She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was
    very hot in bed last night.
  • Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  • On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it
    disappeared.
  • The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be
    depressed.
  • The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  • Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
  • Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year-old male, mentally alert, but
    forgetful.
  • Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  • She is numb from her toes down.
  • While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
  • The skin was moist and dry.
  • Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  • Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  • Rectal examination revealed a normal-size thyroid.
  • She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until
    she got a divorce.
  • I saw your patient today, who is still under our care for physical
    therapy.
  • Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
  • Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
  • The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  • Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
  • The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.
  • Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
  • Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
  • When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
  • The patient was in his usual state of good health until his plane
    ran out of fuel and crashed.
  • Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
  • She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate
    directions in early December.
  • Patient was seen in consultation by Dr Smith, who felt we should sit
    on the abdomen and I agree.
  • The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a
    stockbroker instead.
  • By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was
    feeling better.
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Why Are So Many Blogs “Dead”?

Although it is widely reported that the number of blogs is rising each day, what is not so widely known is that between 80% to 90% of them are in fact “dead”. Way back in 2007 the blog search engine Technorati was tracking more that 112 million blogs, but even then only 15.5 million of them were regarded as active. There hadn’t been any activity on the rest of them for three months or more. There are some indications that the situation is not much different in 2010.

According to one blogger, who carried out some research into food blogs, the consensus was that between 60% to 80% of all blogs started are abandoned within a month and, at one point, 1.09 million blogs were active for just one day, although the average life expectancy of a blog is 126 days.

So why have so many blogs “died”? In June 2006, Darren Rowse wrote a series of posts on “How to Kill Your Blog Successfully” in which he gave an insight into why it is so difficult for people to maintain their blogs. Based on these posts, here are seven reasons why blogs might get abandoned.

  1. Lack of Time and Effort: Some people have neither the time nor the energy to maintain a blog. Creating a good blog can be nearly a full-time job and involves a lot of planning and research if you want to keep it going in the long term.
  2. Lack of Passion for the Topic: Some people don’t have enough passion or interest in the topic of the blog. To run a successful blog you need to be passionate about the subject you are writing about. If you don’t have that passion you’ll lose interest in it quite quickly.
  3. Is the Topic of Interest to Others? The topic of your blog needs to be of interest to others. Even though you might be passionate about a certain subject, you won’t grow the readership of your blog if other people don’t share your passion.
  4. The Topic is Too Wide or Too Narrow: If the topic of your blog is too wide you’ll struggle to keep up with what there is to be said about it, whereas if the topic is too narrow you might find that there isn’t enough to write about.
  5. Not Enough Traffic: Bloggers can get disheartened when they find that very few people are visiting their blog and reading their posts. Driving traffic to your blog or website is an art in itself and a great deal has been written about it. It also takes a great deal of time and effort on your part to get your blog noticed.
  6. Not Earning Enough Income: Linked to the item above, the blog might not be earning enough money to make it worth the while of the blogger to keep it going. You have to realize that very few blogs generate enough traffic to earn even a modest level of income. There is a huge amount of competition out there!
  7. Lack of Reader Interaction: Sometimes bloggers are disheartened because they get very few comments on their posts. They feel as though they are writing in a vacuum and that nobody cares about what they are writing about.

Where Can I Find Ten Minutes to Work on My Blog?

I’m acutely aware that it has been many months since I posted anything on my blog. Since October of last year my work circumstances have changed very much to my advantage in that I’m now working full-time for one particular client and I’m in the happy position of being able to turn down work from other potential clients because I’m so busy with the work I’ve already got.

However, the downside of not needing to promote my services in the marketplace has been the neglect of my ‘business’ blog. But now that I’ve got ‘my feet under the table’ and things have settled down in my new working environment I think it is time that I addressed the need to reactivate my blog.

The first thing I need to do is to find at least ten minutes a day to write posts for my blog (or blogs, if I include The Tiverton Bahá’í). So I’ve been looking for areas where I could save some time by reorganizing my daily routines. What follows is a provisional list of what I’ve come up with.

  • Don’t buy/read a daily newspaper – spend the time instead thinking about or researching what to write in my blog.
  • Stop visiting certain websites that are, to put it politely, a waste of time and effort.
  • Be more selective about what I watch on TV.
  • Set a specific time each day to dedicate to my blogs (e.g. 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and/or 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.)
  • Get up earlier each morning and go to bed earlier at night.
  • Spend less time reading my e-mails. Unsubscribe to newsletters that I don’t read.
  • Read more books on subjects that interest me and comment on what I’ve read.
  • Have a specific project to focus on (especially in relation to The Tiverton Bahá’í).

The writing of this post has proved that I can find the time if I put my mind to it, The challenge now is to keep it up!

The Ten-Minute Blogger

A couple of years ago, in my post “How do I Find Time to Write Every Day“, I was bemoaning the fact that I was finding it difficult to find the time to write something for my blog. I still have that problem but at least I know that there are ways of dealing with it. Another difficulty I sometimes have is knowing what to write about. That issue is easily solved. I only have to look at my mission statement on my “About Jeremy” page to remind myself of what this blog is all about.

But the main issue I still have is finding the time to put into practice what I have learnt about creating and maintaining a successful blog. However, I have just recently read an article in Writing Magazine which explains that you can develop a writing habit by spending just ten minutes a day – every day – creating something for your blog, novel, short story, magazine article or poetry collection. It can take up to 21 days to form any new habit, so for the first few days the routine will be quite difficult to maintain, but it is important to keep plugging away.

It might be helpful to set targets. For example, I have found Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog extremely useful in this respect, because Darren sets you daily tasks to be completed. However, if you’ve only got ten minutes a day to spare, you can take 31 weeks or 31 months to complete the course. The important thing is that you must spend at least ten minutes every day in order to create your new writing habit. It is probably best if your ten minutes are at the same time each day – perhaps first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I shall be finding my ten minutes during my lunch break.

My goodness! Is it that time already?

It’s Time for a Revamp!

I started this blog just over two years ago so I think it’s about time I started making a few changes to it. It won’t be a complete redecoration, but more of a spring clean (or should that be an “autumn tidy-up”?).

I have already made a few tweaks – for a start I’ve inserted a link to my photo gallery on Flickr – and the blogroll will undergo some tidying up fairly shortly. But the major change is that this blog will now focus solely on the business of writing, editing and proofreading, with a few funnies thrown in to keep you amused.

To deal with my spiritual life as a member of the Bahá’í Faith I have created another blog – The Tiverton Bahá’í. However, this website is still under development and over the next few months I will be spending some time providing content that is worth reading and worth your while revisiting the site for. But in the meantime you might like to visit some of the other Bahá’í blogs and websites that I have created links to in The Tiverton Bahá’í blogroll.