Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Half A Million And Counting: Story Of A Neuropathy Blog

Neuropathy And HIV
Amsterdam 23rd January, 2017

Today's post may seem to be a 'blowing your own trumpet' post because coincidentally this week, this blog has reached two significant milestones and this post announces that fact but hopefully, it will be seen as a small incentive for more and more people to advocate for neuropathy and neuropathy knowledge and progress in the future.

Yesterday the blog reached its half million visitor mark and I was also informed that is has reached the top 50 of thousands of HIV blogs across the world (the list is here). Half a million may seem like peanuts to the experienced social media user but this blog only exists here on Blogger and not on FaceBook, or Twitter, so the fact that 500,000 plus people have found the daily articles about neuropathy here on the blog is to me, pretty amazing. The fact that its readership goes way beyond the HIV community, is also something of great value considering the stigma that still exists around those three letters. It shows that more and more people are recognising that neuropathy is the same for the vast majority of patients, irrespective of the cause. Of course I'm proud of that but 2016 days ago, I started this blog with the aim of gathering as much information about neuropathy in one place as possible because there was so little information available. A lot has happened since then and whereas in the beginning, trustworthy information about neuropathy was hard to find on the internet and many millions of people were being sent home with a 'you must learn to live with it' prognosis; these days, the internet is awash with information about the disease and its treatment. 

There are still major problems however: there's still no sign of a cure and unscrupulous 'businesses' and individuals are still exploiting desperate people in order to promote their quack 'cures' and on top of that, not all internet information is accurate. Never trust a neuropathy article with 'cure' in the title! That said, neuropathy knowledge is becoming more universal and consistent and its content is more easily found. 

Although many people with other forms of nerve damage click further if they see a title with 'diabetes' in the title,the message still hasn't got through that diabetes-related neuropathy is still neuropathy and although diabetes is by far the commonest cause, the cause itself is not as important as the treatment you're given once you're diagnosed. That is to say that once you have neuropathy, the information from that point on, more or less applies to all so please don't ignore articles about neuropathy with diabetes or another 'cause' as its focal point - the information will still be of value to you.

So today's post is just a milestone on a long road and hopefully, reaching a million readers will be attainable in the future but one thing is sure, if ever a cure for nerve damage is found, you'll read it here as quickly as is humanly possible. Not only that but developments in research and development, as well as people's personal experiences and solutions (or not) from the alternative circuit will all feature prominently, as they have thus far. 

Hopefully if you are reading this, your symptoms are not as bad as they were yesterday and you've found ways of living with neuropathy that really help the quality of your life. Please keep sharing them with this blog so that as many people as possible may be able to benefit from new information, a new idea or new treatment. However, neuropathy remains for its millions of victims, one of the most individual of diseases - what applies to you may not apply to others and vice versa and that's what makes it an unsolvable mystery that can dominate our daily lives. Above all, please spread the knowledge in the best way you can - 9 out of 10 people on the street have still never heard of neuropathy and still stare glassy-eyed if you talk about nerve damage! Educating others will ensure more publicity and that in turn will ensure more research and eventually more products available to your doctor to ease your symptoms.

Best wishes
Dave R.

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