Monday, April 29, 2013

For my beloved readers

I haven’t written anything in quite some time, so in usual fashion, I will first provide an update on my life.

My third year of medical school is winding down now. I am currently on my very last clinical rotation of the year—surgery. After this, I will officially be in my last year of medical school. It surprises me how fast time flies. I started this blog just a few short months before I started medical school.  That was over three years ago.

I was speaking to a faculty member the other day and the topic of my blog came up. I also recently saw that this blog has hit over 50,000 views (about 52,000 now to be exact) from people all over the world. So, with that, I’ll answer some questions that people have asked me and that you may also be thinking:

How did you start this blog?
This blog all started about seven months after my accident in May of 2009 and just a few months before I started medical school in August 2010. A friend of mine was going to start a web site and he asked me if I wanted to be a writer for it. “Ugh. I’m a horrible writer. But I’m not doing anything right now at home before I start school. So I might as well do it. It’ll help stimulate my brain and get me to think and write so I can be better ready for med school. I’m not sure what kind of stuff I will write about, though, or if anyone will even read it,” I thought to myself and said to my friend. That’s when I wrote my first blog post, “My 7 month anniversary”. I had a friend from another state review it and help me edit it. I knew my writing was horrible. The web site for which I wrote that post never really took off, so I ended up deciding that I would start my own blog and use it to write about random thoughts that came to me. My first entry was something I quickly typed up late one night, “Jeans…say what?

Why do you keep writing?
After almost every blog post, I think to myself, “I’m all out of things to write about. That was my last post.” But I somehow find something else about which to write. After I posted that very first post on my blog, I got positive feedback from some friends. They wanted me to keep writing and they wanted me to keep posting the links on Facebook so they could know when I post anything new. I was really flattered. And I kept writing.

I get so surprised when I find out people read my blog. I remember when I got so excited when I found out I could check the viewer statistics on my blog and that over one hundred people from the United States (mostly Georgia) and Canada had read it. I couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone be interested in what I had to say?

The essential question, “Why write?”
Over the years, I have heard from people that my blog has helped me in one way or another. They thank me. But in return, I thank them more. I am unable to express my gratitude to these people.

I write about personal things. I lay my heart out for the world to see. Because this is me. When people first meet me, I am aware that all they see is my wheelchair; all they see are my disabilities. So I write to show that there is more than that to me. I write to show people that we should not judge others by how they look or by their “disabilities”.

I write to show that we are all the same.

Writing has helped me develop as a person. I was talking about this with the faculty member I spoke to last week. One can go through this blog from my earliest posts to my newest ones and see just how much I have changed. Writing has made me evolve. The positive feedback and encouragement I receive from others has really allowed me to grow. I have learned so much about other people and about myself.

I just hope other people have learned as much about themselves, too.

Who reads this besides me?
Over the years, the number of viewers of this blog has grown. I remember when I hit one thousand viewers. I remember when I saw that there seemed to be more people in Canada reading this blog aside from the four people I knew there. I remember when I saw that people in Europe had come across my blog.

Now, I receive about 2,000 to 3,000 views every month. I started posting links to my new posts on Facebook so my friends could read them. It is possible that the number of viewers spread from there. When people who were not my close friends or people I haven’t talked to in many years (eg, friends from high school) tell me they read my blog, I am still surprised, flattered and humbled.

This blog has given me the privilege to from great friendships with people all over the United States and the world. In addition, this has caused me to be interviewed by various publications, including local news sources (like the Gwinnett Daily post and university magazines) and international news sources (like the magazine emel or on other web sites). I have even been asked to speak at multiple events, including TEDxGeorgiaTech. I cannot be more thankful. I hope to one day meet all of these people.

Why don’t you write a book?
This question has been asked to me many times. To be honest, I don’t think I’m that good of a writer. So I am flattered when people suggest that. I’m just a regular guy writing about the things that happen to me and that go through that my head. In addition, time is a very limiting factor.

I often think about things to write as I go about my day but I usually don’t end up writing about them. When I write, I usually just get on my laptop and type up everything at once. Often, I do not look over my posts before posting them. I rarely ever revise or edit them. This keeps everything in the raw. It makes everything come straight from my heart.

Will you keep writing?
As I said earlier in this post, I have thought since I started this blog back in 2010 that every post would be my last post. Somehow, I find more things about which to write. So as long as I have the time and as long as people still enjoy reading about this crazy guy, I will keep writing.

Just please forgive me for writing so seldom this past year or two. Medical school and medical rotations are keeping me busy. But, if everything goes as planned, I should have just a few more months and a few more exams left of the “hard stuff” and then hopefully next year should be more relaxing as I finish off medical school and finally earn my medical degree.  J

If any of you would like to do so, you may ask any more questions you have in the comments and I will do my best to reply as quickly as I can.

Once again, I would like to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for reading. Thank you for the encouragement. Thank you for being a part of my journey.


  1. MashaAllah!

    loved the post :)

  2. Just read your posts for the first're an inspiration.

    1. Thank you for reading! I am no inspiration, though


  4. Aww, you're welcome, please keep writing! I have too many questions, I hope to ask you in person one day, but I'll ask one here.
    I've only recently discovered your blog so I'm not sure if you've already talked about this. I keep up with research on curing paralysis - do you? If so, how do you feel about it?
    Okay I have one more. The most important question.
    How do you have so much swag? Your bow ties. I can't even...Your level of swagger is unfathomable.

    1. Thanks! I will definitely try to keep writing. I hope to one day meet you, if I haven't already, and hear all these questions you have!
      In regards to the first question: I used to keep up with research on curing paralysis. I looked at new studies and searched for clinical trials that were being done. That lasted about a year. I realized that things were moving slow and if there was anything significant that had been discovered, that I would hear about it. In the mean time, I would do my best to enjoy each and every minute with which I have been blessed.
      In regards to the second question: Hahaha! I am really flattered. Unfortunately, you are mistaken. My swag level is zero. I'm actually a huge loser. But I'm okay with that. I'm sorry to disappoint you!

    2. Okay, I hope to be involved in that research one day so I try to keep up with the details. I like your perspective, so many of us have been blessed with so much time but so few of us really appreciate and take advantage of it. Thanks for sharing!
      I can't be disappointed in finding a fellow loser, but you wear bow ties... So you have like, faux-swag? Quasi-swag? :)

  5. WOW mashallah ur such an amazing person would love to know more about you inshallah