One of the things I like about WordPress is that it tells me how readers found my blog. When I view my “Stats” page, there’s a list that shows the words people entered into their search engines that led them here.

Many people are searching specifically for me and this story; they’ll type in words like “Krissy Dietrich,” “Krissy Gallagher,” “Krissy Dietrich Gallagher” (with every imaginable spelling) or they’ll search for “little boy on the news with Wilms” or “Rainbow letter Austin Wilms.”

Then there are all sorts of people who find me by accident, such as the almost daily hits I get from those searching for “Kraftmaid warehouse” or “dark kitchen cabinets” or “pictures of mudroom.” Luckily they get directed to the specific appropriate posts or they’d wonder what one earth they’d gotten themselves into!

My most-visited blog post of all time is one I titled “Kissing Your Best Friend.” It actually has nothing at all to do with kissing anyone let alone a friend. It was simply my way of describing the vulnerability I felt upon sharing my query letters with my readers. But, oh my god, that post has been hit constantly for more than a year now. The searches vary from the not too surprising: “What should I do now that I’ve kissed my best friend?” and “got drunk and kissed my friend” (often on a Saturday or Sunday morning) to the shocking (and especially shocking because of the sheer number of times I’ve seen it): “Mother kisses son’s best friend.” Many many times, people. Way more times than should be representative of the number of mothers kissing their sons’ friends. And I’ve even seen searches from the mothers themselves, as in “I kissed my son’s friend,” and I can’t help but think “Really? And you’re seeking answers online? You gotta look a lot farther than Google to solve that one, honey.”

Maybe if I really wanted to drum up visitors to my blog, I would come up with racy titles for all my posts. Or I could just stick strings of timely keywords in my tags like “Megan Fox beach photos” or “Lindsey Lohan jail time.” (I just checked MSN for their hottest searches — I don’t have time to be that hip to the latest celebrity gossip.)

But then there are the medical ones, which I get every single day.  I can just see these people sitting alone at their computers typing scary and foreign words into search engines: can a child get chemo while on dialysis?, what does it mean when a doctor sees a “shadow” on your kidney?, pictures of PICC line, PICC line versus Broviac versus Mediport, cystic kidney lesions, “jump start” a kidney, kidney donors and cancer risk, and the one I got just last week that really struck home:why wilms’ tumor not going down in size. “Why wilms’ tumor not going down in size.” Oh, why indeed.

They go on and on, day in and day out. New people starting this terrifying journey, seeking some answers, some insight, some comfort from the box of wires on their desk. I wish I could climb into my computer and follow the lines back to them. I wish I could sit down next to them and hold their hands and share any small bit of knowledge I’ve gained along the way.

But I have no way of locating them, no reverse search option. I can only hope they get something useful from me; that they leave breathing easier and not doubly terrified. That they find that comfort from the box of wires on their desk.

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