Why I Blog Anonymously, and Ten Things About Me You Didn’t Know

The other day a rare visitor to the blog emailed me to ask why I blog anonymously. It’s a good question. I am deeply anonymous. Regular readers will know that I am fairly oblique in providing self-identifying details and, I have to add, engage in  fair amount of misdirection as well.

There are definite reasons for this. Unfortunately, this blog will probably never provide any income whatsoever, and certainly not in any amount to provide for my sustenance. In short, I have to work, and while I am pretty certain that the contents of the blog are not quite enough to get me fired — I do have a union position, after all— I am also pretty sure at the same time that my frequent mockery and criticism of my employer will make things uncomfortable enough for me to seek other employement. Which is highly inconvenient, for me at least. A corollary to this is anonymity gives me a certain freedom to speak the truth as I see it, without undue worry about retribution. Whoever wrote the tripe about having the courage of one’s convictions didn’t have a mortgage to pay, and in any case, is freedom of speech limited to those who can literally afford the consequences?

The second, more important reason, is that I do write about actual cases, with heavily altered details, demographics and circumstances. Anonymity provides an extra layer of confidentiality for these patients, and safety for the staff involved with them.

But because I know you are intensely curious, here are

Ten Fun Facts about TorontoEmerg

1. I am married.

2. Le Nozze di Figaro is my favourite opera.

3. Though this blog is (mostly) apolitical and focused on health care, nursing and also my own personal ramblings, I am a flaming left-winger.

4. I am also religious, converted later in life, consider myself Christian — though probably not in any way that would make an evangelical happy — and I am very active in my church’s charitable work and governance.

5. I think, frankly, that people who believe in Creationism or its bastard child, Intelligent Design, have a screw loose.

6. I don’t think 4 or 5 are contradictory.

7. I have always been an Emergency nurse.

8. I have worked in the U.S. health care system, and have seen its strengths and suckiness up close.

9. I drink red wine.

10. Writing this blog is a means of preventing craziness on my part.

Further questions can be directed to torontoemergencyrn(at)gmail(dot)com. Maybe I’ll do a FAQ.


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  1. #1 by JennJilks on Sunday 21 February 2010 - 1011

    What we *do* know is that you care passionately for all who come through the doors of your ED.

    In my educational career I, too, fought ‘city hall’ and gave up! I was so hopeful of being a principal and enacting change.
    Keep up the stories. We learn from them.

  2. #2 by mog on Sunday 21 February 2010 - 1647

    It’s pretty obvious why you are anonymous. I’m anon to the public on my blog but my friends know who I am. If I were to blog about work, and the patient side of things it would be completely anonymous. It’s nothing to do with the courage of one’s convictions but common sense.

  3. #3 by markp.s.2 on Sunday 21 February 2010 - 1708

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. ~Oscar Wilde

    • #4 by torontoemerg on Wednesday 24 February 2010 - 2118

      Very true.

    • #5 by torontoemerg on Saturday 27 February 2010 - 0834


      If, with the literate, I am
      Impelled to try an epigram,
      I never seek to take the credit;
      We all assume that Oscar said it

      — Dorothy Parker

  4. #6 by Kalanna on Monday 22 February 2010 - 0705

    Woot for numbers 3,4,5 and especially 6!

  5. #7 by Maha on Monday 22 February 2010 - 1515

    Great to know a little bit more about you! I second a woot for #3, 4, & 5.

  6. #9 by Gert on Wednesday 24 February 2010 - 0003

    The presence or absence of an Intelligent Designer or Creator cannot be scientifically proved nor disproved. So, believe what you will, you have as much proof as any rabid Creationist….

    I believe in science, but it isn’t my religion.

    • #10 by torontoemerg on Wednesday 24 February 2010 - 2121

      Nevertheless, neither Creationism nor ID is science. Sorry.

      • #11 by Gert on Thursday 25 February 2010 - 0052

        I never said they were….but science will never be able to disprove ID or the existence of a Creator…..it’s a draw!

        Are you saying that science is your religion?

        Great blog, by the way!

      • #12 by Gert on Thursday 25 February 2010 - 2234

        It probably isn’t that important to you but I believe in a Creator God (who is Intelligent!) and I believe in evolution. I don’t think it’s contradictory at all. I have a great deal of respect for science…..after all my college degree is in science.

        For the life of me, I can’t figure out how your #’s 4 and 5 aren’t contradictory!

  7. #13 by wilomis on Thursday 25 February 2010 - 2249

    You forgot to mention how HUGE of a Leafs fan you are….

    • #14 by torontoemerg on Friday 26 February 2010 - 2227

      Yeah, and we’re gonna hand you yanks a bucket of whoop-ass on Sunday.

      • #15 by wilomis on Friday 26 February 2010 - 2316

        Dear friend to the North,
        hahaha I laugh because I can.
        Last I checked USA was 3-0 for Ice Hockey

        What was Canada?

        Medal count as of today
        United States – 33
        Germany – 27
        Canada – 20

        We are not only taking your gold medals but also your snow.

        • #16 by torontoemerg on Saturday 27 February 2010 - 0836

          Hmm… except this morning, dear, dear friend, we now lead the count in gold metals, and also the US has, what?, ten times the population?

          You’re weloome to the snow. :)

          And get ready for silver tomorrow and a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth. :)

          • #17 by wilomis on Saturday 27 February 2010 - 1555

            Ready for silver?… I was unaware that one amazing team could win both gold and silver in ice hockey…

            Bronze does Canada well….

  8. #18 by wilomis on Thursday 25 February 2010 - 2252

    And ps…. merlot, shiraz, pinot noir, or cabernet?

    • #19 by torontoemerg on Friday 26 February 2010 - 2226

      In order, shiraz, cabs, merlot, and pinot noir, though I infinitely prefer a good pinot noir to a bad shiraz.

  9. #20 by nursekenny on Saturday 27 February 2010 - 1856

    NurseKenny here … Wilomis just happens to be here in my apartment, and we were discussing this situation. I’m guessing the can of whoop-a$$ you’re planning on opening up tomorrow will be too frozen to budge an inch. I mean, I’m sorry, 2.54 centimetres.

  10. #21 by wilomis on Sunday 28 February 2010 - 1934

    I received your can…. tastes good, but is a little sour.

  11. #22 by misslittenurse on Monday 01 March 2010 - 0006

    hi, I tried before to make my identity anonymous but its really pretty hard. But I admire you for being anonymous. I am also a Registered Nurse working in ER for 3 years.

    Do you think I should hide my identity when blogging? you really give me a good idea.

  12. #23 by Raquel on Monday 18 October 2010 - 1214

    Would you tell me your opinions on Canada’s healthcare system vs the US’s? I am not against socialized medicine. I just don’t know much about it. The mention of it sends some people into a panic or a rage. I can’t imagine it would be much worse than what we have now.
    Your thoughts? Thanks :)

    • #24 by torontoemerg on Tuesday 19 October 2010 - 1120

      Good question. My experience in the US is about 10 years out of date, but I think in some ways is still relevant. But it requires a long answer — maybe a subject for a blog post?

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