It doesn’t seem that long since I “graduated” from dialysis in Tallaght University Hospital to dialysis in the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore. That event happened in June 2019. Since then, of course, we have had the year of Coronavirus which has skewed how time feels to have passed. There have been highs and lows whilst receiving care in Tullamore. I’ve had to fight HIV stigma (see this post). Some of that is still ongoing, some of the problems have been resolved. There’s still no social worker for the hospital in Tullamore (see what I did on that issue). That fight will continue.

Yesterday, I receieved my last regular dialysis session in Tullamore. Tomorrow, the new chapter begins. Tomorrow, I will travel not to Tullamore but to Port Laoise. It’s 10 minutes closer to home, so that should give me an extra hour each week. Over the year that will be just over an extra two days! Think what could be achieved!

It’s been a long time since I said that I was looking forward to going to dialysis. But that is how I feel today.

The new dialysis unit is run by B Braun Ireland, and is contracted by the HSE. Last Friday, I travelled to it to meet the manager, Gerard and see the unit with a view to transferring my care. When I walked into the centre, I found a brilliant display about knowing how much fluid is in particular containers. That’s very useful to know when you are a dialysis patient as we have daily fluid restrictions.

My tweet about the fluid volume display in B Braun Wellstone in Port Laoise.

So, today, I am sitting at home wondering what it will be like when I walk into the new unit tomorrow. At least, on this occasion, I saw where I was going before I made the change. And it was my choice to move. So, that is a positive. I’m actully looking forward to the new unit. It’s been a long time since I said that I was looking forward to going to dialysis. But that is how I feel today. I’m excited for the opportunities of dialysing nearer home, I am excited at dialysing where there may be opportunities to find work within easy commuting. I’m excited for the opportunites for minimal care treatment. And, of course, Liam, the dialysis support bear will be going with me too.

Just finished my last session in Tullamore, ready for the next chapter in Port Laoise. Image: Michæl McFarland Campbell. Taken 2021-03-17.