Since I transferred my dialysis care from the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore to the B Braun Wellstone Midlands Renal Care Centre in Port Laoise, we have been working towards the goal of self care. This will be where I will take responsibility for my own care and my own dialysis in conjunction with the unit staff.

I am already back to cannulating my own fistula, and preparing the trolley in advance of this. Soon, I hope that the unit staff will start to teach me to prepare the dialysis machine in advance of the treatment. In the last week, I have been putting in the various medications that I get each week. The only one that I have not been allowed to give, thus far, is the venofer. This is due to where it is put in the dialysis machine. I suspect that even this will be allowed in the future when the nurses train me up.

Another part of self care that has changed in the last week, is that I am now taking responsibility for getting myself to the dialysis centre instead of being reliant on the taxis that are provided by the HSE. Whilst I have appreciated the ease of getting to dialysis in the 2½ years since I started dialysis, it is a much better feeling for me to be more independent and arrive in the centre having got the train from Portarlington to Port Laoise, and then walked up from there. It’s much more like going in to a local clinic than going to a major medical procedure.