Dialysis, like much of healthcare, is all about numbers. The numbers may be examined on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, or weekly basis. Some are checked hourly during each dialysis session. Usually, these hourly numbers are registered and checked by the computer system and logged that way. However, since the attack on the HSE computer system last month, none of the dialysis machines are connected to the internet to make this possible. Therefore, other methods have to be found.

In the B Braun Wellstone Midlands Renal Care Centre in Port Laoise, the nurses have enlisted my help in recording certain key numbers and observations whilst I am being dialysed. They have their own form that I am to use. However, in order that I have my own record of each dialysis session, I have created my own version in a Leuchtturm1917 B5 notebook using pencil, ruler, and pen.

Although the table in the centre is the table that matches the one that I have to do for the clinic, I have added in other key information for myself including:

  • Pre-dialysis weight
  • Post-dialysis weight
  • UF volume – that is the amount of fluid to take off during the dialysis session
  • Nurse – which nurse looked after me
  • Temperature (in ºC)
  • Medication check list.

I find that having my own record, especially since I self-cannulate now, is very important and helps my own mental health. It means I have somewhere to record things if needed, and can look back over the entries to see how my dialysis is going. Personally, I would urge all dialysis patients to do similar. Even taking the time to rule out the pages helps me, it is a simple but calming task to do.