I attended a meeting the other day at the Department of Health (very posh building near the London Eye full of brainy doctory types doing lots of important medical research) about the changes that could be made to the pathway of peritoneal dialysis.
I have never really talked about my 3 and a half years on this type of dialysis in my blog. This is mainly as I found the whole experience to be quite formidable. This was not only due to the fact that I didn't enjoy the treatment (who does?) it was also to do with problems I had with my consultant at the time. I am aware that some people love PD, and it suits them perfectly so if you are reading this and you are about to choose this type of dialysis there are many benefits to it as well as the negetive points that I mention.
I was attending the meeting as a young patient representative and I was asked to talk through my experiences of PD with a large board room of surgeons, doctors, head nurses and said ex-consultant. *gulp*. Bearing in mind that I don't like public speaking - especially when it's not exactly about my favourite subject in the world I found the whole thing quite daunting at first. As I slowly began explaining about how it all started back in 2003 and how my journey with PD ended in 2007, I realised that everyone in the room (all these important brainy people) were actually listening to what I was saying and even taking my ideas of how to improve the system into account. I found it all quite liberating being able to talk openly about all the issues I had with PD (worry not, I will talk about these later) and actually being able to suggest changes to the system that would help people avoid how I felt at the time. Getting all this off my chest was very therapeutic - and I came away from the day no longer feeling angry at the way I was treated on PD, and instead feeling satisfied that my bad experiences will make it an easier and happier experience for patients in the future.
I guess this post will make much more sense when I actually explain about my time on PD and what actually went on - which of course I will do now. Let me begin...