You know I LOVE a metaphor! (As corny as I can make them, sometimes. LOL!)
One of my favorites is the metaphor of “things” on your burners – on a stove.
Going full nerd on this metaphor, I like the idea of things on the front and back burners. I like the idea of some things finishing before other things. Managing that full stove.
(I can’t help it . . . I had good English teachers as a child. They gave me tools that I still use. Shout out to my elementary English teacher, Ms. Sue Keen – who is still in my life.)
So . . . right now I have a lot of pots on my stove, so to speak.
A lot of projects that I am participating in – and yet – not feeling overwhelmed. All of the projects seem to have their own life-spans – with no crunch-times coinciding together.
It’s definitely a special time . . . and I am proud to share what I am working on with you.
Here are some of the activities:
1. I gave shorts speeches to teams riding in the Heart & Stroke BIG BIKE fundraising event. It seemed to make a difference for teams to meet someone (me) who has benefited from all of the fundraising this organization does. I talked about my cardiac arrest, my defibrillator, Cardiac Rehabilitation, etc. (I cried when I spoke to the St. Mary’s of the Lake team, as I thanked them for taking care of my little brother, Jason, after he had a severe stroke in his mid-twenties).
2. I continued to speak at Kingston General Hospital. I speak to pre-dialysis patients some Fridays in a Pre-Dialysis Education lecture. I share my experience with different modalities of dialysis, since I’ve done both types (Peritoneal and Hemo – and variations within those types). I also talk to them about keeping kidney disease in healthy perspective and about my favorite topic – the amazing benefits of fitness for people living with chronic illnesses.
3. I continue to volunteer at Kingston General Hospital as a patient experience advisor. I’m concentrating my energy around working on committees specifically related to kidney disease – for now, in keeping with finding better time balance. I recently had a camera crew at my place documenting my experience with home hemodialysis – also showing how I organize my home to live with this treatment. My contribution will add to a video collection of local stories, about life with kidney disease from patients perspective and also from the perspective of the doctors. Looking forward to see this powerful video when it’s completed. It will be aired, in many ways, in the Chronic Kidney Disease unit of the hospital.
4. I continue to work with my life coach to help keep my head in the game – another metaphor. 🙂 Working with Wendy Pentland has been a blessing as she keeps the bigger picture . . . my WHY, clear in my mind. I have also serendipitously met other positive “presences” along the way.
5. Working on the pitch for an education video for use in dialysis units with the help of Dr. Trisha Parsons (the chair of the Canadian Renal Rehabilitation Network). This project would help fellow patients, doctors and nurses to make first steps towards bringing fitness to dialysis units. This project feels very important and gets me very enthusiastic. (As I get closer to this goal I will share this project as it’s own post.)
6. Recently completed the manuscript on a Canadian adaptation of a guide book about patient engagement – written for the benefit of both patients and clinicians. It was a honor to work on a guide that is so powerful in changing the way we patients see our place in healthcare. This would also kind of be my first book – although it’s an adaptation of someone else’s book. (More on this later!! When I can I will report this as it’s own post – as a formal announcement.)
7. Working with the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (a organization that does fundraising for Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital and the Providence Care facilities around town). I shared my story in a “financial ask” donation-letter that will reach over 10, 000 people in our community. I was touched that UHKF felt my story could inspire people to help. It was especially touched that they chose to highlight my time at Hotel Dieu hospital as I participated in their Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre – a clinic I credit with saving my life. The next project with UHKF will be to complete a video for use on their social media.
8. I wished Trisha Parsons and Diana Hopkins-Roseel well as they shared my story (in scientific study form) at a Canadian Physiotherapy Congress recently in Edmonton Alberta. They shared my experience with fellow physiotherapists, showing my dramatic “before and after” medical results. I am so proud that my experience can help change the way medicine conceptualizes the possible outcomes of their patients. As the treatment of chronic kidney disease gives fitness the weight of medication (and medical treatment), physiotherapists will finally get to claim their place, front-and-centre, in the nephrology team. I am excited for that day to come.
That’s it . . .
I am very proud of my contribution to these causes. It means a lot to me that my experience, as a person living with chronic illnesses, can be constructive towards improving the lives of other patients. And influencing medicine in my little way.
Here are the links to some of the organizations mentioned above. (Check them out and see why I’m committed to helping them in their goals):
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada:
Kingston General Hospital:
Canadian Renal Rehabilitation Network:
University Hospitals Kingston Foundation:
Although I am not working directly with them now – still do check out the Kidney Foundation: