Embarking on the biggest and most important project of my life, thus far.
Working with Dr. Trisha Parsons of the Canadian Renal Rehabilitation Network to create an information package that will show and explain the benefits of fitness for dialysis patients.
As we’ve envisioned it, the package will consist of a patient and clinician perspective video (with regards to the benefits), 3 video fitness demonstrations that dialysis patients can follow along with and a short booklet to tie everything together. We hope to include some doctor and nurse perspectives in the booklet too.
So far I’ve assembled a project team. Dr. Parsons who is the big brains – the research and clinical perspective. A production/design company. A certified fitness instruction with experience with dialysis patients and special populations. A glam squad. A wardrobe stylist. And even an amazing location to shoot the video. A translation service is even in place so this package can be captioned and translated into French!
Pretty exciting prospects.
And because it feels so personal . . . and the message and benefit feels so profound, I feel very confident that this project will get completed. To use an overused phrase, this project feels like my “life’s work” or part of my “calling”. It means a lot to me.
Being me – someone pretty contemplative – I am thinking about the people I hope to impact with my part of this video . . . fellow patients and clinicians. My prayer is that they will get what we’re trying to convey.
My hope is that fellow patients, doctors and nurses will understand how powerful fitness is to the lives of people living with chronic kidney disease.
I hope that I am able to convey how powerfully fitness touched my life. I will go as far as telling them that fitness saved my life – because it’s true. I don’t think that I can overstate it.
I want every dialysis patient to wonder if their lives could be improved like mine was? I want them to be so curious to see if they will have benefit in their quality of life too. I want them to lose sleep wondering if their lives can be improved.
I want doctors and nurses to wonder if fitness will improve the lives of the people they treat? I want them to be moved to the point of feeling compelled to TRY – to see the difference fitness can make for their patients. Dr. Parsons has amazing information to share to bring this message home.
Throughout my part of the project, I will be honest. I will mention that adding fitness to your life isn’t all sunshine and roses. It is hard work. It does require some stick-to-it-ness . . . especially on the days when the couch feels extra good. Or feeling sorry for yourself seems like an easy out.
Bigger than the difficulties, I will mentions the perks.
Perks that have kept me fit for years now.
Perks that have gotten me over the hurdles and through brick walls.
– confidence in myself as a fit person
– confidence in my body as it became strong and fit
– confidence to think of myself as healthy and whole as a person – despite being sick
– the physical benefit of fitness to my dialysis regiment and chronically ill body, e.g. increased appetite
– the psychological benefits of fitness as an anti-depressive and “good-chemicals-in-the-body” agent
– the social benefit of fitness (I’ve made a lot of great friends at the gym and I get a boost from our camaraderie in the group classes I take)
If I could send an open letter to all the people I hope this project will reach it would simply say . . .
“TRY fitness for yourself or for the benefit of your patients. Let go of all your pre-conceived notions about what having kidney failure means or what being a person with a chronic illness means. Give fitness a serious try and if you don’t see or feel any benefit then stop. But . . . I bet you’ll see benefit. You owe it to yourself to see how good your life can be, even with kidney failure”.
Wish me luck with this project. I am working to get the financials organized and then it will be time to execute.
I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you know where my heart and energy is.