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GETTING INVOLVED

          Here are three simple ways to get involved with your own healthcare:

          ASK QUESTIONS
            If your doctor or consultant is giving you a lot of information and you do not understand some of it,
          do not be afraid to ask him/her to slow down, repeat something or explain it in simpler terms. Bring a
          relative or friend with you if need be. It is important that you understand what your condition is and
          your medical team should facilitate that – do not feel that you are being impolite by asking questions.


          KEEP A PERSONAL HEALTH FILE
                             Your doctor or clinic will keep records of all your urine and blood tests. Sometimes
                               you might actually bring them from one office to the other after you get tests
                                 done.
                                    But you may find it useful to actually have a copy of these records yourself
                                  so that you can better understand the progression of your condition.
                                    You can ask your doctor for a copy of the records – keep a file with test results
                                 and any other information about your condition, including prescriptions and
                               appointments. Having all your information in one place will keep you organised
                           and in touch with what is going on with your healthcare. If you ask your doctor
          questions, note down the answers in your health file.
            If you attend a Nephrologists Outpatient clinic, you may often be seen by a junior doctor. Having your
          own records or file, will help you assist them through your medical
          history.

                                                                                Creeslough
          MEET OTHER PATIENTS                                                      Letterkenny
                                                                                      Lifford    NORTHERN IRELAND
            Meeting with other patients can be beneficial but it has to       Ardara  Donegal
          be done with caution. We are all unique and kidney disease            Donegal
          manifests itself at different speeds and in
          different ways. What is particularly useful is                     Sligo Leitrim  Monaghan
          the help you can get with the interpretation         Bangor Erris  Ballina  Sligo  Monaghan

          of the medical jargon. Patients are very              Mayo  Charlestown  Carrick on Shannon  Cavan  Dundalk
                                                                                          Cavan
          good at explaining the procedures they have            Westport   Castlebar              Louth
                                                                                                   Drogheda
                                                                     Claremorris  Roscommon  Longford  Meath
          also gone through. The note of caution is                           Roscommon           Navan
                                                                                   Longford      Trim  Dublin
          that you often get ‘a patients’ individual       Clifden       Tuam              Mullingar  North
                                                                                Athlone    Westmeath
          experience rather than the normal                            Galway            Tullamore  Dublin
                                                                           Galway               Naas  South
          experience.                                                               Offaly           Dublin East
                                                                                         Port Laoise  + Wicklow
                                                                                              Kildare
            However a lot of people benefit from going to           Ennistymon       Roscrea  Laois    Wicklow
          the Irish Kidney Association branch meetings that          Ennis  Clare  Nenagh  Durrow  Carlow  Arklow
          are held across the twenty-five branches of          Kilkee       Limerick  Tipperary   Kilkenny  Carlow
          the Association every month or so. Full                     Limerick   Tipperary   Kilkenny
                                                                                                  Wexford
                                                                                     Clonmel
          contact details of the Branch Secretaries                               Cahir           Wexford
                                                               Tralee                              Rosslare
                                                                                           Waterford
          in each area are on the IKA website,                                       Waterford Tramore
                                                              Kerry      Mallow  Fermoy  Dungarvan
          www.ika.ie                                         Killarney     Cork  Youghal
                                                                              Cork
                                                                        Macroom
            Membership of the Association is free
                                                               Kenmare
          and you will receive a quarterly SUPPORT                Bantry
          magazine which you will find very useful.



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