Kintsugi (金継ぎ) is a traditional Japanese art form, with the name literally meaning to patch with gold. Kintsugi transforms broken pottery into new artwork using gold lacquer to repair the cracks.
Ok, but how is this concept related to a blog about kidney disease!?
Being diagnosed with a serious chronic illness and needing an organ transplant are things you never think will happen to you, until they do. When I think about my pre-CKD self, I find her almost unrecognisable. My life has changed forever.
I first started blogging in 2006, as a university student. Back then I didn’t write about much at all, but once I got sick, it quickly became a vital outlet. However, somewhere in between moving to the UK from New Zealand and becoming increasingly unwell, that blog ran its course and I stopped writing. I couldn’t find the words anymore.
I started up again shortly before I started dialysis and have posted at least somewhat consistently ever since! I look back now at some of my early posts and it’s very clear I had no idea what this blog would turn into, or that my audience would evolve into one containing just as many clinicians as it does patients! Considering I started it with the goal of connecting to other patients and hoping to help even one of them feel less alone in what they’re going through, I’m pretty amazed that my posts have ended up leading to paid public speaking work, been printed in magazines, and being shared in numerous renal units in the UK and overseas!
While I absolutely don’t believe in the concept of “everything happens for a reason”, I do believe that life experiences can be used to give you purpose and direction in life, if you choose to use them that way. It’s a huge privilege to be able to write in a way that resonates with so many.
I still think this blog is a work in progress. It’s evolving from what started out as the ramblings of a young woman trying to get her head around something that had happened to her, and turning into that same woman, now slightly older (and healthier, maybe even wiser), wanting to use these experiences to help other people in similar situations.
Watch this space, I suppose.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
– Nelson Mandela
Aside from this blog, I also have a few other articles and presentations floating around in other places online too…
- Let’s Talk About Sex (contributor) – Kidney Matters – Spring 2021
- Keep It Renal podcast interviews (part 1 | part 2) – Kidney Research UK – March 2020
- QNI Annual Conference – The Queen’s Nursing Institute- September 2019
- Peer Leadership Academy – peoplehub – April 2019
- Personalised Care Event #QNIonTour – The Queen’s Nursing Institute/NHS England – February 2019
- A Voice that Matters – World Kidney Day – July 2018