A new logo for a new GreenDialysis website

This the story of how we (the Green Nephrology Action Team and Swinburne University) developed a new logo (and soon a new website) for GreenDialysis.org.

 

The fun thing was that soon after the designs were finished, Julie and I were invited to the Design Exhibition and Awards Ceremony for the Swinburne Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design course, which delightfully and unexpectedly, included many of the new logo designs (see the pics sprinkled throughout!).

 

Green Dialysis?

I have always been uncomfortable about just how resource-hungry dialysis is: the mountains of plastic waste, lakes of water and Megawatts of energy needed for its delivery.

So, when I went to a renal conference in 2017, I was delighted to find that I was not alone and that many people were doing exciting work to help make dialysis more sustainable.

Way back in 2003 the leading light of the Green Dialysis movement, Dr John Agar (Google him), was doing amazing things at the Barwon Health Renal Services in Geelong (about an hour down the road from me), to save and reuse water, reduce power use and even find ways to turn all our bloody plastic lines into a concrete additive.

By 2014 he was publishing worldwide, both via Papers and his new GreenDialysis.org website.

By 2016, John’s lone preoccupation had gathered steam and had become a dedicated team. First as an informal group of various renal stakeholders, and then in 2017, as a formal working group of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN). as the Green Nephrology Action Team (GNAT).

After the conference, I contacted the GNAT Chairperson (Dr Katherine Barraclough) and asked to join as a consumer representative: a brief discussion and I was in!

 

New Logo, New Website

Over 2016 and 2017 the GreenDialysis website had been revamped and updated several times to include information about GNAT and more on various projects and initiatives. However, without a central website plan, people found the website a little approachable and wordy.

After several reviews, it was decided to completely redesign the website and to create a GNAT logo. Since I had just completed the new TravleDialysisReview.com website as a collaborative project with IT students at Swinburne University, I had a rush of blood to the head and volunteered to help create a new GreenDialysis.org.

I contacted the wonderful Sarah Cleveland, Manager of Collaboration and Partnerships at the Swinburne University, and after discussions, the Swinburne Design and ICT Departments agreed to help complete the new Green Dialysis Website project.

Designing the Website

 

They proposed breaking the project into two parts, with Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design students working on the aesthetics, visuals and graphics during Semester 2 of 2018, then handing over the selected logo and Website design to the ICT students for implementation on the website during Semester 2 of 2019.

Thanks to the excellent Hue Pham, Swinburne Graphic Design teacher and supervisor, all the design work has been completed for the new logo and the new website.  They have done a fabulous job – as shown in the exhibition shots, and in more detail on the Voting Page.

The GNAT Team has voted for what they consider the best logo. They will vote for the best website in January (the best logo and the best website design are selected independently).

Your Vote for the best logo!

Here’s a sneak peek at the new logo designs. I thought you may like to vote for the best too (a Peoples Choice Award!). If so, go to the Voting Page and make your selection. No prizes, just a nice warm feeling.

I look forward to seeing your votes!

The new website design will be selected in early January. Look out for another sneak peek then.

Oops. The voting link doesn’t work properly on some platforms, so you can now also vote directly, below. Cheers!

How to Manage Fatigue

Am I fatigued, or just exhausted?

Fatigue1All of us BigD-ers feel weary at times. I’m often most tired just before I dialyse. Some days I arrive at the unit, dragging one foot after the other, dead tired. Putting my needles in can be as marathon effort. And once I’m on, I sit back, suck a couple of ice cubes, close my eyes and I’m in dozy land.

But half an hour later, I wake, bright and rested.

Thinking about it, most times I’m physically tired from my physical activity throughout the morning – my early morning walk, house stuff, running around, computer work. By the time I get to dialysis, I’m exhausted and ready for a long sit-down. And the sit-down solves the problem.

Exhausted manOn the other hand, fatigue is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. With fatigue, you have unexplained, persistent, and relapsing tiredness, that is not relieved by naps or long periods of rest. So how can we manage fatigue?

Guest post: How to Manage Fatigue

This pithy and practical guest post is from Constance Peng, Provisional Psychologist / PhD student at the University of NSW in Sydney, Australia. It has some great advice and ideas to help us BigD-ers put a little more energy into our day.

At least 60% of dialysis patients say they often feel fatigued

Fatigue makes it difficult to participate in enjoyable and meaningful activities, can lead to depressed moods and overall poorer quality of life. If you are one of the 60 per cent, and your doctor has not identified any medical reasons for your fatigue (e.g. anaemia, hyperparathyroidism), then it is worth thinking about making some lifestyle changes.

Studies have shown that dialysis patients who have poor sleep and are physically inactive tend to experience more fatigue.

Some tips to help you improve the quality of your sleep and increase your physical activity

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends). This will train your body to know when it should be asleep.

Limit your daytime naps to 30 minutes and have them before 3pm, unless your doctor advises you to nap more often. Try not to nap during your dialysis treatment. However, if you do, remember that napping excessively during the day makes you more awake at night.

Sleep only when you are sleepy. If you cannot fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up out of bed and do something boring until you feel sleepy.

ActiveSchedule in daily exercise you can easily fit in between your dialysis treatments and other commitments. It can be as simple as 15 minutes of slow walking, stretching or gardening. Stick to this no matter how tired you feel.

Pump it higher!Practice pacing. If you try to do too much on days you feel good, then you will feel too tired the next day to do much. This is a called a “boom and bust cycle” and you will end up doing less over time. Instead, aim to gradually increase your physical activity over time. For example, you can increase the length of your daily walk by five minutes every fortnight. Stick to this plan no matter how tired or energetic you feel.

If you would like further information on how you can tackle fatigue by changing your behaviours and patterns of thinking, it may be worth speaking to a Clinical Psychologist, who can explore the underlying causes of your fatigue and use effective techniques to help you get more out of life!

The BeanThis article first appeared in The Bean, the newsletter of the Concord Hospital Renal Unit, Concord, NSW.  Thanks, Constance for sharing it with us!

If you would like read more of The Bean, or sign up, click here.

Two weeks can be a long time on Dialysis

It has been a big two weeks.

Last Friday (the 21st), Charlie died.  Charlie started dialysis at our unit in 2000, when he was 68.  Our BigD community (us, our families, and ‘our’ clinicians) is a long-term proposition, like a special interest club.  We all have a common interest (kidney stuff), we spend time together (no matter what!), we learn from each other and some of us become close friends.  Over the 13 years Charlie was with us, we got to know him pretty well.  He was a good guy: friendly, supportive, inclusive and well-loved.  He was a gold-class BigD club member. (more…)

Dialysis. Then there’s the rest of your life

One thing I find, especially when I’m not 100% fit, is that the BigD takes on a disproportionately prominent role in my life.

Sure, it’s important; it keeps me alive and kicking.  But it only takes 15 -20 hours of my time per week.  What’s that in proportion to my total awake time?  Assuming I’m awake for 16 hours a day (which is a bit of a fudge, because I rarely sleep eight hours per day), then I’m awake a total of 112 hours per week.  20 hours is just 18% of each week – less than a fifth. (more…)