Dear friend and user of HDC …
I and my colleagues on the HDC ‘experts’ panel have been providing answers to your questions at this site for >18 months.
While I have found it has been a pleasure and privelege to do so, I am also concerned that too few are able to take (or have taken) advantage of the help we try to give and the knowledge and understanding we try to pass on.
I think the same applies to all the other ‘information sites’ that are out there in cyberspace - many of which are both excellent and informative - all ready to help, yet reaching only a tiny fraction of those who might benefit - those who are Internet savvy and who are prepared to use the Internet to ‘grow’ their understanding.
The vast majority of dialysis patients, their friends and their families, remain unaware that there is information and help available … if they but knew where and how to seek it.
The Internet, for many, is a scary place - and it certainly can be. There is no question that Internet information can be patchy, misguided, or poorly delivered. While I think the track-record of HDC, over many years now, has been strong and speaks for itself, only you can judge that.
Although many dialysis doctors and services work very hard to ensure that their patients get a good grounding in the principles of their care, some patients (perhaps many) still miss out … or are too fearful of asking the questions they want to ask, but are too uncertain to ask.
The anonymity of web-based Q&A pages like the ones offered here by HDC can be particularly helpful to those with a burning question, yet who may be too fearful of asking, in person, of their treating team.
So … to those of you who have used these facilities to seek answers and especially to those of you who have found help here, I would ask that you consider ways by which you could act as ambassadors for the site.
You may consider ways to ‘give back’, ways through which you could create a ‘reach-out strategy’ … acting for those you may know in the dialysis world who do not know how to use the web or how to ask a question … acting as a ‘web-buddy’ for those less Internet-certain than yourselves.
While I seriously shudder at the thought of the added work this might involve for the panel, we chose to be involved in this site because we actually want to make a difference … but, making a difference is only possible if we are able to reach out to those who need help the most … those with no voice and no access.
If you are reading this, you are already one of the few who have used your voice, who have gained access.
But … it is to those that you may know who have not had the same opportunities ou have had that this post is directed. I would encourage you to consider ways by which you might involve others less ‘Internet brave’ to advance their knowledge and understanding.
Renal professionals tend to make chronic kidney disease and dialysis seem complex and difficult, but it does not need to be so. Chronic kidney disease and dialysis can be demystified. Sites like this - and the many other excellent reference sites now available - can perform that role. I encourage you to help us help others as, hopefully, we have helped you.