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Kidney donation: preoperative preparation & facing challenges generally - aspects of self-compassion

I've woken early.  Lying here I feel an unfamiliar hollow pressure in my gut.  What is this?  Fear?  Anxiety? Tension?  "Tense apprehension" seems to fit.  I'm lying here in the early hours of the morning, a hollow tense apprehension in my belly.  And it isn't surprising.  Pretty normal in fact as I move closer & closer to major surgery.  Consciously.  By my own decision.  On this journey, travelling down the "kidney donation river", I can hear the roar of the approaching rapids.  Surgery soon.  It's normal, a basic healthy response to tense a bit as I move towards the crux, possibly the most intense section of this "donation river".  And I don't have to tighten around the belly apprehension.  I can let go, loosen in my arms, my face.  It's OK. Nothing to do right now.  I can let go ...

Kidney donation: preoperative preparation & facing challenges generally - goals and journey

I'm due to donate a kidney soon, and I have been writing about what's involved - see "Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering", "Kidney donation: what are the risks?" and "Kidney donation: preoperative preparation & facing challenges generally - values are central".  Primarily these posts are for other donors, but aspects of what I write are also relevant for facing challenges more generally as well.

Kidney donation: preoperative preparation & facing challenges generally - values are central

I'm soon due to have an operation on my left kidney.  I'm donating it anonymously to someone else who needs it pretty desperately.  I have already written about this process - see "Kidney donation: why it's well worth consideringand "Kidney donation: what are the risks?".  Primarily these kidney-focused blog posts are to help other donors and their families & friends.  However, some aspects of the posts are likely to be of interest more generally.  For example, these ones on pre-operative preparation have some relevance to many situations where one is facing a potentially daunting challenge.

Recent research: articles from late summer journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains well over 24,000 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with some of what I'm finding interesting. Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of the page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

Kidney donation: what are the risks?

I recently wrote a blog post "Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering".  I commented that most blog posts on this website are primarily written for fellow health professionals & others interested in an evidence-based approach to stress, health & wellbeing.  However this sequence of posts about kidney donation are different in that they are written mainly for other potential kidney donors and their friends & families.  I hope a personal story about a fellow donor's experience will be helpful, especially as my background in medicine & psychology may colour these posts usefully.

Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering

Yesterday the transplant surgeon, Gabriel Oniscu, said he or one of his colleagues plan to take out my left kidney very soon.  It makes the scheduled operation a bit more 'real' in my mind, knowing which kidney is going be handed on to someone else (with a greater need for it than me). It's another step on the donation journey I've been travelling for some months now.  Most blog posts on this website are primarily written for fellow health professionals & others interested in evidence-based approaches to stress, health & wellbeing.  This post (and I hope later several others) are different in that they are written mainly for other potential kidney donors and their friends & families.  A personal story about a fellow donor's experience will, I hope, be helpful.

The building up specific strengths exercise: a personal & practical exploration

        "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man"  Polonius in Shakespeare's "Hamlet"

I have been writing a series of blog posts about character strengths - most recently "Twelve practical suggestions for exploring our character strengths (12): building up specific strengths exercise".  In today's post I give a personal example of using this building exercise with the character strengths of kindness and hope.

More to follow ...

Recent research: articles from early summer journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains just over 24,000 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with some of what I'm finding interesting. Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of the page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

Recent research: articles from spring journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains well over 23,000 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with some of what I'm finding interesting. Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of the page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

Recent research: articles from winter 2015/16 journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains nearly 23,000 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with some of what I'm finding interesting.  Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of the page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

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