Equity: more to achieve the same

By | Advocate, Caregiver, Clinician, Consumer, ePatient, Leader, Podcasts | No Comments

Diversity, equality, and equity are not the same. Diversity = the inclusion of differences. Equality = leveling the playing field. Equity = People have the same opportunity to achieve best physical, mental, and spiritual health no matter their social circumstances, biology, genetics, or physical environment. Bias impacts them all. Reaching for equity requires moving toward systems designed and built for inclusion and best health outcomes. Read More

Pillow, pills, poop, piss, and pain

By | Caregiver, Family man, Podcasts | No Comments
  • Blood, sweat, tears shared by two.
  • Helping one end and another begin.
  • A disaster that ultimately gives back.
  • Hearts clubbed by diamonds in spades.
  • We learned, we cried, we continued.

Episode Summary

Denise Brown of caregiving.com asked caregivers for their 6-word story about caregiving. Brilliant!

Welcome to Men Caregivers, Part 2, the Panel.  Part 1 was interviews with the panel, Ben Carter, Patrick Egan, Jolyon Hallows, and yours truly. All at the National Caregiving Conference in Chicago in November 2018.

Here are some of our 6-word stories:

  • We did it because we could
  • Pillows, pills, poop, piss, and pain
  • 20 years a caregiver. I adapted.
  • Key word isn’t ‘men’, it’s ‘caregiving’
  • Personal care? It depends? Mother, wife?
  • Managing the Dis Ease of Disease

Read More

First, We Listen

By | Advocate, Clinician, ePatient, Leader | No Comments

As a blogger, I talk. Every week, I talk. I talk about what I experience, what I think, and what I think I know. As my web/social media coach says, “You’re a content machine.” Now that I’ve started podcasting, I realize that I know enough to be dangerous. Podcasting is an opportunity for me to listen and learn. Listening has always been a challenge for me. Read More

Men Caregivers Part 1 Podcast

By | Caregiver, Family man, Podcasts | No Comments

Four of 6.4 million men caregivers muse on their varied experience, emotions, challenges, joys. We did it because we wanted to and we could. Great stories! Read More

Crossing Thresholds

By | Caregiver, Clinician, ePatient | One Comment

Before I officiate at a wedding, I meet with the couple. Getting married is crossing a threshold. There’s a moment before which you aren’t married, after which you are. What’s the difference, one moment to the next?  I’ve officiated at 26 weddings over 40 years. One time, the couple couldn’t say.  I didn’t officiate.

We continuously cross thresholds in our lives and in our journey to best health. A threshold is a beginning, a change – before we weren’t, now we are. We cross a physical threshold when entering a building, a room, a town… We cross a threshold when we enter a community, a relationship, an experience. We cross a threshold as we park our cars, enter a clinic, go for an MRI; when the doctor or nurse enters the room or responds to an email; when we call our insurance company; when someone asks, How are you? We cross a threshold when we feel a lump, hear a diagnosis, throw up, panic, feel pain, fall. Before we didn’t, now we do.

Crossing a threshold can present us with limitless possibilities. Who knows what might happen? Anticipation, excitement, hope. Some thresholds upset our sense of balance, our inertia. Why me? Distraction, hopelessness, annoyance, frustration, fatigue, rage  Crossing a threshold can energize or suck energy, depending on the moment and perspective. Read More

May the Force…

By | ePatient, Family man | No Comments

Tragedy: the common unifying force of life, no matter your genetics, your circumstances, your behavior, your health. As you season the likelihood of experiencing tragedy increases. A tragedy can be a death, diagnosis of serious illness, break up, job loss, legal difficulties, downsizing, loss of a contract, loss of key staff, loss, loss, loss. Read More

Healthy Homes Advocacy

By | Advocate, Podcasts | No Comments

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Episode Summary

Something is wrong here.

I feel like crap.

This isn’t fair.

I don’t want anyone else to ever experience what my kid experienced.

At some point, when we feel strong enough or mad enough, we want to take action to improve health. This is advocacy. Many of us advocate for someone, sometime. Or we want to. Ourselves, our family members, our cronies, our community. What lessons can we learn from a master at advocacy? I interview Mary Sue Schottenfels, Director of ClearCorps Detroit, a seasoned community organizer, a master advocate.

The lessons I heard from Mary Sue were:

  • Don’t go it alone-join, network, and collaborate.
  • Keep your word, follow through.

Read More

Trailer: Health Hats, the Podcast

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HHP000_Episode Summary

Best health is living at peak performance no matter our biology, abilities, or our circumstances. Reaching best physical, mental, and spiritual health is complex, frustrating, frightening, and oh so rewarding.  I’ve worn many hats during my life in healthcare. I’m a person with Multiple Sclerosis, I’m a nurse who’s worked in the community, in hospitals, in managed care, and behavioral health.  I’ve been care partner to several family member’s end-of-life journeys. I’m a musician, an Opa, a storyteller, and a patient/caregiver activist.  Wearing all these hats, I know a little bit about a lot of healthcare and a lot about a little bit of healthcare. I  interpret the Tower of Babel so You can drive your own train and achieve your personal and community health goals. In this podcast, I will invite passionate, skilled people to muse with me about life, death, advocacy, research, data, healthcare delivery, anything that piques my interest. Let’s make some sense of all this!

Episode Notes

Please find me at  https://www.health-hats.com/.  or subscribe to my podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. 

About the Show

Welcome to Health Hats, empowering people as they travel together toward best health. I am Danny van Leeuwen and I have worn many hats in my 40+ years in healthcare as a patient, caregiver, nurse, informaticist, and leader. Everyone wears many hats, but I wear them all at once.  We will listen and learn about what it takes to adjust to life’s realities in healthcare’s Tower of Babel.  Let’s make some sense of all this.

My guests and I reflect on what works for people, professionals, and communities in their journeys toward best health: learning, making choices, communicating, and adjusting to realities. We can range from personal, clinical, technical, entrepreneurial, organizational, to whatever interests me at the moment. Join the ride!

Readers of Health Hats, the Blog, we will publish a Podcast in at least two of each month’s weekly posts. To subscribe go to the blog https://www.health-hats.com/

Hey there, this is Danny. Best health is living at peak performance no matter our biology, abilities, or our circumstances. Reaching best physical, mental, and spiritual health is complex, frustrating, frightening, and oh so rewarding.

Manage the Stress You Can

By | ePatient, Family man | 2 Comments

When my son, Mike, was dying I knew I needed help supporting Mike AND survive and thrive myself.  I went shopping for a counselor. No surprise to you – I am not an easy patient. But I was willing to do the work. My shopping eventually led me to three counselors.  The first, a friend highly recommended. This friend had survived leukemia with several years of chemo, stem cell transplant and heart surgery. His mental and spiritual health were shaken. I could see that this counselor had really helped him. I made an appointment. The guy popped Altoids Curiously Strong Peppermints the whole time. To keep himself awake? No go. Still shopping. The next counselor I knew from work. She was on my providers’ council. She asked questions. I answered. How did I feel…? I didn’t need talk therapy. I had family and friends. I needed a roadmap. How do I manage myself? The third counselor spent 5 minutes asking me about diet, sleep, exercise, pooping, my family, transportation. You have to take care of the basics to manage grief. Then he said, there’s stress you can manage and stress you can’t. Grief is stress that’s hard to manage.  There it is. It’s not going away. Now tell me your top two stresses in your life right now. That was easy. On top – My mother. (That’s another story for another day). Tell me more. I told him more, another 10 minutes. Then he gave me three things to try to help manage the stress with Ma. I spent 45 minutes of the allotted hour with him! He was a keeper.  I tried all three recommendations with Ma. I could pull off two. Rapidly less stress in that arena. Therapy from a master is worth shopping for! He’s still part of my team. I talk to him on the phone from time to time – like when I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Read More