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Nursing | Danny van Leeuwen Health Hats

Been There, Done That. Open Heart.

By | Advocate, Clinician, ePatient, Podcasts | One Comment

MarlaJan Wexler, a registered nurse, supports young people with stories similar to hers: congenital heart defects and open-heart surgeries.  In this thirteenth episode in the series about Young Adults with Complex Conditions Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Medical Care, MarlaJan relates her evolution from child to a person advocating for herself to an advocate for others. She describes the challenge of leveraging her ‘been there, done that’ experience while gauging the readiness of young adults and parents to hear the lessons she’s learned. Finally, MarlaJan opens her heart (so to speak) to her struggles with PTSD and finding compassion for herself.

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Receiving with Reckless Abandon

By | Caregiver, Clinician, Family man | No Comments

My boy, Mike, died 15 years ago today (sigh). Here’s a link to a video of an interview with Mike 4 months before he died. (11 minutes).

This anniversary and attending the National Caregiving Conference last week made me think about being a caree, someone who is being cared for. My grandmother, my mother, and Mike were carees. Mike accepted his mortality but didn’t want someone to have to wipe his butt. That was a point too far. As a Holocaust survivor, my mother craved being cared for all her life, yet was deeply ambivalent until her last days. She fought for control and felt deep gratitude for a warm, kind hand. My grandmother wanted more care than she needed (in my opinion, not hers). I mostly sensed fear. I’m only just tasting being a caree. Read More