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self-care | Danny van Leeuwen Health Hats

Mind Body Spirit. Empathy and Social Justice.

By Advocate, Family man, Podcasts No Comments

In Ecuador, I found there were the traditional indigenous views of health melding with Western medicine. So, your physical and melding with Christianity as well. Your physical, spiritual, and mental health felt much more interwoven. You might see a shaman and pick up some medications from your doctor on your way to the church to say a prayer.

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Good listeners. Good conclusions.

By Advocate, Caregiver, ePatient, Podcasts One Comment

Esosa Ighile raising young women with Sickle Cell Disease to be commanders of their own ship. The whole family feels the pain of their pain. A fight for health equity. Welcome to this ninth episode in a series about Young Adults with Complex Medical Conditions Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Medical Care.

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Living a Happy, Full Life

By Advocate, ePatient, Podcasts No Comments

Fatima Muhammed-Ighile learned to advocate for herself and has begun to advocate for others with Sickle Cell Disease. People who have regular lives and struggles and hopes and dreams also have sickle cell disease and are just trying to live a happy life, a happy full life. That’s all. Welcome to this eighth in a series about Young Adults with Complex Medical Conditions Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Medical Care.

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Raising Me To Be a Good Person

By Advocate, Caregiver, ePatient, Podcasts No Comments

Morgan and Amy Gleason sound like pretty normal daughter and mom growing out of the self-centered teen years into mutually appreciative adults. In this episode, we’ll hear about that journey toward respect and shared support leavened with humor about the ridiculousness of some of that journey. Welcome to this seventh in a series about Young Adults with Complex Medical Conditions Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Medical Care.

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Looking Out for Each Other

By Advocate, ePatient, Podcasts No Comments

Welcome to this fourth in a series about Young Adults with complex medical conditions transitioning from pediatric to adult medical care. This interview with mother and daughter, Alexis and Sara Snyder, exploring their evolving relationship. Transitioning to plans about Sara with Sara. Sara had to know her body well and communicate what she knew. I’m impressed that Sara was pretty clear about what she wasn’t clear about. Sara values her mom’s health and well-being. Read More

Three Young Adults. 22 Years.

By Advocate, Caregiver, Podcasts, Uncategorized No Comments

Interview with Jill Woodworth, mother of 4, three with Tuberous Sclerosis, managing the transition from pediatric to adult medical care. Fascinating, frustrating, heart-breaking, and inspiring. Silos and boundaries,  crossing the threshold, primary physician,  autonomy, self-management. One of the scenarios with the most boundaries, cracks, and thresholds is where young adults with complex medical conditions transition from pediatric to adult care. “If there’s any communication, that has to go through me. Unfortunately, I have to network that system and that’s just really cumbersome.” “I can also help other people that have questions about how to transition. I’m certainly not an expert. But boy, it is something that I wish I always say do it the earlier the better. The earlier you can think about it the better.” “He’s learning. Like I taught him to get his own meds, you know, it’s kind of meeting each one of them where they are and what they can do. But it’s hard.” 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

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Stoking My Fires

By Advocate, Caregiver, Clinician, ePatient, Family man No Comments

Success is feeling like I have too much to do two days a week, not enough to do two days a week and not thinking about it for the rest. Today is a too much day. I missed a scheduled call. I was writing this post and missed it!!  Too funny.  How do I manage when I actually do manage, you ask? Well, if my wife wants to do something with me, the answer is yes. Same with my kids and grandkids. Then my health routine – steps, stretching, strengthening, balance, and stress management. Playing my horn. Blogging weekly. Finally responding to requests from my network cronies, making money and advocacy. (Note: I am retired and my family is all independent and healthy). So really the slack for me is only in those last ones. And health is the blowing up wildcard.  When health dips, my spiel is BS.

My latest struggle is saying no to pro bono work. So many intriguing opportunities. But time is precious. Keys to time management success are well-defined commitments, deliverables, and timeframes; calendar, and task lists; plus strong partners and collaborators. Strong partners and collaborators make the work fun and efficient. The fun stokes my fires. This week the Society for Participatory Medicine’s one-day conference stoked my fire. What stokes yours?

Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash

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Journal for Best Health

By ePatient 5 Comments

For me, the work of maintaining best health with a chronic disease takes large parts of each day. I feel fortunate when the routine just flows without thinking. Like walking used to feel.  I didn’t have to focus on each step I took. Now I scan for uneven pavement, pick up my left foot high enough not to trip, and check my fuel gauges: Have I reached my daily step limit? Has my medicine kicked in yet that helps my impaired nerves work so I can safely walk? Should I walk where ever I’m going or use the electric wheelchair or Lyft? I miss thoughtless walking. The process I use for managing and adjusting my self-care routine includes experimentation, tracking, journaling (journaling is narrative tracking), adjusting. I try to create a care plan for myself complete with goal and actions – project management. I use lists, spreadsheets, and iPhone/Apple Watch reminders to manage the plan and see how it’s working. Read More