Celebrating generational milestones. Reaching life goals. Surviving and thriving with superpowers.
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About the Show
Welcome to Health Hats, learning on the journey toward best health. I am Danny van Leeuwen, a two-legged, old, cisgender, white man with privilege, living in a food oasis, who can afford many hats and knows a little about a lot of healthcare and a lot about very little. Most people wear hats one at a time, but I wear them all at once. We will listen and learn about what it takes to adjust to life’s realities in the awesome circus of healthcare. Let’s make some sense of all this.
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Much to celebrate this week. My oldest grandson turns 13, and his mom and dad celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. I officiated at the wedding in 2001. Mike, the couple’s brother, our son, and I played the Beatles tune When I’m 64, for the couple’s first dance. Mike would have been 45 this week – a different kind of celebration.
My goals in life included being a good man to a good woman and raising children who grew to love strong partners while being solid parents. I’m thankful to have reached these goals. It’s all gravy from here. Reflecting, I’m overwhelmed with pride in and gratitude for our family and sadness that Mike didn’t experience these past twenty years. He famously quipped that he wasn’t born with a tattoo on his butt telling him how long he would live. Mike was in a loving relationship with a strong woman before he died. I have no doubt he would have been an inspiring father. My sweet grandson draws from the best of his incredible parents, readily shows his love of his grandparents, and shares easily and wisely about his challenges living the life of a 13-year-old during a pandemic. Life’s a trip and a half—no predicting anything.
Now a word about our sponsor, ABRIDGE.
Use Abridge during your visit with your primary care, specialist, or any clinician. Put the app on the table or desk, push the big pink button, and record the conversation. Read the transcript or listen to clips when you get home. Check out the app at abridge.com or download it on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Record your health care conversations.
We’re a family aware of our good fortune, privilege, and superpowers. I first had a conversation about superpowers with Mike in 2002 when we knew he was dying of cancer. Drawing from that well of superpowers nourished our spiritual reserves and strengthened our mental health during those trying times.
A prolific poet, Mike wrote this shortly before he died as preface to ‘the way I become about dying’:
i am not things.
i am sums of things,
guessing that i’m part of God,
wondering if there is some place
where my soul will go
from where i might look down
with advantages my eyes did not have
and see the tops of trees
which i used to walk beneath for
shelter from rain and sun,
and see the way things go together
like continental tracts of land
punctuated by water and lights
and roads and other concrete artifices
Michael P Funk, 2002
When diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I gave thanks that Mike and I shared a superpower – the ability to accept what is, guessing that I’m part of God. Superpowers are a magic lever of best health. What are your superpowers? Please appreciate them. May you attain your goals. Have a powerful week.