Skip to main content

Plenty of Poetry– Past and Present #143

By September 26, 2021February 21st, 2022Caregiver, ePatient, Family man, Leader, Musician, Podcasts

Take a brief break with several six-word caregiver poems, like ‘Pillow, Pills, Poop, Piss, and Pain’ plus a poem about me from The Good Listening Project.

Blog subscribers: Listen to the podcast here. Scroll down through show notes to read the post.

Please support my podcast.


Episode Notes

Prefer to read, experience impaired hearing or deafness?

Find FULL TRANSCRIPT at the end of the other show notes or download the printable transcript here

Contents with Time-Stamped Headings

to listen where you want to listen or read where you want to read (heading. time on podcast xx:xx. page # on the transcript)

Proem.. 1

Six-word caregiving poems 02:37. 1

A Guide to Pathological Optimism 04:38. 2

Reflection 05:34  2

Please comments and ask questions

  • at the comment section at the bottom of the show notes
  • on LinkedIn
  • via email
  • DM on Instagram or Twitter to @healthhats


The views and opinions presented in this podcast and publication are solely the responsibility of the author, Danny van Leeuwen, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute®  (PCORI®), its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee.

Music by permission from Joey van Leeuwen, Drummer, Composer, Arranger

Web and Social Media Coach Kayla Nelson @lifeoflesion

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Inspired by and grateful to Jan Oldenburg, Cynthia Meyer, Steve Heatherington, Jane Beddall, Heidi Frei, Tania Marien, Suzanne Jones, Bob Buckley, Gabrielle Pitman, Sue Fantl Spivack

Sponsored by Abridge

Support Health Hats, the Podcast financially


Good Listening Project

Related podcasts and blogs

Retirement – Micro-stepping with Mini-goals

Share the Stories. Help the Helpers.

The Silence Between the Notes


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.

To subscribe go to

Creative Commons Licensing

The material found on this website created by me is Open Source and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution. Anyone may use the material (written, audio, or video) freely at no charge. Please cite the source as: ‘From Danny van Leeuwen, Health Hats. (including the link to my website). I welcome edits and improvements. Please let me know. The material on this site created by others is theirs and use follows their guidelines.

The Show


Hello, fine listeners and readers. This is my 143rd episode and my 510th post. I began weekly blogging on July 24th, 2012, and weekly podcasting on November 28th, 2018. I’ve missed two posts in nine years. A short episode on mic- just me talking for 10 to 30 minutes- takes five to twelve hours to produce. This episode took six hours. A full 40-to-60-minute interview takes 12 to 40 hours to produce. Yikes. While I enjoy almost every minute of doing it, I feel the pressure of maintaining this production level and quality. A few months ago, I shifted to alternate weeks of interviews and on mic episodes. That reduced the effort. Now I’m going to give myself a break- not stop- because I love it. But not pressure myself to produce every week. So, I will miss some. I’m letting you know. Thanks for your continuing support and support from our sponsor, Abridge, going into our third year together. And as always, thanks to Kayla Nelson and Joey van Leeuwen. You helped me make this great. Thank you.

Six-word caregiving poems

So, let’s start with six-word caregiving poems. For this week, from the past, and it’s from an episode on January 13th, 2019.

  • Blood, sweat, tears. Shared by two.
  • Helping one end and another begin.
  • Disaster that ultimately gives back.
  • Hearts clubbed by diamonds in spades.
  • We learned, we cried, we continued.
  • We did it because we could.
  • Pillow, pills, poop, piss, and pain.
  • 20 years of caregiver. I adapted.
  • Personal care? It depends. Mother? Wife?
  • Managing the dis-ease of disease.

Now a word from 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 or download it on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Record your health care conversations.

A Guide to Pathological Optimism

Now, let’s listen to a poem written a couple of days ago by the Good Listening Project after listening to me for 20 minutes.

My life’s rich; fulfilling

I wear many hats:

End- of life carer –

Saxophonist, at that!’


I avoid complaining;

Will the process to slow

I’m an optimist –

Pathologically so!


But here’s the thing

With MS progression:

I dip, then I rise –

Face fragmented depression


“Take two minutes to bitch!”

A trick from a dear friend.

So sometimes it’s just “FUCK!”

Then reset: start again.



Okay. That’s all for this week, folks. We’ll be back soon. Onward.

Danny van Leeuwen

Patient/Caregiver activist: learn on the journey toward best health