Let yourself in on your own secrets

I respect secrets. When my grandmother died at age 96 and a half, her final words were: “Erase my email.” Why? I don’t need to know. And she is not someone you want to cross (present tense — her spirit is still here with me, urging me to live a big life.)

But I am also a voyeur. So I visit PostSecret and greedily drink each one, like I’m doing shots of other people’s truth.

The only difference between our secrets is whether we allow them to evolve into tales of heroism or fear.

PostSecret’s creator, Frank Warren, opened a door for people to creatively reveal themselves to, essentially, themselves. And, when everyone rushed in to share, he let us all in on the biggest secret: we are all imperfect, we are all human. Continue reading

Let’s fix the culture of stress

The Unmentionables panel at Health 2.0 addressed issues we don’t talk about in public but which deeply affect our health and well-being. I posted the first set of videos last week — here is the second batch.

Michael Painter, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, talked about his personal perspective on stress and building a culture of health:

“You cannot get stronger without stress…but the more you stress your body, the more you have to pay attention to rest and recovery. Or you will burn out, get injured, or get sick. It’s time to fix the culture of stress.” – Mike Painter

Mike also wrote about the connection between stress and health on the RWJF blog. Continue reading

“We must redefine health to include life.” – Alexandra Drane

The first videos from the Unmentionables panel at Health 2.0 are up:

Note that this video contains both the opening and closing segments — tons of wonderful research and insight courtesy of Alexandra Drane. Look out for our two surprise guests who share some fascinating data and very quotable quotes:

“In health care we move in ‘study step.’ We don’t take a step without a study.” – Jonathan Bush

“Fear is not compatible with creativity. Doubt cannot give birth to innovation.” – Fred Trotter

Continue reading

Five years on: The Unmentionables of Health 2.0

Five years ago, Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya bravely turned over their main stage to Alexandra Drane and a posse of thinkers, doers, and builders working on removing the real barriers to good health — all the stuff that nobody wants to talk about but which we know is at the center of people’s lives. Continue reading

Just-in-time help

Jodi Sperber snapped this photo of an older man helping a younger man with his tie on the T in Boston.

One man helping another with his tie on the T by jsperber

I love it and shared it online (after getting Jodi’s permission).

Roni Zeiger was one friend I sent it to and he replied, “Networks of microexperts ready to help each other: you never know where that help might come from, you don’t even necessarily know that you NEED the help, but if you’re in a community, they’ll take care of you.” Continue reading

Help the helpers

Please join me in honoring and learning from caregivers, first by watching Sarah Kucharski’s powerful, personal story:

Second, watch my talk about the bigger picture and how people can help:

Now: what’s your story? What roles do you see for caregivers in health care or in your own life? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Sarah’s blog, The Afternoon Nap Society

Family Caregivers are Wired for Health (Pew Research Center/California HealthCare Foundation: June 20, 2013)

Mister Rogers viral image: The story of the boy (Washington Post: January 7, 2013)

Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update – The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving (AARP: July 18, 2011)

Thanks to Health 2.0 and Stanford Medicine X for posting the videos. For more videos in the series devoted to the Unmentionables of health, check out this Storify.

The unmentionables of health care

I plan to write more about my field trip to the future California, but for now here is the Storify I created about one incredible panel: Unmentionables 2013 at Health 2.0 Santa Clara.
Arrows connect Give and Take; a bracket shows that Care encompasses both.

By Jessica Hagy of thisisindexed.com

Taking care (what I’m reading)

The following articles stopped me in my tracks this week, not least because they relate to my last report, “Family Caregivers are Wired for Health.” Please share what you’re reading — or your thoughts about these articles — in the comments.

1. Dementiaville: How an experimental new town is taking the elderly back to their happier and healthier pasts with astonishing results, by Edna Fernandes (shared by Nick Dawson — so #whatifhc) Continue reading