The One Thing That I Have In Common With Vice-President Joe Biden

Do you know what binds and connects all of us? Not our love for certain types of food or loyalty to a football team. We’re not connected because of the color of our skin or where we went to school or where we grew up. What binds EVERY single person regardless of geography, race or political affiliation is grief. Grief, no matter how old you are or where you live or what you do for a living, affects all of us. ALL OF US. I know that’s not a positive connection, but it’s a real connection.

I watched Vice-President Joe Biden’s interview with Stephen Colbert last week and I felt EVERY word Mr. Biden said. And this man is the VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! Please know this is so NOT about politics. Mr. Biden feels grief just like the rest of us. What?? Yep. This man can’t possibly think through or past his cloud of grief to decide whether or not he might run for PRESIDENT. This man lost his son Beau THREE MONTHS AGO to brain cancer and now they are asking if he, while still grieving, will run for PRESIDENT.

Y’all three months after mom died in 2012 not only did I not know what time of day it was, I couldn’t decide if I wanted toast no jelly or toast with jelly (grape or strawberry???) and I would just stand in the middle of the kitchen with the jar of jelly in my hand. Never mind that it was 3 p.m. in the afternoon. What?! That’s called grief. Like, the smallest of decisions was debilitating and just nerve-racking. I remember one time, about six months after mom died, I was trying to decide if I was going to church and I couldn’t figure out what to wear. It was like taking baby steps. What I wanted to wear didn’t fit properly and then what did fit didn’t “match” the shoes I chose…and then I realized that I hadn’t shaved my legs so, well, yeah, that’s just unacceptable that I’d go to church wearing a skirt with hairy legs right? I’m so very serious right now. I fell out in a bawling heap and no, I didn’t go to church that day. And Mr. Biden is trying to decide to run for President? God bless this man because I.Can’t.Even.

Check out Mr. Biden’s interview with Colbert. You don’t have to watch all of it. At the 4:00 mark in the first video he discusses his son Beau and around the 6:50 mark he talks about how faith sometimes leaves you in the middle of dealing with grief. In the second video at the 3:59 mark he talks about whether or not he can give it his all. It’s the second video where his description of grief is raw and real.

Vice-President Biden: “I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president. Two, they can look at the folks out there and say, ‘I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, energy, and my passion to do this.’ And I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I’m being completely honest.”

Praying for this man and his family.

#LCSM Chat 8/27 8pm ET: Let’s get social… in our health?

This week’s chat is for anyone who has always wanted to know more about becoming a patient advocate via social media. Many think that it’s difficult to join or follow a tweet chat or that it’s hard to comment about topics that might be too personal. In some ways it CAN be difficult to share such personal stories with people you don’t know. However, you never know when something you share might help others. Also, no one forces you to share anything that you don’t want to share. Even if you’ve never participated in a tweet chat before, it doesn’t take a professional to follow one. If you’ve always wanted to join a chat on Twitter, but you were afraid or didn’t know how, this should be your first chat. You’ll learn some tips and you’ll probably discover that you aren’t alone in your journey. You also just might make a few friends! Read on for more about Thursday’s chat, 8/27, 7 p.m Central. Be sure to check out the links to some excellent articles about chats and other online communities.


by guest host Christina Lizaso

The internet has obviously changed a lot of things. One of the most exciting and impactful changes for me has been how it enables patients to find each other and form disease communities. It began with discussion boards; now there are an amazing number of options to suit various interests, styles and comfort levels. The rise of online patient communities has been especially important for those with rare disease and diseases which carry stigma.

What is really exciting is to see patient communities go beyond internally supporting one another and reach out to make a bigger impact — with their data, in cross-disease advocacy and information sharing, and in working directly with doctors, healthcare workers, researchers, pharma and health IT professionals.

I’m definitely an admirer of the #LCSM community, which was formed and launched just prior to Dee Sparacio (@womenofteal) and I forming…

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