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Northern California
Kirsten is a mother of three, only child, wife, inventor and engineer.
Interests: running, triathlons, cooking, hiking, camping, playing with my kids, medical devices, consumer facing healthcare, backyard chickens, good food... women's health
Recent Activity
Over the years, I have worked as a designer in a variety of contexts. Professionally, primarily in the medical device industry and under confidentiality. So, in many instances, it's not possible for me to share the work that I've done. Here, I've included some examples of design work that I've... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2012 at Portfolio
The (NEW) Mommy Wars: Just thought I’d add an interpretation I’ve come up with. Some new vocabulary we could use. Being a mom is a job. Having a (paid) job is a job... We need to facilitate and enable women to practice their crafts. If it’s early childhood development, then fine, go for that 24/7. Otherwise, be a lawyer or an inventor or a EE for part of the day. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2012 at Collectively Wise
(by Joanne Reynolds) Caregiver stress can be a killer. The problem is that many of you are locked in what I call Caregiver Mentality, in which you ignore that stress and its physical effects on your body. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2012 at Collectively Wise
CAREGIVING DURING THE HOLIDAYS Thanksgiving is coming and will be followed by the December holidays. As a caregiver, will you look forward to a time of delight in family and friends, or a season of nearly unbearable stress? Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2011 at Collectively Wise
This past week, I facilitated a webinar on flexible work options for people who also have caregiving responsibilities at home. I invited professional women that I know to discuss their experiences with work and raising children, with a focus on flexible work. Various work arrangements were presented, with some full-time and some part-time options. Below you can find video excerpts of the conversation. In total there should be about 10 short videos. As they are prepared and uploaded, this post will be updated to include them. Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2011 at Collectively Wise
Posted Jul 11, 2011 at Goggle ID
CONVERSATION AT THE THRESHOLD Caregiving on the threshold between life and death has a different quality than when we’re in it for the long run, or even the short-term with the belief that our loved one will fully recover. One of the great gifts of caregiving at the end of life is the opportunity for reconciliation of old wounds given and suffered by both the caregiver and the patient. I call this opportunity, “the goodbye conversation.” Here it is: 1) Here's how I'll always remember you...Another way to say this is "This is what I'll always remember about you..." 2) Thank you for... 3. I forgive you... This one doesn't need to be a list of wrongs. A general statement of forgiveness is really all that it needs to be. Sometimes, depending on the issues involved, it's better to put #4 ahead of this one. 4. Will you forgive me for...? 5) I love you 6) Good-bye. Sometimes there's a need for assurance that the family will be OK without the dying person. That was certainly the case with my dad. The how-tos of having this conversation are: This isn't meant to be a sit-down-with-list-in-hand type of conversation. Just let it flow where and how it will, but when an opening comes to talk about one of these points, take a deep breath and plunge in. There is no need for any of these to be a big, dramatic moment. Small and quiet works very well. It will probably be difficult to take in an apology from your loved one. If you can, accept it, thank him or her for it, and if possible offer up an affirmation. A wise pastor I know says loss changes the texture of our lives. But he also says that it’s not loss alone that changes us. Love does, too. The gift of love and relationship—the willingness to find ways to reconcile at the end of life—changes our lives for the better because it changes the way we think about ourselves. And that holds true for the dying one, too. You are offering them the opportunity to change the ways in which they think about themselves in the brief time that’s left to them. That gift of love is far more powerful than wounds either of you caused at an earlier time in your lives. Blessings, Joanne Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2011 at Collectively Wise
Are you a working mom who plays a role in caring for aging parents? If you have experience with this, or a similar situation please consider participating in a focus group. These groups will be conducted to learn more about the problems and concerns that people have. No product or service will be solicited. Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[guest post by Joanne Reynolds] If you are a caregiver to a loved one who is suffering from dementia, you are experiencing something psychologists call ambiguous loss. It’s a particular form of grief that centers on the fact that you’ve lost the person you know and love as their personalities, memories and ability to function are overtaken by their dementia. It is a particularly painful form of loss because they are still living and you are with them constantly, but they are increasingly gone from you. Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[by Joanne Reynolds] Suzanne Mintz, co-founder and president of the NFCA says 80 percent of long-term care in this country is done by family and friends. She puts it pretty bluntly: “We are the care system.” Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[by Adrienne] I am pleased to say I get to sleep in the same bed with my husband again. I realize it doesn’t sound like something to get up and shout about, but after more than two years of sleeping apart, I’m ecstatic! Why? My husband was tested and diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[by Joanne Reynolds] The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan have featured news coverage that must tug at the heartstrings of every caregiver—the elderly people in care facilities who are unable to leave because of the contamination and have run out of medications. Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[by Joanne] ...conversations with your parents about aging, care and end-of-life issues has to be started early, before there’s a crisis. Ask these types of questions and listen, carefully, to the answers: What are you concerned about? What are you afraid of? What do you hope for? Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[by Kirsten] Why are normal business hours and traditional school hours so poorly aligned? Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[by Joanne] The exercise was pretty simple: Just say one thing you’re grateful for and the person facing you will tell you what they’re grateful for. I spoke about the beautiful day. The person facing me was grateful for safe travel. We switched partners. I spoke of the joy of singing. The person opposite me mentioned having a job that he loved... At the end of the time, the atmosphere in the room had changed markedly. There was energy and laughter where there had been subdued quiet before. Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[by Joanne] Look at the world through your loved one’s eyes, and you’re likely to see a lot of human-made surroundings—medical offices, pharmacies, or even the room or bed in a care institution that has become “home.” If that’s the case, then you should make plans to provide a place where your patient can get in touch with natural surroundings in an outdoor space, or even trough a small touch of nature in a houseplant or two. Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2011 at Collectively Wise
Recently, and this is quite the departure for me, I came across an opportunity to spread the word about another way to help Haiti. One one hand, I'm cautious about the commercial approach. On the other hand, it's intriguing. As a designer and a business person, I have to admit that this approach has it's merits, so let's take a look. As has been shown in other studies, economic improvements are sometimes greater when the aid is not a direct donation. Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2011 at Collectively Wise
[Anon Guest Post] In 2001 my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After years of going thru chemotherapy, radiation, and relapses her body couldn’t take it anymore. ...(we) were told that she only had two months to live, and the best thing to do was to just try to stay comfortable. My family was unwilling to accept this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2010 at Collectively Wise
[by Kirsten] In the United States there are a number of cultural assumptions that form the basis of traditional family life that are typically unspoken. Largely because of the acceptance of these assumptions, systems have been set up and maintained that are counter to the reality for many people. It is assumed that people who do not fit these norms, are at fault and that they should change to fit the assumptions. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2010 at Collectively Wise
[by Kirsten] Oh, no, I'm not talking about interior decorating. No, I'm talking about the juggling act that working, sandwich generation moms do around this time of year. Today, I only forgot the appointment with the speech teacher. I remembered everything else. I think. And 830pm on a school night, is a fine time to start a gingerbread house, is it not? Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2010 at Collectively Wise
We dealt with her job, application for social security disability and all the paperwork requirements for Medicaid, food stamps, social security and indigence assistance (pending Medicaid required by the hospitals). Satisfying the requirements of all these agencies and doing the employment history search was time and resource intensive... The emergency services did not start until March, 2009, and social security disability started in May 2009. When the social security disability started the food stamps were discontinued. We felt overwhelmed once more because the rehabilitation hospital forced us to take my sister into our home and were unsuccessful in helping us search for the appropriate medical bed and equipment needed, but the pending Medicaid helped eventually. Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2010 at Collectively Wise
It's in the news today that Elizabeth Edwards has died. In story after story, she is quickly described as a devoted mother, a champion for healthcare, fighter against cancer and as the estranged wife of a cheating, love-child creating man. Although I know little about her, it sounds like everyone loves her. She is good. And I'm sure, for many who knew her well, or for those who supported her, this is a sad time, and legitimately so. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2010 at Collectively Wise
[anon pers story] I have had discussion with my son, and he has an interesting take on the ADHD diagnosis. He mostly thinks that drugs are not the best answer for treating ADHD. He preferred meeting with the psychologist and engaging in a helpful manner with him. He thought the psychologist had good advice about getting in to good study habits and how to manage his time. My son hasn’t visited the psychologist for several years now, but it is quite obvious that he was a good influence and mentor to my son. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2010 at Collectively Wise
[anon pers story] We had lost him, in many ways, over the time he was in assisted living. He didn't know who we were, who he was, or what was going on around him. Everything was something he wanted to put into his mouth, and nothing kept him entertained. It was one of the most painful things to loose him that way, and I feel like a horrible person saying it, but I was relieved for him when he passed. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2010 at Collectively Wise
[Guest post Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas] There are many reasons for people to be interested in learning a second language. Many may need it to work with a diverse group of people, some are learning it because of the career opportunities available with it, and others are learning it just so they can have a wide variety of communication. The ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience is a unique skill that not many have. This includes bilingual ability, especially with the culture that we are a part of now a days. Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2010 at Collectively Wise