Hi guys! Here’s the latest in all things Univisible Pod. Thanks for tuning in this month and for reading our May 2019 Monthly Round Up.
Wow. What a month! We’re really at a loss for words. We had an Uninvisible Pod first: a guest who — out of respect for her privacy — we have given an alias so that she can feel comfortable sharing her story publicly. We want to be able to encourage all of our guests to speak the truth and do so freely. This is most definitely a safe space. You are with us, and we are with you. We stand together.
May was a busy month. We had five guests on the show who really helped to put things in perspective. To give an overview, we spoke with Alison Yates on depression, anxiety, digestive issues, and chronic migraines; Jameisha Prescod, founder of You Look Okay To Me, on living with chronic illness and disability in the U.K.; Ilene on rape, endometriosis survival, and misconceptions about the female reproductive system in medicine; Em & Kate Miller of Two Being Healthy on the importance of connection and friendship when living with invisible illness; and Noah Gardner on life with Type 1 Diabetes and the community he has built in his post-diagnosis life.
Alison Yates is a comedienne and actor, producer, writer, photographer, social media manager, website designer, and skincare consultant (phew!); she performs sketch and comedy regularly with Second City and the Groundlings, and has a production company called The People Zoo. In addition to everything just mentioned, she’s lived with migraines since she was 6 years old, and depression and anxiety since she was 15; she very clearly sees the direct link between her migraines and her mental health symptoms.
Jameisha Prescod is a London-based activist who lives with lupus, Raynaud’s, and femoroacetabular impingement (FAI); she is also waiting on possible diagnoses of endometriosis and celiac disease. She is the founder of You Look Okay To Me, an online platform for pain and chronic illness that is chock-full of content about invisible illness, disability, and their roles in tech, art, culture … and everyday life. In this episode, Jameisha sits down with Lauren to talk about gaslighting in the medical industry, and how this has affected her not only as a woman, but also as a woman of color; she also talks about her journey to diagnosis, self-advocacy, and her experience of workplace discrimination.
In an effort to preserve this guest’s privacy, we are using an alias in this episode – an Uninvisible Pod first! Ilene is an award-winning 6th-grade elementary school teacher. She is also a survivor of rape, “endometrial symptoms” (aka, undiagnosed endometriosis – chronic pain that was only compounded by her sexual assault), and hypothyroidism. She joins Lauren for a no-holds-barred conversation about how her health and physical experiences have affected her emotional world, and informed the woman she is today.
Em & Kate are the sisters behind the wellness blog Two Being Healthy. Both live with lupus, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), mast cell activation disorder (MCAD), and cytochrome mutations (which have affected their ability to metabolize certain drugs). Having spent much of their adult lives living with and navigating the symptoms of invisible illness, the two act as co-advocates for one another and have been by each other’s side through their ups and downs.
Noah Gardner is a scientist based in Massachusetts. He was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes in 1995, at the age of 12. While this autoimmune condition is genetic, his diagnosis came completely out of the blue — both for him and for his family. Noah is married with a toddler, working at biotech company Intellia Therapeutics on gene editing. And he is here to share his story with us!