Hi guys! In November, we sat down with some amazing guests, and were so excited to share the stories that we explored. We got to hear about the struggles of connecting symptoms to diagnosis, gruesome life-changing car accidents, and complications from surgeries leading to chronic illness.
Who did we talk to in November? We spoke with Devri Velazquez on living with Takayasu’s arteritis; Anisha Gangotra on her experiences with ulcerative colitis (and PTSD); Dr. Rashmi Mullur about the world of integrative endocrinology; and Jaelin & Natalie Palmer on the former’s struggles with complex regional pain syndrome and trigeminal neuralgia caused by jaw surgery complications.
Anisha Gangotra’s story, in particular, took us for a real ride. She filled us in on the unexpected mental health difficulties that were the lasting effect of a traumatizing car accident, and her journey to discovering a diagnosis of PTSD.
All in all, November was a fantastic month full of great conversations and even greater guests! We highly encourage you to get comfy and catch up on these amazing stories.
Devri Velazquez – or, as she has aptly proclaimed herself, “pretty, sick. chick” – is a content creator, writer, editor, speaker, model, and advocate for chronic illness. She lives with a very rare form of vasculitis called Takayasu’s arteritis. Diagnosed in 2011, she was told by doctors that she might not live to see 30 – and she turned 30 last month! She sat down with Lauren to talk about what motivates her, how she approaches her mindset, and why hard boundaries in her relationships have kept her in good stead.
Anisha Gangotra is an inclusive dance instructor living in the UK, and the sister of former guest Trishna Bharadia. In 2008, at the age of 24, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) – an autoimmune condition that attacks the gut. Shortly after, in 2011, she was a victim in a high-speed car accident; during her long recovery and rehabilitation, she was additionally diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
Dr. Rashmi Mullur is an integrative endocrinologist leading practices at UCLA and the VA in Los Angeles. She received her medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and completed her internal medicine and chief residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. One stunning fact: she takes a longitudinal history of each new patient, and has tailored her schedule to spend as much time with them as they need for appropriate treatment. So, basically: the needle in the proverbial healthcare haystack, and Lauren’s medical hero.
Jaelin Palmer is a 25-year-old activist and organizer living with CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome, or reflex sympathetic dystrophy) and TN (trigeminal neuralgia). She was diagnosed with CRPS at 15, following a jaw surgery gone wrong; the TN diagnosis came much later, despite her extreme chronic facial pain. Her mother, Natalie, joins us in this special mother-daughter interview not only because she is Jaelin’s full-time caregiver, but also because we so value her perspective as the loved one of someone living with chronic invisible illness.