Uninvisible Pod

Uninvisible Pod

An award-winning health podcast about invisible & chronic illness & disability.

Latest From Series

143: Dr. Akilah Cadet, DEIB Specialist Living with Rare Heart Disease & hEDS

Dr. Akilah Cadet is the Founder and CEO of Change Cadet consulting firm, which offers a broad array of anti-racism and diversity services including strategic planning, crisis rebuilding, advising, executive coaching, and facilitation. Cadet (her last name) is a French term that means soldier. As it's often an uphill battle for BIPOC, women, and historically excluded communities to achieve success and equity in the workplace, Change Cadet prepares soldiers of change to overcome these continuous battles so individuals and companies can thrive. Akilah has 15+ years of experience working in various organizations, with both private and public sector companies. She literally has all the degrees (Bachelor of Science in Health Education in Community Based Public Health, a Master of Public Health, and a Doctorate of Health Sciences in Leadership and Organizational Behavior), lives in Oakland, CA, has a rare heart condition, and is a proud Beyoncé advocate…and has just been diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). And on top of all that, she’s the host of the Change Cadet Podcast! Tune in as Dr. Cadet shares: how her early symptoms first manifested the truth about accurate diagnosis: “in order to be diagnosed, you have to be misdiagnosed” how she was diagnosed with coronary artery spasms, or Prinzmetal’s angina; as well as inappropriate sinus tachycardia, pre-atrial contractions (irregular heartbeat), and orthostatic hypertension how she faced her own mortality during the process of being diagnosed what her long-term care looks like with regard to heart health: ER visits and the risk of heart attack the criteria she holds her care providers to why she is still waiting for genetic testing to determine her hEDS type how she manages her symptoms day-to-day — and how so much of that management involves clear communication what true energy management looks like for her why the “ER is nothing but trauma for [her]” — and why healthcare in America is such a mess a conversation about the concepts of intersectionality and inspiration in chronic illness and disability identities her advice for Spoonies and their loved ones
January 5, 2022

142: Racism Is A Public Health Crisis with Dr. Faith Crittenden

Faith Crittenden, MD MPH is a recently-graduated pediatric resident with her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. While a student, she was an active member of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). In 2016, she was appointed as the national liaison for SNMA to AMA — Medical Student Section. She has helped the progression of organized medicine in many ways — most recently is a co-author on several historic policies passed through the AMA House of Delegates, such as: Racism is a Public Health Threat, Racial Essentialism, and Combating Police Brutality. This year, she also added Combating Natural Hair and Cultural Headwear Discrimination in Medical Professionalism to this list. Faith was also the Deputy Editor for the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine March 2021 preventative medicine issue. This TedX alumna has also landed coverage around the country through op-eds and articles featured in Health Affairs, Hartford Courant, CT Mirror, Yale Daily, and Faith knows that in order to change the culture of medicine, we must evaluate and critique the health policies of the past, present, and future. In April 2020, she launched a podcast called Coloring Health Policy which focuses on how health policy impacts minority communities, both domestically and internationally. Faith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, Minor in molecular cell biology with Honors from the University of Connecticut, and Masters of Public Health in Health Policy from Yale University. Tune in as Faith shares: how she has confronted trauma-informed services in healthcare, and how her early experience shaped her interest in medicine the importance of prioritizing mental health care about her historic role in having racism declared a public health crisis by the AMA how hard she and her team worked to have this policy passed by the AMA her hope that more BIPOC train as physicians in the future — and that these recent policy declarations can help pave the way how to get involved in activism locally, to support ongoing work in racial justice and healing the role of Black men in healthcare reform in America where her advocacy work is headed next: to addressing natural hair and cultural headwear discrimination 
December 22, 2021

141: What We Really Mean When We Talk About OCD — With Pooja C. Danay

Pooja C. Danay is a South Asian mental health advocate who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). An actor, entrepreneur, and dancer who specializes in Bollywood dancing (been doing it since she was 5 years old!), she loves traveling and spending time with family and friends. Born and raised in New Jersey and currently living in NYC with her husband, she attended Pace University and the Lubin School of Business. She is proud of her culture: where her family comes from (India) and its rich traditions. She is a huge believer in advocating for what you believe in, and hopes that speaking up and sharing her story can help others and inspire hope.  Tune in as Pooja shares: that she was diagnosed with OCD at the age of 13, but recognized symptoms earlier than that that her symptoms manifested with obsessive thoughts, compulsions, depression, and anxiety that OCD is an anxiety disorder, and the compulsions are usually designed to give someone a sense of control when they don’t feel they have it how her background influenced her approach to mental health care — because mental health and illness can be a taboo topic in South Asian cultures one of the biggest challenges of her diagnosis: finding an appropriate therapist how her diagnosis affected her relationships, especially as a teen why dealing with mental illness is such a lonely experience, especially early on why support and community is as vital as finding the right care providers what ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) is, and how it has helped her mitigate the negative aspects of her disorder how stress can influence her symptoms how OCD affected her in the workplace early in her career, and how it influences her treatment of employees now what we most desperately need to change about American healthcare in order to best serve patients in need her thoughts on using medication to manage her illness her advice for others living with chronic and/or mental illness why we need to destigmatize conversations about mental health and illness
December 8, 2021

140: Rare Diseases Lesotho Founder Nthabeleng Ramoeli

Nthabeleng Ramoeli was born in the small southern African country of Lesotho. At the age of 12, she began to experience chronic pain and subluxation of her joints, in addition to extreme skin elasticity, GI and lung issues, and anapyhlaxis. These symptoms persisted through her admittance to university, where test after test came back inconclusive. So, she began her own research…and stumbled upon Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). While her diagnosis was eventually confirmed, none of the practitioners in her region knew what EDS was — or how to treat it. She found herself arguing with doctors every time she had contact with the medical system, as most couldn’t admit the limit of their own skills and knowledge. In 2014, she was in an accident in which she sustained over 10 broken bones down her spine, among other injuries. A spinal specialist informed her that EDS had saved her life: her joints were so hypermobile, the impact hadn’t shattered her spinal cord…and while she spent close to a year in rehabilitation, she can walk again today. In 2017, she founded Rare Diseases Lesotho Association (RDLA) in order to serve others living with rare disease in her corner of the world — by raising awareness, providing care and education services, and bringing those who feel alone into community. In 2020, this led to the creation of the Rare Diseases African Alliance, which also includes the Rare Diseases Namibian Alliance. As an activist and advocate for EDS and other rare diseases, Nthabeleng has found ways to cope with her diagnosis despite the hardships she faces — and is fueled by helping others live as comfortably and fully as possible with rare disease. Tune in as Nthabeleng shares: when she first started experiencing symptoms of EDS, and how she was diagnosed how she struggled with doctors who didn’t understand her diagnosis and treatment how her constellation of symptoms finally made sense when she discovered EDS in her research her experience in a psychiatric hospital, which further proved her diagnosis was not in her head the degree to which her organs are involved in her EDS type how her diagnosis has impacted her relationships how and why she founded RDLA how disability has transformed her presence in the world how you can support RDLA’s efforts her advice for others living with invisible disability
November 24, 2021

139: The Boys of Bolus Maximus on Life with T1D

The idea behind non-profit community support organization Bolus Maximus began in late 2017 when Matt Tarro and Brandon A. Denson started having weekly discussions about their lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Coming from completely different backgrounds, the two actually had a lot in common — and recognized they both wanted to change the narrative around men’s freedom to express their emotions. Brandon has taken the helm of this movement in an effort to address the sheer lack of Black faces on organizational boards. A stand-out linebacker and walk-on at Michigan State, Brandon has played football at the highest level while living with diabetes (and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice while he was at it). His devotion to community, specifically working with young Black diabetics, is nothing short of inspiring — and his career in the AFL, CFL, and NFL has allowed him to connect with more and more young people living with his condition. Extreme sports suit Brandon’s counter-part, Matt, who grew up in a medical family and spent 10 years in digital advertising, media, and marketing. With a background in creative design and brand development, their work together is just getting started. Fun fact: Brandon was the first Black man with T1D to compete on an aired episode of American Ninja Warrior! As Matt & Brandon say, “Remember: it’s OK to ask for help, show emotions, or have bad days. Let’s talk about tough stuff.” Tune in as Brandon & Matt share: when and how they were both diagnosed with T1D that when they were diagnosed, there was not support for teenage males with T1D how technology advancements in diabetes care has changed their lives how they were inspired to start giving back to their community why chronic illness diagnoses can be so taxing — beyond the physical the impact of Matt’s diabetic alert dog, Forest, on his life how their diagnoses have impacted their relationships what inspires them every day why mental health support is so vital to survival with a chronic illness when and why Matt began to address substance use a discussion of ADA compliance in addressing individuals who work with service animals (and the animals themselves) a discussion of access issues with regard to medical care and equipment for diabetes management why money matters in the healthcare system their advice for living well with T1D
November 10, 2021

138: Morgan Greene — Is, Was, Will Be with MG

Morgan Greene is a chronic illness and holistic wellness blogger and content creator at Is Was Will Be blog. After being diagnosed with rare chronic illness Myasthenia Gravis (MG), Morgan started writing to process her experience — “serving as both therapy and accountability” for her, as she so aptly puts it. As her journey progressed, she found solace in putting into words what many of her fellow Spoonies were experiencing. What started as a hobby has turned into a passion, as Morgan continues to spread awareness about living with chronic illness and inspiring women to live their illest lives. As she details on her blog, “I challenge you not only to share the journey with me, but also to start one of your own. It is my hope that through my words, you will find the fuel to ignite your own personal revolution. That you will finally start living according to your own…happiness. There’s no easy button. It’s not going to happen tomorrow, next week, or even next month. But if you just start, one day you will be able to wake up to a life you made happen.” Tune in as Morgan shares: how her symptoms started, and how she was initially diagnosed the importance of working with a specialist for your condition what her MG treatment looked like — and how a thymectomy brought her MG into remission what MG is: a neuro-autoimmune condition why seeking support and community is vital as a Spoonie how her diagnosis helped her strengthen her self-love practices how MG has changed her approach to exercise how MG has shaped the way she sees her life now how reducing toxins in her daily life has improved her health why holistic wellness has become a major interest for her her top tips for thriving with chronic illness
October 27, 2021

Uninvisible Pod

Uninvisible Pod is a podcast about invisible conditions and chronic invisible illness, featuring interviews with survivors, their loved ones, advocates, and experts in varied healing modalities, from medical to holistic. Hosted by Lauren Freedman, a voice actor, writer, and activist, who lives with depression, anxiety, Hashimoto’s disease, and sleep disorders, Uninvisible uncovers real stories of survival and humanity – complete with laughter. In truth and with candor, we offer solutions – and challenge the world to change.
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Lauren Freedman

Lauren Freedman

Lauren Freedman is a voice actor, writer, and activist who lives in Los Angeles. Originally from NYC, she has lived with depression and anxiety since she was a teen, and was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and sleep disorders in 2017. This sparked her interest in the invisible illness community and her fellow “Spoonies”, with whom she wishes to commune and share information, inspiration, and comfort while advocating for greater awareness. Lauren graduated from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art with a BA (Hons) in Acting in 2008. She’s a longtime student of the School of Hard Knocks and What’s-A-Matta-U. Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

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Creating Healthcare IT with Cliff Illig, Co-founder of Cerner Corporation This episode is hosted by Day Zero Advisory Council Member Donald Trigg, Former President, Cerner Corporation.