Situation Positive Podcast

Matt Cavallo

Interviews with individuals who are living with their best positive life despite the challenges of having a chronic illness. read less
Health & FitnessHealth & Fitness
Chronic Illness: Why We Don’t Talk About It and What Needs to Change
Apr 26 2022
Chronic Illness: Why We Don’t Talk About It and What Needs to Change When you think about it, we talk about everything else. We talk about our families, our jobs, our vacations. But when it comes to chronic illness, we clam up. Why is that? Over 157 million people in the US have 1 or more chronic illnesses and yet we don't talk about them. Maybe it's because we are afraid of being judged? Maybe we think people won't want to be around us if they know we have a chronic illness? Whatever the reason, this needs to change. We need to be able to talk freely and safely about our chronic illness journey. We all know someone who has a chronic illness, whether it's a family member, friend, or co-worker. But even though it's so common, we don't talk about it. Why is that? Maybe it's because we think people with chronic illnesses are somehow different from us and that they must be treated differently. Or maybe we're just afraid of saying the wrong thing and making them feel uncomfortable. Chronic Illness Definition A chronic illness is a long-term conditions, lasting a year or longer, that can't be cured but can be managed with treatment. Chronic illnesses can include diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as conditions like arthritis and asthma. One in two Americans has a chronic illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're one of the millions of Americans living with a chronic illness, you know that it's not always easy to manage your condition. But with the right treatment and support, you can live a full and productive life. List of Common Chronic Illnesses Chronic Illnesses can be common like multiple sclerosis or COPD, or can be a rare disease. MedlinePlus provides the following as a list of common chronic illnesses: Alzheimer disease and dementiaArthritisAsthmaCancerCOPDCrohn diseaseCystic fibrosisDiabetesEpilepsyHeart diseaseHIV/AIDSMood disorders (bipolar, cyclothymic, and depression)Multiple sclerosisParkinson disease The Importance of Communication If we can talk about our chronic illnesses, then we can start to break down the barriers that keep us from living our best lives. We deserve to live life to the fullest! And we are here to support you on your journey. So come talk to us, we're listening! Communication about chronic illness is the key. We need to talk about it so that we can understand it better. And by talking about it, we can help break the stigma that surrounds chronic illness. So let's start the conversation today. At Situation Positive, we are changing the conversation about chronic illness. We have created an inclusive community to share chronic illness stories. We believe that by sharing our stories, we can help others feel less alone on their chronic illness journey. Join us today and be a part of the change! At Situation Positive, we are changing the conversation about chronic illness. We have created an inclusive community to share chronic illness stories. So come on over and join the conversation! Let's talk about chronic illness! Please visit: for more information or to join our community! Thank you for reading :) #chronicillnessawareness #endthestigma #situationpositive Follow Us on Social Media For more content about living your best life with chronic illness, please follow us on social media. We are a nonprofit community for people living with chronic illness. Your follow helps our community grow. We thank you for your support!
Dennis Hurley: Actor, Advocate, and Albino – His life with albinism and info about the upcoming N.O.A.H. conference
Apr 20 2022
Dennis Hurley: Actor, Advocate, and Albino – His life with albinism and info about the upcoming N.O.A.H. conference Dennis Hurley is an actor, advocate, and albino. He has been living with albinism since birth and has spoken about his experiences in the media. Dennis will be participating at the upcoming N.O.A.H. conference July in Orlando, Florida. In this Situation Positive podcast interview, Dennis talks about about his life with albinism and how it's affected his ability to find work in the entertainment industry. Below is the transcript of our interview. You can also click on the video above to watch the interview, or listen on one of our podcast channels by scrolling to the bottom of the page. Dennis Hurley Interview [00:00:00] Matt: You may know him from sitcoms, like Superstore, [00:00:10] Dennis: Rats gave birth in nacho cheese. Cooked themselves to death. Yeah. [00:00:22] Matt: Or, Justin Timberlake's can't fight the feeling video. We have actor and comedian, Dennis Hurley on our show, Dennis, welcome to the show. [00:00:47] Dennis: Thank you, Matt. It's great to be back. It's been about five years. I'm so glad to be back on your podcast. [00:00:54] Matt: Yeah. You know, and since then we've launched the new podcast Situation Positive. And we're excited that you could join us on this journey. I know you wanted to be here today to talk about a conference you're attending, is that correct? [00:01:09] Dennis: Yes. Yes. This would be my fourth conference with NOAH. NOAH's the national organization for albinism and hypopigmentation, they're a non-for-profit charity. And their goal is to spread awareness and help people with this specific condition of albinism gain information and also fellowship within the community. [00:01:38] Matt: I think community is important that sense of fellowship, that sense of knowing that you're not going through it alone is so important. You know, not to get back to Justin Timberlake, but is NOAH going to make you dress like a happy grocery store guy and dance? [00:01:57] Dennis: I, I think they need to do something different. Cause the last conference was at after we spoke last, it was 2018 and it was in Kansas City, Kansas, and yeah, Matt, you probably seen the video of me dancing with the kids on stage at the hotel in Kansas. But you know, it's, it's, it's been a while since maybe they'll have me do it again, but. They might try to one-up it. I don't know. We'll see. [00:02:25] Matt: So where is the gathering this year? [00:02:28] Dennis: The gathering kind of ironically is in Orlando, Florida. You know, w because a bunch of people with very pale skin, it's, you don't think of Florida being the place to go, but, but, you know, Disney World is there and a kid kids love Disney. So yeah, it's going to be mid-July. At a hotel in Orlando and I'm looking forward to it. [00:02:57] Matt: And are we doing any special performances this year at the conference. [00:03:01] Dennis: Oh, that's, that's interesting because as you mentioned, the last conference in 2018 the 2020 conference was obviously online because of COVID, but in 2018, I ran a workshop for kids doing improv. I don't really teach that much, but I was happy to teach the kids some just basic you know, improv games back then. And as you said, I did the Timberlake video at the beginning to open the conference or we re-danced to it this year. It's going to be a little different. There are still going to be lots of fun activities for kids, but they want to expand it. You know, adults with, with albinism too. So we're, we're actually doing a comedy night and they've hired a local improv team and I'm going to open the show by doing about 10, 15 minutes of stand up, so. [00:03:47] Matt: Oh, wow. That's awesome. [00:03:49] Dennis: Yeah, I'm excited because I'm a little rusty because of COVID. I haven't been able to go out and do stand-up, like in Boston. Or back in the day in Los Angeles. So, but I'm sure I'll groove right back into it.
Why Your Man Spends So Much Time in the Bathroom
Mar 18 2022
Why Your Man Spends So Much Time in the Bathroom Urination is an important function of the body, but as men age it can become more difficult, time consuming, and frustrating. Urination may be painful, difficult, or impossible for men due to various causes such as an enlarged prostate due to Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Men tend to suffer in silence with urination problems. A man may be unable to urinate due to an enlarged prostate, a spinal cord injury, medical condition or even a stroke. If the muscles of the bladder and urethra are weak, then urination may be difficult for men. Some men have trouble emptying their bladder leading to an increased urge or frequency to urinate. Waking up during the night to pee several times is a reality for many men. What men may not know is that this could be a sign of an enlarged prostate. In this article, we are going to focus specifically on the problems an enlarged prostate can cause, and how to find relief. What is a Urologist A urologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the urinary system and the male reproductive organs. Urologists may also provide general medical care for men. Some of the most common problems that urologists treat include urinary tract infections, bladder cancer, kidney stones, and prostate enlargement. What is a Prostate Gland The prostate is a male reproductive gland located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. The prostate helps produce semen by mixing its fluids with sperm produced by the testicles. For men who are twenty five or older, the prostate begins to grow. The prostate is the largest gland in the body. It can be up to 3 inches (8 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. When the prostate is healthy, the gland produces a milky-white substance called prostatic fluid. This fluid drains from the urethra and joins with semen to create semen­containing fluids. A man's prostate grows in size as he ages. What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition in older men that results from an overgrowth of prostate tissue. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder that helps produce semen. As men age, the prostate may grow larger and press on the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body). This can cause difficulty in urinating, such as a weak urine stream or the need to urinate frequently, especially at night. BPH is not cancer, but it can lead to other problems such as urinary tract infection or bladder stones. Image from: This condition is common in men over 50 years old, but the prostate commonly starts to at about 25 years old. BPH can cause problems with urination. Men who have problems urinating experience symptoms such as trouble starting or stopping the stream of urine, a weak urinary stream, and a feeling that the bladder has not been emptied completely after urination.  A urologist can diagnose BPH by doing a physical exam and by ordering blood and urine tests. The urologist may also order an ultrasound or a CT scan of the prostate. A urologist may also or urodynamic testing to diagnose BPH. Urodynamics can also help determine the cause of BPH and its progression. Image from: Common Treatments for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia There are several treatments available for BPH, including medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Lifestyle changes include diet, exercise, lowering alcohol and caffeine consumption, and quitting smoking. Surgery is also an option to help with BPH. There are many medication options that can treat Benign prostatic hyperplasia. These medications are broken down into different categories such as alpha blockers,
Why Me? How Did I End Up Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness?
Mar 15 2022
Why Me? How Did I End Up Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness? Hey everybody. It's Matt Cavallo from Situation Positive. I want to talk to you today about putting together the pieces of your chronic illness, where it might've come from. How did it get diagnosed? Why was it you who ended up with the condition that you had? I was diagnosed with MS in 2005. And that's been a question I've been trying to answer for myself for a long time. The short answer is that you almost never know why you got something. There could be pieces of something that give you some evidence along the way, but you know, to be able to pinpoint the exact cause time, place, and event that caused you to go on to have a chronic illness. The likelihood is very small, but you can put together a pretty good idea based on things like familial history. Did you have it in your family? Environmental exposures, you know, did you live in an area that. You know, is common for this disease. And was there something in that area that you may have been exposed to unwittingly? Those are some of the factors, but I read an interesting study a little while back. And for those of you who read some of the magazine articles, I write I published this at the MS Foundation the MS Focus magazine last month. Late last year, there was a Swedish study that was a cohort population study of over 2 million people. And what they found was in the absence of any kind of other factors, like familial and some of the other ones we just talked about if you had the Epstein Barr virus as a kid or an adolescent, you were more likely to develop MS as an adult. And for those of you who don't know what Epstein Barr is one of the things that Epstein Barr can do is give you mononucleosis. Or mono. You know, many of us know it as the kissing disease. Right? A lot of maybe your friends got it in high school from kissing, you know, I, I don't think I was that lucky. So but I thought, cause I definitely didn't have it as an adolescent, but I kind of remembered mono for some reason. So I wanted to call my mom and find out. Why do I feel like I had mono? And so I called her up, I was like, ma did I ever have mono growing up? And she paused. And she was like, why do you want to know? And I said, you know, I read the study out of Sweden that people had mono as a kid or an adolescent went on to have MS a lot of the time, like a good percentage of the time. And she was like, I don't know if it was the end of preschool or the end of kindergarten, but you did have mononucleosis. And she specifically remembered that during that summer, I must've got at the end of the year, because during that summer I was a little, you know, small kid. I had no energy and I slept a lot. And we didn't really get invited to many family cookouts that year because everybody was afraid of mono. I know I just called mono the kissing disease, but it's actually a disease that's easy to transmit. You know, if you take a sip of a glass of somebody who had mono. You could get mono if you shared a fork or you know, a spoon or took a bite of somebody else's dish and they had mono, you could easily contract mono. You know, for me, I wish I had some juicy story about how I got it kissing, but I probably got it from sharing a juice box at recess. So now I have this disease. And the pieces of the puzzle start to come together a little bit more closely. So I had mono as a, as a real young child. My aunt Loretta had MS. So I'm starting to see the puzzle pieces come together. I may never have those answers and that's okay. But I can start to, you know, kind of identify some areas in life where hey, these exposures or these things that have happened to me, there was a greater likelihood that I was going to go on and develop MS
What Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know
Mar 15 2022
What Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know Introduction: The high cost of prescription drugs Prescription drug prices have been increasing at alarming rates in recent years, leaving many people struggling to afford the medications they need. The high cost of prescription drugs can have a devastating impact on patients’ health and finances, leading some people to forgo treatment or to ration their medication. In addition, the cost of prescription drugs is placing a growing burden on our healthcare system. There are several factors that contribute to the high cost of prescription drugs. One reason is that the pharmaceutical industry is highly profitable and able to charge high prices for their products. Drug companies also spend billions of dollars on marketing and advertising, which drives up the cost of medications. And while the federal government has taken some steps to reduce drug costs, such as allowing imports from Canada, much more needs to be done. We need to take action to reduce the high cost of prescription drugs. The average American spends more than $1,000 a year on prescription drugs. Still, those costs are expected to rise by 40 percent over the next decade. The good news is that there are programs available to help with the cost burden.Many people are unaware of how to save money on prescription drug costs, and pharmaceutical companies want you to remain in the dark. Many people believe that they need to spend a high amount of money on prescriptions in order to maintain good health, but this is not always the case. In fact, there are many ways to save money on prescription drug costs without sacrificing your health. To begin with, make sure you are familiar with your prescription drug benefits. Many insurance companies offer discounts on medications if they are bi-weekly or monthly prescriptions. You can also save money on prescription drugs by taking a generic drug. Generic medications are the same as their brand name counterparts, but they cost less because they are manufactured by a different company. Some generic drug manufacturers even offer the same exact medication at a lower price than the brand name. The problem with pharmaceutical companies and drug costs Pharmaceutical companies are often criticized for the high cost of prescription drugs. Drug prices have been increasing at a rate much higher than the rate of inflation, and this is putting a strain on both consumers and healthcare providers. The problem is that pharmaceutical companies can charge whatever they want for their drugs, because there is no real competition in the market. There are a few reasons for this. First, the government has granted pharmaceutical companies exclusive rights to manufacture certain drugs. Second, it can be very expensive to develop new drugs, so pharmaceutical companies need to charge high prices in order to recover their costs. Finally, there is little regulation of drug prices, so pharmaceutical companies can get away with charging whatever they want. This is why people are often shocked to find out that pharmaceutical companies can charge exorbitant prices for their drugs. For example, the drug EpiPen was originally sold for $150 per shot, but as of 2022, it is now being sold for over $650 to $700 per dose. Ways to save money on prescription drug costs Prescription drug costs can be expensive, especially if you are taking multiple medications. However, there are ways to save money on your prescription drug costs. To begin with, make sure you are familiar with your prescription drug benefits. Many insurance companies offer discounts on medications if they are bi-weekly or monthly prescriptions. Become familiar with your formulary, which is the list of prescription drugs included in your health insurance plan. There are also different medication tiers on your formulary. Here are six tips to help you reduce your medication expenses: Ask your doctor if there is a less expensive alternative to t...
Belly Fat and Chronic Illness Week 5
Mar 2 2022
Belly Fat and Chronic Illness Week 5 Hey everybody. It is Matt Cavallo and I'm checking in with you on my weight loss journey. Now last week ended our medical weight loss journey. That was the first month of the program. Where we were eating certain foods and we were also having medication to help aid us to get the weight loss started. Just to recap, in week one, I started at 243 pounds by BMI and body fat percentage standards. I was obese. I had a problem area, which was belly fat. Belly fat’s a dangerous fat because it can cause all kinds of serious health problems like heart disease. Week two, I started to show some progress. Week three I reached a major milestone. Week four saw even more progress. I even shared the Skilly, or skinny Philly, a diet dish my wife and I created. You can see these videos and more on our YouTube channel. We finished the medication. It's been a week since I last checked in but my wife and I decided to continue. The weight loss. So I started at 243 pounds in 30 days, I got down to 215 pounds. And that was still about 20 pounds away from my goal weight. And you know, my wife and I just kept talking about how good we were feeling by eating clean by not having processed foods by not having carbohydrates, sugars, or starches. We were really starting to, in addition to the weight loss, we were just really starting to feel better. So we wanted to keep it going. We, we added back some healthy fats, like avocados and nuts and that kind of stuff. Some hummus, but we're still not eating carbs or sugars or starches. So without further ado, let's see how I did with one week off of the medication and just eating clean. 210.2 pounds. Wow. So lost another five pounds. And now I'm medication-free I really got that jumpstart I wanted. Cause you know, really what was happening was I felt like I was in a rut. I felt like I got to a place where I wasn't feeling great and my weight ballooned to a point it had never been. And I just felt like I couldn't sustain. I couldn't, I couldn't do anything to change that. So participating in a program that was monitored by a doctor and had a little bit of a boost to start made a huge difference. But what happened along the way was. We started to build some great habits. We started to feel good and we knew that feeling good, had to do with eliminating certain things from our diet. So I've been in this shirt every time we've weighed in. And you see, my stomach is really getting flat. Like I am not sucking this in at all. You know, my shirt fits me a lot better. And thank you to some of you on social media, who've been commenting on my shirt. So, this is my dog Barry, and this is Jasper. I have two Havanese twin puppies. So you know, I like showing them off whenever I can, even if it's on a t-shirt. And now, thankfully, my shirt finally is starting to fit me better and all my clothes are fitting me better. And I feel great. I feel like when I look in the mirror, it's the person that I used to know. You know, I really feel like I've lost a lot of weight around my face and I'm seeing really a lot of definition in my face and I'm feeling, and I'm looking younger. And so that has been what it's meant to me. You know, it was a lot of sacrifices. It was a hard journey to get going. And I missed all of the foods I knew and loved, but I had a goal of being able to. I just feel more comfortable in my own skin. You know, I had a lot of health problems that were happening as a result of my weight, the acid reflux, the hip bursitis you know, a lot of weakness in my right side. So I was walking with a limp. Now, all of that stuff is starting to subside. I haven't needed my acid reflux medicine in a couple of weeks. You know, I'm sleeping through the night without pain. And my limp scan is a little bit better. But I'm going to be starting a fitness program with a physical trainer. I can't wait to bring you guys that footage. That's going to be definitely interesting.
What It’s Like to be Diagnosed with MS
Mar 2 2022
What It’s Like to be Diagnosed with MS I remember it like it was yesterday. It was May 2005. My wife just woke me up because she was going to work. She was a school counselor and she would leave a lot earlier than I did. So she would wake me up before she left to say goodbye. I had to get up. I was a real estate developer working in Boston at the time, and I had to get up and get ready and start my day. Plus I really had to use the bathroom. So I, as I tried to sit up in bed and swing my legs over and put my feet on the ground, I noticed that my legs are really heavy. And as my feet touched the ground, we have tile floor and tile is usually cold in the morning. But I couldn't feel the cold. Not only that I had these pins and needles in my, my feet. Like I had slept on them wrong, but that had happened before it usually resolves in a minute or two. So I kinda pushed myself up out of bed. And as I did, I noticed that my legs were numb all the way up. I'd never had anything like that happen before. So I'd had like pins and needles in my feet, but never all the way up in my legs, let alone both legs and both feet. So I was like, this is interesting. And I started thinking, I went to the gym the night before, so maybe I had pinched a nerve in my back or something. But I still really had to go to the bathroom. And even though it was interesting nature calls, so I tried to walk, but it was like I was stuck in glue. I couldn't move at all. So I would have to push myself off the wall and then kind of waddle and push from wall to wall to get down the hall to the bathroom. And when I got to the bathroom, the plumbing wasn't working. And I don't mean the toilet. As soon as I realized that I couldn't go to the bathroom on my own. I knew that there was something seriously wrong and I needed to seek medical attention. The problem was that my wife was already at work and being a school counselor. It's very hard to reach her during the day. So I knew I was going to have to get to my primary care physician on my own. And so even though I could barely walk and I couldn't feel my feet, I did what a big dumb guy would do. And I got myself down to my truck. I pulled myself up into it and I use my legs to press down on the gas. And I got over to my primary care office. It was 2005. They didn't have Uber at the time. So I, I did the best I could with what I got and all of a sudden, I'm in my physician's office and it was a new physician. I had never seen this guy before. And he had a kind of a nervous mannerism to him. And I could tell right away that he had never seen something like this before. Here I am. I'm thinking it's a pinched nerve. But he would say things like Matt, wait right there. I going to make a phone call and he'd leave the room and come back and do some tests, then he'd be like, I need to go make another phone call. You go, come back, make another test. And each time he was like, just nervous with his mannerisms. One of the times he even did that. A one-finger white glove test. I didn't think I would get until I was like in my fifties. And then he left again. He finally comes back. And at this point I'm scared. I'm like, I don't understand why he's coming and going. I don't understand why he's nervous. And he's like, Matt, I need you to see a neurologist. And I'm in real estate development at the time. So I knew that neurology was the study of the brain, but I had no idea how my brain was connected to my numb feet and legs. So I got myself home. And it wasn't safe. I wish I had never done that, but I did. And when I got home, I pulled myself up into the house and onto a couch and I called the neurologist number that he gave me and the scheduler was like, we don't have an appointment for three months. And I'm like, whoa, I can't walk. I can't go to the bathroom. My PCP said I need to get in there right away. And she's like, well, if you're having symptoms, we can fill you in on Monday. Now,
Happy Rare Disease Day!
Feb 28 2022
Happy Rare Disease Day! Hey everybody. It's Matt from Situation Positive, and I want to wish you all a Happy Rare Diseases Day! Did you know that across the world, there are more than 300 million people living with a rare disease? And unlike MS, which I have and is the most common neurological disorder, a lot of people living with rare diseases don't have the same kind of opportunities that diseases like MS have that have such a large population base. From They don't have the strength in numbers, the strength in organization, or even the research dollars to carry forward their mission and try to get closer to treatments and cures. So I want to take this time and say that everyone with a rare disease, we are here for you. From Situation Positive is a nonprofit community for all the people living with chronic illness, whether you have a rare disease,or like I do something like MS, you are welcome, you are included in our community and we're happy you're here. My name's Matt Cavallo. This has been Situation Positive. Please like, and subscribe to our channel. From It helps us grow and it helps get the word out to some of those people living with rare diseases. And if you're one of those rare disease members come on and join us. We welcome you to our community. Remember, no matter your situation, you can turn it positive.
How to anticipate stressful events
Feb 27 2022
How to anticipate stressful events Hey everybody, it's Matt from Situation Positive. If you're living with a chronic illness, like I am, you know, that stress is the enemy. So what are some of the ways you could combat stress? One of the ways, and the way that I want to focus on in this video is to anticipate a stressful event so that way you can plan to minimize the stress. So what do, I mean? Let's say you're going on a vacation. Prior to going on vacation, I would say about 24 hours before departure, your stress level is going to slowly creep up till it hits 10. Right? And around the time, a couple of hours before you have to go to the airport. Your stress has got to be at an all-time high. Now, why is that? It's because you're thinking about what did I not do? What did I not pack? What am I forgetting? Who did I forget to tell? Did I make all the right lists? I mean, just a million different things about leaving your home to go on a relaxing vacation. Can conjure up an extremely high amount of stress. So what can you do to avoid that? So to avoid stress for an event that you can predict, like traveling, one of the things you should do is start early. Okay. So I'm going on a trip next week. So I've got about seven days to get everything I need to be done. So I have arranged the dog sitter way in advance, so I don't have to worry about my dogs. I have we're going to international. So I've called my phone company. So I'm not going to expect any kind of roaming or those kinds of charges. You know, we identify all of the clothes that we're going to wear. Not only for me and my wife but the kids. So it's a week out and we already know what to pack and we've actually started packing because we know what we want to bring down there. We're able to set that stuff aside and get the bags packed way early. We spent this weekend getting all this stuff we need, we're going to an island. We're going to an island in the Caribbean. And we got plenty of stuff we need down there. And we're talking about, you know, suntan lotion after sun lotion you know, all of our toiletries you know, any kind of. Medicine for headaches or stuff like that, you know we're making sure that all that stuff gets done. And we started with the checklist. What we did was put everything on this checklist. So as we get through each thing, we check it off, check it off, check it off and you know, what's happening. We're not stressed about next week. We know that the plane is going to take off at a certain time. We're going to be there and we're prepared. And that feeling of preparedness, we're able to anticipate a stressful moment and minimize it. It's that kind of thing. And you know what it's hard to do, especially you got kids, you got a busy life. A lot of times we late wait till the last moment with everything right. But if you know, it's going to be an event that could trigger stress you could plan for it ahead of time. I know we did. And you know, to quote the great Bob Marley, we're not worried about a thing cause we know everything's going to be all right. And we're prepared for it. My name's Matt Cavallo. This has been Situation Positive. Remember, no matter your situation, you can turn it positive.
How to turn weakness into strength
Feb 25 2022
How to turn weakness into strength Fitness expert, champion bodybuilder, and MS advocate, David Lyons, teaches Matt and Tara the importance of community when starting (and sticking to) a fitness routine when you have a chronic illness. David talks about mindset, goal setting, and the importance of joining the right program. David shares tips from his Optimal Body Personal Fitness program. You can find David on Facebook where he shares awesome fitness tips and videos. This is part four of our interview with David. The transcript is below. You can also watch the video or listen to our podcast. [00:00:00] Matt: Hey everybody. My name's Matt and this is Tara, and we're from Situation Positive. We're here today with our good friend David Lyons of Optimal Body Personal Fitness. Um, we're here for a special workout because we joined the program and we wanted to learn more about it. David welcome to the show. [00:00:24] David: Thanks for having me guys. So I appreciate it. And you know, something I'm going to get you guys in top shape and I'm going to get you guys feeling better but more important than that, I'm going to get your brains connected to those muscles of yours. [00:00:37] Tara: Alright, so we're ready to get started if you are? [00:00:45] Matt: So those two are great. I like how it's convertible right. Because one of the things I don't want to have to do is move. Like, if I'm throwing this over a door. That's already hard enough to do. Is there a third one that comes out of this or? [00:00:59] David: Oh yeah. I mean, we can do our triceps right now. Now I can show you a triceps movement where it's going to be in the same position as well. The thing is there are groups of muscles that we're working together. Usually, we're doing our chest, our back, and our shoulders on day one. Okay. The next day we're doing our legs so that we're not doing our upper body giving a chance to rest. The third day we go and we do triceps and biceps. So went back to your upper body. The next day is a rest day. So we need to take one or two days off depending on how you feel, but no more than two days of rest, then you do that three-day cycle. Again, there are multiple training methods in my program. So this is only one type of training method. We change training methods over time. So whether do you need 30 days, which would be 10 cycles of this, or whether you need 90 days, which would be 30 cycles of this, you will then change that training method when you feel your body says, okay, I get it. I'm starting to adapt a little bit and you. You get to feel that you understand that your body does adapt. Some people adapt quicker than others. So you want to push forward faster. But no, no less than 30 days. No more than 90 days and anywhere in the middle of that is okay. After 90 days, it's enough. Even if you're thinking that I'm not feeling a hundred percent, the way I want you to move forward, we cannot let our bodies adapt our bodies are lazy. They want to adapt. They're going to find a way to not get any results. So if you trick it into putting a different training method in front of it, it's going to start getting results. So we're constantly forcing our body to get results by doing different training methods that create those three processes. Contraction training, there's stretch training, there's one and a half rep training. There's negative resistance training, there's time and detention training. So there are a lot of different terms to these training methods, all of which are in the program. But let's talk about our triceps and I'll show you how to do one movement for our triceps. So you're in the same position. We're stepping back for enough that we feel resistance to the band. We're locking our elbows into the side. Okay. So we're not up here. We are using our elbows as the pivot point of this movement and we're squeezing. So we're holding the triceps in this squeeze contracted position. 1, 2,
Finding a rare disease specialist when all else has failed
Feb 24 2022
Finding a rare disease specialist when all else has failed Hey everybody, it's Matt from Situation Positive. Do you believe that people are put in your path for a reason? I know that I do. I want to share with you a story about a chance encounter I had at a salon a couple of weeks ago with a mother, who had lost all hope in finding a rare disease specialist for her daughter. Now I've been going to the same stylist for about the last 12 years or so. And we're old friends at this point and she fits me in, she'll have a color appointment and then she'll fit me in well that color's processing. And at my last hair appointment, we were just launching the Situation Positive website and all of these videos that we're doing. So I was telling her all about that and what some of the content that we've been discussing here on our channel has been. And as my haircuts finishing the, the client whose color was processing stopped me. And she was like, Matt, I think that I was here for a reason today. And she started telling me this story about her five-year-old daughter. Now this woman started noticing Issues with her daughter around two years old. She started noticing that she was delayed with speech delayed with walking all these functional delays and that they weren't getting better. And so about three or so years ago, she started on this journey to find a diagnosis for her daughter and she was getting emotional. And I was getting pretty emotional too. She was showing me videos of this beautiful little girl and some of her episodes, she had been to every doctor in town and she just couldn't get a diagnosis. She couldn't find that one practitioner that says, hey, I know what this is, and I can help you. As a matter of fact, the door was closing on her everywhere she went. And like she told me the story about how she went to see a world-renowned epilepsy doctor, a neurologist pediatric neurologist. And that person was like, you know, did some film studies. And I was like, I can't help you. And she just was dejected. She was telling me she didn't feel like a good person, that she was letting everybody down. She's losing sleep. She was spending all this money on all these appointments and she's going nowhere. And I said, honestly, you know, it was good that the doctor told you that she couldn't help you because rather than go all the way through that diagnosis process, just to rule it out, the doctor told you right away that it's not epilepsy. Okay. So that means it's something else. And as I started to talk, she started to listen because what I had been doing while she was talking to me with typing different key words into Google on my phone, I wrote down rare disease neurologic metabolic. Providers and I just started doing this combination of key words. And as she's talking, I talked to her a little bit about Phoenix as a town, and you guys may live in a city like Phoenix too. So, you know, Phoenix is not a hub of rare diseases. We have some really good doctors here. Right. And but rare disease specialists, Arizona's a tourism town, right? So a lot of what we have coming through here is going to be either geared towards the aging population or regular medicine, regular evaluate and treat stuff. You know, rare diseases tend to be more in medical hubs. And Arizona has wonderful doctors. It's just not what they see here. So I knew as she was talking to me that she wasn't going to find what she needed in the local service area. So as I'm Googling stuff, I find this hospital in Washington, DC, that treats children, a pediatric hospital treats children around her daughter's age for rare metabolic diseases. I found the number of the admissions person, the person that you would call if you want to consult, because this woman had done all her homework, she had all the medical records. She had all the film studies. She had all the lab work. She had all the doctor's notes. She had everything she needed.
Belly Fat and Chronic Illness Week 4
Feb 23 2022
Belly Fat and Chronic Illness Week 4 Hey everybody. It is Matt Cavallo checking in with you at the end of week four of my weight loss journey. Just to recap, in week one, I started at 243 pounds by BMI and body fat percentage standards. I was obese. I had a problem area, which was belly fat. Belly fat’s a dangerous fat because it can cause all kinds of serious health problems like heart disease. Week two, I started to show some progress. Week three I reached a major milestone. I even shared the Skilly, or skinny Philly, a diet dish my wife and I created. You can see these videos and more on our YouTube channel. I was really concerned because I carry all my weight in my belly. Belly fat is a dangerous fat. It can lead to all kinds of health problems, like heart disease. For me, it caused acid reflux. Now the acid reflux wreaked havoc on my life. It was causing chest pains. It was causing laryngitis. And I also went through periods of hiccuping, as a matter of fact, this time last year I hiccuped for two weeks straight, they call it intractable hiccups and there was nothing we could do about it. So that's when I started to get serious about looking at weight loss options because the truth is when I looked in the mirror, I didn't feel like I was that heavy. You know, I had gradually. Bought bigger size clothes and the clothes fit me okay. You know, I work from home. So I was being comfortable. I didn't realize the slow increase of weight that I was having from staying at home every day from not going out and exercising from working way too close to the kitchen and the pantry. But as the acid reflux started to wreak havoc on my life, I knew I had to take action, and any change you make in your life, you have to be willing to take that action to take that first step. And the first step is the hardest before I started this medical weight loss program, actually the night before. I went out and I got a large pizza and I ate it because I was so afraid I was gonna miss pizza. Right. And four weeks into this journey, I got to smell pizza once at Costco and it was nostalgic, but I don't miss the way that pizza made me feel. I might miss the taste, but all of those foods that I love after I eat them, I didn't feel great. You know, I just want to go lay down and I'm really, I couldn't participate in any activity after I ate for a while. I need that to change. I need my acid reflux to clear up. I don't want to be at risk for heart disease. I have multiple sclerosis and I have weakness on my right side. I have a little bit of a pronounced limp. I also have hip bursitis. So when I sleep on my right side, it hurts. So I'm constantly waking up in the middle of the night because I hurt my hip. So these are the reasons that I decided to take action. So we started at two forty-three, two hundred and forty-three pounds a month ago. Let's see where we're at right now. 215.6 lbs. Wow! I am down. I can't do math really well, but 243 down to 215 is, is probably about 28 pounds in four weeks. So that means I'm averaging seven pounds of weight loss a week. That is fantastic. If you told me when I started this journey that I could achieve that I wouldn't have believed it. I wouldn't have believed that I could, could have put the food down because. I, I'm not a guy with tremendous willpower, you know, I'm I have never done anything like this in my life. And, you know, I had to get my mindset right. And I did it in the name of health. I did it because I don't want to wake up every morning, tired with aches and pains, and go through some of the health problems I've experienced since I've put on all of this weight. It's paying off too, because I can see it in the mirror. I've been wearing this shirt for each weigh-in, and I noticed that you know, my belly is definitely not as pronounced. I still have it though. I mean, I'm still about, I want to get down to 195, so I'm about 20 pounds away. But this shirt feels much better.
How to avoid surprise medical bills
Feb 21 2022
How to avoid surprise medical bills Hey everybody. It is Matt from Situation Positive. And I want to talk to you about something that we all worry about, and that's a surprise bill from a medical encounter. Now, why might you receive a surprise bill? Let's say you go to a big physician practice. And your doctor is in-network, but they're unable to see you today. So you get seen by a provider that you've never met before that provider's not contracted with your insurance. So they are out of network and you end up receiving a surprise bill in the mail for a medical encounter that you thought was covered. That happened all the time. They just passed some legislation called the no surprises act, which aims to eliminate that billing practice and shine a light on transparency for that kind of out-of-network encounters that as a patient, you have no idea. You just think that everybody at the facility would be covered because you're allowed to go there. And let me tell you a personal story about this because I actually went through this myself. So my second son was being born. My wife was about eight months pregnant when we moved from Boston to Arizona. And I had already been diagnosed with MS. I was on, you know, a treatment that required prior authorization. So I was starting to learn about the ins and outs of the patient journey. Some of the things that I needed to do. So one of the smartest decisions I ever made was when I was moving, I knew we were scheduling a C-section. So I called insurance and I found the hospital that was in-network in Arizona I called the doctors to make sure we had the right doctors that were in-network. We scheduled the C-section and prior to that C-section, we were in prior authorization. We signed off on everybody that was supposed to be in that room and that they were covered by insurance. So come, come August 12th, 2009. We're excited! It's going to be a morning birth. Like I can't sleep the night before cause I'm about to meet my new son and we get to the hospital and it's flawless. Well for me, but you know my wife might have a different story, but I mean, I get to meet this beautiful baby boy, and we're just so much in love everything's going great. Everybody at the hospital was wonderful. Fast forward a couple of months later, I get a $6,000 bill in the mail because the anesthesiologist was not in-network. And I went and I looked up the anesthesiologist's name and I looked at who prior authorization said, was said, was going to be our anesthesiologists and the names were different. So I called the provider's office and they said, well, this is the provider. This is the anesthesiologist that your doctor likes to use. And so, you know what I did, I didn't panic. What I did was file an appeal. I went through insurance. And I went back through the steps through all the prior authorization steps through the list of providers that we had authorized and to the fact that on the day of the birth, no one communicated to us this change. So it ended up being the doctor, making that change without us being aware. And we won that appeal. We were not responsible for that $6,000. And let me tell you that was a game-changer, right? Cause we had just moved across the country. We were still getting established. I don't even think I had a job yet. So we would not have been able to afford that extra bill. You know, we were just getting by as it was. But it was some quick thinking and knowing the system, which saved us $6,000. And won us that appeal. Now, most of you might not even know that you can appeal a medical bill. It says it in small print, usually in the upper right-hand corner of any bill, it will have a 1-800 number to the billing department and you should have some instructions on how to appeal. If you don't feel you need to pay for the charge, let's fast forward to today's landscape because that no surprises act that was just passed in the legislature pro...
Why Community is important to a Fitness Routine
Feb 18 2022
Why Community is important to a Fitness Routine Fitness expert, champion bodybuilder, and MS advocate, David Lyons, teaches Matt and Tara the importance of community when starting (and sticking to) a fitness routine when you have a chronic illness. David talks about mindset, goal setting, and the importance of joining the right program. David shares tips from his Optimal Body Personal Fitness program. You can find David on Facebook where he shares awesome fitness tips and videos. This is part three of our interview with David. The transcript is below. You can also watch the video or listen to our podcast. [00:00:00] Matt: Hey everybody. My name's Matt and this is Tara, and we're from Situation Positive. We're here today with our good friend David Lyons of Optimal Body Personal Fitness. Um, we're here for a special workout because we joined the program and we wanted to learn more about it. David welcome to the show. [00:00:24] David: Thanks for having me guys. So I appreciate it. And you know, something I'm going to get you guys in top shape and I'm going to get you guys feeling better but more important than that, I'm going to get your brains connected to those muscles of yours. [00:00:37] Tara: Alright, so we're ready to get started if you are? [00:00:45] Matt: And once it becomes that part of your every day, like when you put me in the proper form, I did what three of them? I was feeling feeling tired because I haven't done anything like that one. It was much easier to do it the wrong way. How long does it take before that goes away? [00:01:03] David: Everybody's different. So it's like when somebody says to me, I, you know, I'm in a wheelchair, how long is it going to take me to get out of that wheelchair? Or I have a rough time lifting my arm up all the way. How long is it going to take? There's no answer to that. Unfortunately, we are all different in our limitations, in our disability, in the condition we have how our body responds. Our body, everybody's body will respond to this, but depending on how much you actually do focus, how much you actually keep your mindset on what you're doing and not thinking of something else, how much you're actually doing the exercises correctly, that's going to determine it. It took me guys a year and a half of this type of training to go from not being able to move my fingers, to be able to squeeze and do this with my hand. Okay. That's because my brain is connected to my muscles. I didn't do any specific movements or exercises to train my hand. I'm just worked out with this type of program. And then it created that connection all over my body. It took me a year and a half. I'm working with people that are in the program. And two months later, they weren't driving a car before and now they're driving a car cause they could move their legs. Why did it take me longer than the people that are in my own program? Who knows? My body might've been more damaged from the MS attack that I had. We don't know, but I will tell you this will work over time. [00:02:36] Matt: Well, um, I'm glad you brought that up because one of the things I was thinking about, and I think it may have taken you longer because you created programs. So you probably had to try, oh, this works, this doesn't work. That kind of stuff, but. I was thinking about like, I can get real negative. I can like try this a few times. And I'm like, oh, I don't get it. And I'm not coming back. How can I stay positive of this stuff? Even if I'm not getting the results that I want right away? [00:03:05] David: I created a community okay. On Facebook for all of my members. So in that community, you have everybody talking to each other and encouraging each other. You have some people that go on there and say, you know what? I had a really bad week. I didn't follow the program. And immediately you've got a hundred people jumping on your gone, come on, Karen, you can do it. You know,
Belly Fat and Chronic Illness Week 3
Feb 16 2022
Belly Fat and Chronic Illness Week 3 Hey everybody. It is Matt Cavallo checking in with you at the end of week three of my weight loss journey. Just to recap, in week one, I started at 243 pounds by BMI and body fat percentage standards. I was obese. I had a problem area, which was belly fat. Belly fat's a dangerous fat because it can cause all kinds of serious health problems like heart disease. Week two, I started to show some progress. I even shared the Skilly, or skinny Philly, a diet dish my wife and I created. You can see these videos and more on our YouTube channel. For me, it caused acid reflux. I had bad symptoms like hiccups, laryngitis chest pains. It even was my, my stomach was pressing on my lungs and, and I was getting asthma as a result. And I hadn't had asthma since I was an early teen. So, this weight gain that I've experienced was really wreaking havoc on my life. I decided to take action. Over the last year, I had tried intermittent fasting. I had tried a couple of different diets and I would yo-yo; I would drop down a couple of pounds here, a couple of bounds there. But then I would bounce right back. And so, I decided to enroll in a medical weight loss program. I wanted the medical weight loss program because it's run by a doctor. I have multiple sclerosis and I'm on immune-suppressing treatments. If I'm going to take any medication, I like to have the guidance of a doctor just to make sure that everything's okay. It's just peace of mind. And that doctor prescribed two medications. One was a hormone. Yeah, that helps accelerate your metabolism. And the other was an appetite suppressant. So, I've been on that for three weeks. Now, today is the end of three weeks. And throughout this journey, I've had some accelerated gains and I've hit some plateaus and those plateaus are where you kind of stay at the same weight for a little bit. But I'm trying, I'm really trying to get to 200 pounds or under my stat sheet says my ideal weight is about 194. And because I had problems I have with walking and, and hip pain, and it really just weakness on my right side because of MS. I really want to get down to my ideal weight just to kind of. Take some of the pressure off of my right side. And then I can maybe start a strengthening routine and maybe see if I could correct some of those deficits that I developed with MS. So this weight loss journey. It has taken a change of mindset to accomplish. I'd been really good so far. I've followed the diet program to a T I have not strayed the one time that I don't want to say I was tempted, but I went into Costco cause we needed some egg whites because I can have four ounces of protein in the morning and I choose egg whites. And I could smell their fresh, big pizza. And if you watch the first video, you know, I think pizza is the most perfect food. Right. And nothing beats the smell of fresh-baked pizza. And for, for just a quick moment, I was like, I really want a slice. But then I quickly focused and I said, Hey, that's not the goal. We're working on the program. And you know, I was able to kind of enter an environment where there were temptations and just walked past it. And I think that's the key, right? Is you're not only doing the diet by taking the medications or eating the right food, you're doing it by adjusting your mindset. You know, you have to really put it in your mind that you can accomplish this. Right. You know, I, in the past, I might've said, Hey, you know, it's the weekend. Let's just take a little break. You know, and I would give myself excuses of why I could go eat the things I wanted to eat. Right. And it wasn't until I put it in my mind that I needed to make a change for my health. That, that I really started doing it. And now you know, I, I, I'm not even really concerned with what the scale says because I'm just looking here. I'm starting to feel like I look younger almost like I used to,
It’s Not In My Head
Feb 16 2022
It’s Not In My Head
Why it took 12 years for Savannah to get a diagnosis Savannah Hunt knew at a young age that there was something wrong with her health. The problem was that the doctors could not pinpoint an accurate diagnosis. For 12 years, she was in and out of doctors' offices, labs, imaging studies, and hospitals without ever receiving a diagnosis. She began to think her ailments were normal. That is until a night last year when her kidneys started to fail. 12 years after first being seen for her condition, she learned she had lupus and lupus nephritis. Tara Tingey sat down to interview Savannah about her chronic illness journey. Read the interview below. You can also watch it on YouTube or listen in on your favorite podcast channels. [00:00:00] Tara: Hi, welcome to Situation Positive, a positive community for those affected by chronic illness. I'm Tara, your positivity partner, and I'm really excited to jump into our interview today, today with Savannah hunt and Savannah, how are you? [00:00:18] Savannah: Good! Hi! [00:00:20] Tara: We are so glad that you're here with us. I know a little bit about you just from what you've been posting on social media, but why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself. [00:00:29] Savannah: Yeah, my name is Savannah Hunt. I live in Arizona, San Tan Valley area. I am 23 years old. I'm married. I have three kids. I have a toddler who's three, and I had had a set of twins for one. So it's definitely busy. There's never a dull moment. They're always running around and into everything. So, yeah. So that's who I am. That's where I live right now. I have, I just got diagnosed with lupus last was it last week? A couple of weeks ago. I just barely found out that I've been living with lupus all these years and I have lupus nephritis. [00:01:06] Tara: So you just found this out. So. So to kind of bring us through your story from kind of when you started up until just a few weeks ago when you got your diagnosis. [00:01:16] Savannah: Yeah. So it's a long story. I'll try to keep it as brief as I can without missing the important details. But, so I started having problems at 11 years old, there was a night where I was playing basketball at church, just with a ton of other young girls. And that night I came home, not feeling well. So I went to bed and I was like, Hey, this is weird. I don't really feel good in the middle of the night. Like I got this really high fever and my neck was stiff and I had all this joint pain and all my joints started swelling. And I was like, this is, so this is so weird. So my dad took me to the emergency room and they ran all this blood work. We were there till like five in the morning and they were like, oh, we'll just send you to your family doctor. And I was like, okay, sure, whatever. We go to my family doctor and he's like, oh, I've seen this before you have septic arthritis. And we were like, okay. So he put me on all of these antibiotics. So I was on these shots. Morning and night they gave me shots every day on my bum. So I'd go into the doctor's office twice a day as a young teenager. So I was 11, 12, 13 when this was all happening around those years. And I would get shots on my booty every day because they thought I had septic arthritis. So I was on this really high dose of antibiotics. So anytime I was on antibiotics, I felt fine, but the minute he took me off the antibiotics, all my swelling came back. All my joint pain came back. I wasn't sleeping very well at night. I had all this anxiety because I wasn't sleeping and I was like, what's going on? So that kind of happened when I was younger. And then at 14, 15, we were like, okay. Every time we're done with the antibiotics, it comes back and it's not going away. There's nothing we can do. I saw at that time specialists, but they were like, oh, like there's obviously some type of virus, but we don't know what it is.