41 episodes

Interviews with individuals who are living with their best positive life despite the challenges of having a chronic illness.

Situation Positive Podcast Matt Cavallo

    • Health & Fitness

Interviews with individuals who are living with their best positive life despite the challenges of having a chronic illness.

    Chronic Illness: Why We Don’t Talk About It and What Needs to Change

    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: situationpositive.org 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!

    • 1 min
    Dennis Hurley: Actor, Advocate, and Albino – His life with albinism and info about the upcoming N.O.A.H. conference

    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 hire...

    • 23 min
    Why Your Man Spends So Much Time in the Bathroom

    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: https://dinerroboticurology.com/blog/prostate/bph-diagnosis/

    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: https://www.dralicewhittaker.com.au/pdfs/urodynamic-testing.pdf

    Common Treatments for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

    There are several treatments available for BPH,

    • 12 min
    Why Me? How Did I End Up Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness?

    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.

    • 8 min
    What Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know

    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,

    • 6 min
    I am not a Model

    I am not a Model


    Hey everybody, it's Matt from Situation Positive and I'm not a t-shirt model, but I've been getting a lot of comments lately about the t-shirts I wear in my videos. And at Situation Positive, we developed a line of t-shirts. So that way, you know, you could share positive messages with those around you. If anybody has been following my weight loss videos, you've seen me in this t-shirt it says positive vibes only.

    And it has my dog Barry and my dog Jasper on it. A lot of people love the puppies T-shirt. One Barry in Jasper t-shirt you might not have seen is the simply positive shirt where they're riding with a friend in the back of a truck. If dogs aren't your thing. We also have keep it positive in a gray t-shirt.

    We also have keep it positive in a black hoodie as well. These are just some of the t-shirts we have available @situationpositive.org. We'll share the link to our shop in the description, but you can find these and other great t-shirts and any t-shirt you purchase. Goes to help our nonprofit, but more so it spreads a message of positivity.

    And you'll be surprised if you wear a shirt like this, how many people will stop you and say, yeah, we need some positivity at this time. My name is Matt Cavallo. Thank you so much for watching, please like, and subscribe to our videos. Much like this t-shirt, it helps our community grow and remember, no matter your situation, you can turn it positive.

    • 2 min

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