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Take a Pain Check

Author: Natasha

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"Impacting our community faster than our inflammation" Take a Pain Check (TAPC) is hosted by Natasha Trehan, a 19 year old university student. This is a podcast that engages in conversations about relationships, school, advocacy and much more while living with chronic illness. The host brings her life experiences and talks to guests about their lived experiences. If you're looking for inspiration and support, Take a Pain Check is the community for you. Tune in every other Sunday at 12pm EST on Youtube, Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, and iHeartRadio.
66 Episodes
Get ready to be inspired by this podcast episode hosted by Natasha Trehan and featuring Kabir Budlender! Kabir is a 16-year-old high school student and JIA patient from Johannesburg, South Africa. He's not just any ordinary teenager though - he's a passionate advocate for educating others about what life is really like when you're living with chronic illness and invisible disability. He discusses his medication journey for POTS, JIA and IBD including his experience with Humira and Methotrexate. Not only that, Natasha and Kabir both discuss their passion for music and how it continues to be a form of escapism despite the hurdles of arthritis. Kabir sits on the Executive team of the Take a Pain Check Foundation and is also a member of Arthritis Kids South Africa. In this episode, Kabir dives deeper into the issue of rheumatic illness in South Africa and how challenging it can be to get a diagnosis if you don't have medical aid or insurance. He also touches upon the language barrier to easy access of information, the maintenance of medications in lower socioeconomic areas and the barriers for access to care - North America vs South Africa’s health care system. He discusses the social aspects of having a chronic illness and being in high school as well as accommodations. Lastly, Kabir shares how getting involved with organizations like TAPC can be a beneficial part of one's rheumatic disease journey. Relevant links: William's Story: WORD Day Video: Kabir's Blog: Kabir's socials: Instagram: @kbudlender_ and @thechronicallyill_teen Check out our socials: Website: Instagram: Twitter:​​​ Tiktok: Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
On this week’s episode on Take a Pain Check, Jacqueline and Alexa Child come on the podcast to talk about their own personal experience of living with a chronic illness and being a sister of someone who has a chronic illness, respectively. Jacqueline starts off by discussing her diagnosis journey with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other chronic illnesses. She talks about bad joint and muscle pain, having a butterfly rash, experiencing sensitivity to the sun, and dealing with GI symptoms that led her to seek help from a medical professional. On the other hand, Alexa discusses how she was 3000 miles away for law school, and she started off not really understanding what Jacqueline was dealing with. But once she truly learned more about it, it changed her as a person and gave her a unique perspective. Growing up in Telluride, a ski resort, there were no hospitals nearby and no specialist nearby so Jacqueline discusses her access to care barriers. Alexa and Jacqueline discuss their lives’ living together and how they became more mature than others around them as they had different lived experiences. Jacqueline talks about the difficulties being honest with Alexa about her symptoms as it’s hard a challenge to ask for help. Moreover, Jacqueline talks about her heart surgery after being born with a congenital heart defect at age 25. They end off the episode by talking about Dateability, a dating app for the chronically ill and disabled. Dateability was made based on the lived experiences of Jacqueline’s dating life and constant rejections. They talk about how the app works, their future goals for the app and how they hope to connect this ever growing community. Dateability:   Jacqueline and Alexa's socials:  @dateabilityapp @jacquelineechild @alexabchild  Check out our socials:  Website: Instagram:  Twitter:  Tiktok:    Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara  
On this week’s episode, Chris Pudlak talks about his journey with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Diagnosed at age 36, Chris struggled to lift up his kids or even play with them because of his arthritis pain. Since day one, he started journaling in which he intertwined his engineering skills to track his symptoms. He discusses lifestyle changes he implemented and how he tracked his symptoms. Not only that, Natasha and Chris discuss workplace accommodations such as a height adjusting desks and a different type of handshake. Chris also gives tips on how to cycle and run with ergonomic equipment. He talks about the impact of physiotherapy on his arthritis. Lastly, Chris talks abut his book ” Achieving Wellness Through Arthritis” and his involvement in Arthritis Research Canada. Check our Chris' Socials:  Twitter and Facebook: @ChrisPudlak    Check out our socials:  Website:  Twitter:​​​  Tiktok:      Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara   
Alli Buchanan joins host, Natasha, on this week’s episode on Take a Pain Check to discuss her diagnosis with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). Alli’s starts by talking about her diagnosis journey and how it took her 10 years to get diagnosed. Physicians were aware of Alli’s family history with PsA but did not take that into account when her symptoms progressed. Because of Alli’s mom’s experience with PsA, Alli discusses how her mom was her biggest advocate as she spent a lot of time reliving her own journey. The conversation dives into the importance of talking about arthritis and its lack of representation in the science curriculum. Not only that, Alli talks about the medications she went on and how this led her to develop Toxic Shock Syndrome. She discusses that a medication that may work today, but it may not work tomorrow. She talks about her accommodations, such as having transportation and picking her university courses before other people. Additionally, Alli mentions how she balances her social life, academics and arthritis while going to college and how her friends have been able to support her. Finally, they end off the episode by talking about Alli’s arthritis Instagram page and a recent quiz she made to see how much her friends knew about her arthritis. Quiz on Alli's friends:    Check our Alli's Socials:  Instagram: @alli.arthritis    Check out our socials:  Website:  Twitter:  Tiktok:     Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara 
It started off in the hospital when Juanita told her friend she would be back to school in two days. Soon, those two days turned into months of isolation, treatments, etc. On this week’s episode, Juanita Garcia comes on to share her story with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) and Lupus at ages 13 and 20, respectively. Being born and brought up in Columbia, Juanita shared her health care journey while going through the Canadian vs Columbia’s system. She discusses the difference in wait times, getting blood results, and overall patient care. At the age of 13, Juanita was isolated for months from her family and peers due to her weak immune system. Her parents were also told that she wouldn’t make it when she could not get to the hospital quickly. Despite all of this, Juanita continued to be resilient. Once she found  medications that worked, things got better. Natasha and Juanita discuss the different types of patients that exists, both of them being ones that actively want to learn more about their disease. Not only that, Juanita comes to a point in her life where she had to learn to accept her disease as her new reality. Juanita shares her change in mindset and how she had to turn her disease into her friend. Lastly, Juanita shares how her journey allowed her to really get involved in her passion — research and health. She ends off the podcast episode by talking about her patient partner work with the SPOR Evidence Alliance group and the COVID END team. Take a Pain Check's Merchandise Design Fundraiser Event:    Check out Juanita's Socials:  @juanitagarciarecio @_me_the_hero    Check out our socials:  Website:  Twitter:​​​  Tiktok:      Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara   
Dr. Molly Dushnicky brings her JIA and physician perspective to this week’s episode on Take a Pain Check. In this episode, Dr. Molly discusses the story of her JIA diagnosis at the age of two with approximately 45+ impacted joints. She faced barriers of access to care in her hometown Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario as there was no pediatric rheumatologist then and even now. She talks about how she had to be flown down to The Hospital of SickKids in Toronto and CHEO in Ottawa to be treated. Dr. Molly is a fighter who did not let the disease stop her from being active. She is passionate about soccer, curling and rock climbing and learned different strategies to overcome her disability. Dr. Molly discusses her advocacy through the challenges as well as accommodations at each stage of her life with her diseases from elementary to high school, and from university to medical school. She also provides insight to her residency and fellowship programs. Lastly, Dr. Molly shares her path to her career in pediatric rheumatology and how her passion drew her to what she loves to do today.    Take a Pain Check's Merchandise Design Fundraiser Event:   Check out Dr. Molly Dushnicky's socials: Twitter: @MDushnicky   Check out our socials:  Website:  Twitter:​​​  Tiktok:     Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara  
This week’s episode features Dr. Natasha Gakhal (Adult Rheumatologist) and Dr. Evelyn Rozenblyum (Pediatric Rheumatologist), who come on the podcast to discuss their collaborative transition clinic in Toronto, Canada. They begin the episode by discussing where their interest in rheumatology came from and what drew them to focus on adult medicine vs pediatric medicine. They discuss how they met each other and what really led them to make this clinic including year long discussions at the table, challenges along the way and more.  Will parents be allowed in the appointment? What happens when I turn 25? Why am I now getting input from 3 different health professionals? These are all questions answered in the episode!   Additionally, they discuss the benefits of going to a transition clinic, such as the environment, other people around your age, and the multidisciplinary care. They stress the importance that it is more than just physical health while emphasizing on mental, reproductive health and more. Not only that, they discuss the type of care patients can expect, the resources that the clinic provides for youth and young adults, and the common challenges that patients face. Finally, they end off the episode discussing where they see the future of the clinic going and feedback they plan on implementing.   Sign up for our December Joint Chat Rheum Session on Sunday, December 18th at 2pm EST/11am PST:     Check out our socials:  Website: Instagram:  Twitter:  Tiktok:     Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara  
This week’s episode features Naomi Abrahams, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa, who lives with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. The episode starts off by Naomi talking about how life felt like when being misdiagnosed for 3 years. She brings Natasha along her journey to when her symptoms started with joint swelling and pain in her hips that then moved to her elbows. Eventually, she wasn’t able to brush her teeth or eat food without pain. Her world changed and she had frequent visits to the dentist and had tons of MRIs. This led her to finally figure out her personal medication and treatment journey. Moreover, Naomi explains how she never experienced pediatric care but was experiencing symptoms when she was 15. On her 18th birthday, she was given her new diagnosis in which she felt as though she was “thrown into the adult world”. Additionally, Natasha and Naomi both discuss the pros and cons of having a rheumatoid factor negative vs positive one. They also discuss the similarities they had in terms of medications they had been on (DMARDS and biologics). Following that, they continue the conversation by talking about their own physiotherapy pathway, specifically what it’s like to do physiotherapy in a flare up and the financial aspects of getting billed through insurance. They discuss the MRI vs infusion fatigue, moving out to university with arthritis, and hair loss/growth with medications. Then, they get into the fun stuff like how Naomi told her boyfriend that she had arthritis and how he now supports her. Natasha and Naomi discuss how they met each other specifically through the Choice Research Lab, patient engagement in research and how important patient partners are. Last but not least, they end off the episode discussing their experience together at the CBC Ottawa Radio station, filming the CBC documentary and more!   CBC documentary and article: radio segment:  Check out Naomi's socials:  Instagram: @naomiabrahams   Check out our socials: Website: Twitter:​​​ Tiktok:   Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara  
In this week’s episode, Sarah Shaw becomes the host and discusses the hot topic: workplace and arthritis with guests — Michael Kuluva, Annette McKinnon and Natasha Trehan (host of TAPC). They discuss working with a rheumatic diseases at various stages of life and address the challenges in keeping employment. Unemployment and underemployment lie at the core of poverty and the financial security of people with rheumatic disease. Income has long been recognized as a social determinant of health with significant implications on the quality of life, health status, and access to health care benefits. Join the four individuals as they dive deep into their journeys, passions and hurdles. This episode was created from the World Arthritis Day Twitter Space event held on Oct 12th, 2022.
In this week’s episode, Christina Hepner talks about her symptoms that started when she was 19 in her sophomore year. Christina relates that she tried to hide her pain in university just to live a normal college life and used humour to cope with it for 1 whole year. However, after she returned from her summer break, she no longer could hide her disease from her friends who spoke about how much fun they had in the summer. Christina started bawling her eyes out and told her friends that she spent her time in so much pain and disclosed her arthritis diagnosis. She was lucky to have a great support system which helped her mental health. Christina discusses how her arthritis made her feel like she wasn’t herself most of the time. She gained weight, had knee surgery and dealt with depression. She mentions how she worked through those hurdles with physiotherapy, changing her mindset and implementing lifestyle changes such as weightlifting and eliminating certain inflammatory foods that she researched. Finally, the episode ends with Christina talking about her job in a non-profit organization for the visually impaired as a digital marketer and her current disease status being in remission. Check out Christina's socials:  Check out our socials: Website: Twitter:​​​Tiktok:   Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
As a baby, she started off crawling then walking. After, she reverted back into crawling. On this week's episode, we invite Alexa Sutherland, an actress and writer from Los Angeles. She talks about her 4 chronic condition, including Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Graves Disease. She starts off the episode by explaining the joints impacted for each condition and how she differentiates the pain for each of them. Alexa describes the struggles she endured at each point in her life with every added diagnosis, specifically the social and emotional aspects. In particular, she talks about the switch to home schooling due to the inability of her school faculty to accommodate. Ultimately, she decided to become her own boss and thrive in an environment that was meant for her. As the conversation continues, Alexa shares her experience with online college and discusses how online school helped her further explore her passions. She dives into her experiences with injection days and how the auto injector was her ultimate life saver to becoming more confident in giving herself her injections. Additionally, Natasha asks Alexa about dating while living with a chronic illness which led to them talking about insecurities relating to being “too difficult” to be with. Lastly, they discuss Alexa’s acting gigs, specifically Deadly Cheer Moms and navigating accommodations. Check out Alexa's socials:  Check out our socials: Website: Twitter:​​​Tiktok:   Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
On this week's episode on Take a Pain Check, Charlotte Ryder-Burbidge discuss her diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Celiac Disease. She was diagnosed away from home during her studies. Luckily, she discusses how she had great housemates during that time that supported her. Natasha and Charlotte both discuss the differences in being with their parents when receiving a diagnosis vs not being with them. They both relate on the struggles of studying science while dealing with hand pain and inflammation. For Charlotte, that lead to her feeling the need to skip classes and not care about school for the longest time. On the other hand, she also developed other lifestyle changes such as going to the gym. As the conversation continues, they both discuss their experiences on triple therapy and the side effects they've experienced. Finally, the episode ends off with talking about Arthritis Research Canada's patient advisory board where Natasha and Charlotte first met.   Next Joint Chat Rheum Session on Sunday, October 23 at 2pm EST/11 am PST:   Check out Charlotte's socials: Instagram @charryder    Arthritis Research Canada:   Check out our socials: Website: Instagram: Twitter:​​​ Tiktok:    Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
It started with blood clots in the lungs. If Tony waited a day or a couple of hours later, his story would’ve been very different. This week’s episode features Tony Sosa from Southern California who discusses his diagnosis with Lupus and Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS). Due to his Lupus symptoms (the butterfly rash, joint pain and fatigue), Tony had to stop working in the fire fighting industry and his job in the kitchen. He quickly realized the importance of community support, as well as reading and learning about his diagnosis. Natasha discusses how she learned about her disease — through her parents — and how this process changed over the years. Natasha and Tony dive into their similarities in terms of the plant based lifestyle change they have both incorporated in their lives. Finally, Tony talks about the up sides of living with Lupus, specifically being able to give others hope about their disease through initiatives such as Take a Pain Check and the Lupus Foundation of Southern California.     Next Joint Chat Rheum Session on Sunday, September 18th at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT:  Check out Tony's socials:  Instagram: @a.sosa_ii    Check out our socials:  Website: Instagram:  Twitter: Tiktok:   Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara 
On this week’s episode, Megan Tovar comes on the podcast to talk about her diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. She discusses how she was active in several ways, which led to a confusing path to diagnosis as the blame was assigned to other physical activities that she was involved in. Natasha and Megan discuss the difference between transition and rheumatology care in different geographical locations across North America. Moreover, the conversation progresses to talking about Megan’s impacted joints - her knees. She talks about her experience with draining fluid in her knees, as well as a knee scope. Additionally, Megan discusses the different lifestyle changes she has implemented throughout her journey, such as changing her mindset, eating habits, and focusing on fitness. Finally, Megan discusses her career as a fitness trainer and how she is constantly empowering people with arthritis to be active through her social media platforms and advocacy work.   Next Joint Chat Rheum Session on Sunday, September 18th at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT:  Check out Megan's socials:  Instagram: @itsmegzz_fitness   Check out our socials: Website: Twitter:​​​Tiktok:  Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
“Managing my arthritis can be compared to being the mayor of a village” Sadiq told Natasha, on this week’s episode. Sadiq Jiwa, a 26 year old professional golf player from Vancouver, Canada currently on the road for the PGA tour. The conversation starts off with Sadiq’s diagnosis story at the age of six and what life was like being young with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Moreover, the comments from people in school as well as the emphasis of confusing growing pains with arthritis pains. As the discussions progresses, he talks about his journey moving from pediatric to adult care and the difference in care as well as his way of articulating his health. Being a professional golfer, Sadiq explains that he had to start learning pain management techniques from the beginning. Lastly, Natasha and Sadiq both discuss their work with the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board from Arthritis Research Canada and other smaller arthritis awareness groups to help spread awareness and share their stories about overcoming their adversities. Sadiq's blog on TAPC: Arthritis Research Canada: Check out Sadiq's socials: Instagram: @jiwanator   Check out our socials: Website: Twitter:​​​Tiktok:  Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara 
“Don’t say you're disabled” they said. These were comments Anna Samson received when they were using mobility aids to help them get through their daily tasks while living with a chronic illness. This week on Take a Pain Check, Anna Samson comes on the podcast to to talk about their life with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia as a 23 year old. They start off the conversation by talking about their initial symptoms and explaining the 4 year wait to get a diagnosis. After receiving a diagnosis, Anna talks about their experience finding resources to help them understand their own conditions. Moreover, Natasha and Anna discuss the benefits of physiotherapy. The conversation progresses to talking about disability in different settings, specifically the blue and red seats on the TTC subway. Throughout Anna’s journey, they learned how to advocate for themselves in a health care setting and how they become more confident. Not only did they have to talk about their symptoms, but they had to “get better at talking to people.” Finally, Anna explains their involvement in Take a Pain Check as an ambassador, as well as their work in Health Union. Next Joint Chat Rheum Session on Tuesday, August 16th at 7pm EDT: Self-Advocacy Live: Makeup Live: Health Union:  Check out Anna's socials:  Instagram @chronicallyillxo TikTok @chronicallyillxo Twitter: @chronicallyillx   Check out our socials: Website: Instagram: Twitter:​​​ Tiktok:  Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
During the pandemic, Haley and her boyfriend went to the grocery store and a few minutes later, she fell to the ground. On this week’s episode, Haley Crespo joins Natasha to discuss her journey with lupus and Evan’s syndrome. Haley starts off the episode by discussing how her boyfriend was her main support system through her diagnosis story. Consequently, Haley discusses her symptoms and how her lupus varies from others in the sense that it effects  only her blood. Natasha and Haley bond over not only Selena Gomez being an amazing lupus role model, but how they both don’t have the typical rheumatic disease symptoms, like a fever or rash. Additionally, Haley discusses her experiences being on blood thinners and the difference between the location of her injection including how that made her feel. She talks about growing up quickly and being given responsibilities from her parents once she was diagnosed. Finally, the episodes ends with Haley talking about her collaboration with Lupus Canada where she created her jewellery shop to raise awareness for Lupus Awareness Month this past May — Haley Made. Check out Haley's socials: Instagram @haleymadeshop + TikTok @haleymadeshop Check out our socials: Website: Instagram: Twitter:​​​ Tiktok:  Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
Imagine being 30 and needing to plan your funeral while also planning your will. This is the exact experience Amanda Ishii had to go through a few years ago. On this week’s episode, Amanda discusses her journey living with Lupus, Crohn’s disease, Colon cancer and Multi Organ Dysfunction. Amanda explains her initial symptoms and jumps into the importance of social and mental support when it comes to dealing with a chronic illness. Moreover, Amanda brings up therapy, a resource that not only helped her by providing her someone to talk to but also is used by many people in all communities as a tool for support. As the episode progresses, Amanda discusses what life was like throughout college to present day with an ileostomy bag in social settings, while playing basketball and when travelling. Since a young age, basketball was a passion of hers. Even with a medical device, Amanda continues to pursue basketball professionally while knowing her limits; she is unstoppable. Finally, Natasha and Amanda end off the podcast episode by talking about a new initiative Amanda is starting up to supply 3rd world countries with medical and school supplies for free, The Mango House. Check out Amanda's socials: Instagram: @haparae @themangohouse_cebu   Sign up for the July Joint Chat Rheum Session:    Check out our socials: Website: Twitter:​​​Tiktok:
Devyn Nichols, a 14 year old content creator for Take a Pain Check, comes onto the podcast to discuss her diagnosis with undifferentiated Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. When talking about Devyn’s diagnosis journey, she brings up medical gaslighting to which led to her seeing many family doctors and rheumatologists. Natasha and Devyn discuss side effects they’ve experienced on Methotrexate and Prednisone, as well the insecurities that came alongside being teenage girls. Not only that, Devyn explains the struggle of having peers and school faculty not understanding that arthritis fluctuates, appointments can’t be on weekends and it's not “just joints that are sore sometimes but will go away”. From a young age, gymnastics was Devyn’s dream but soon after being diagnosed with arthritis she came to a realization that she had to let it go. With that in mind, Devyn mentions that letting go opened up a whole new world for her. Finally, they end the episode talking about Devyn becoming an arthritis advocate and discussing her involvement with Take a Pain Check, as well as her personal Instagram account @devs_jia_journey.   5 minute video explaining JIA:  Check out our socials:  Website: Instagram:  Twitter:​​​ Tiktok:  Devyn's socials: Instagram: devyn_nicholsss, devs_jia_journey  Tik-Tok: devyn_nichols    Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara 
On this week’s episode, Afshin Bhimani discusses her journey living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. She starts off by explaining her lengthy diagnosis process and how she felt during this time. Once she started to go to doctors to figure out what was wrong, she was unable to find a physician who took her seriously. Moving from India to the States, Afshin discusses the cultural changes that occurred in her life. Natasha and Afshin both bond over Indian culture and holistic approaches they’ve tried. They discussed what they thought caused their diagnoses’ and both predict that changes in environments were a trigger for both of them. Due to Afshin's disability, she has a service dog - Sammy - who has been a great support in her life. Afshin talks about her struggles with US healthcare, as well as the ups and downs she faced with the comments of others when she brought her service dog. They end off the podcast by talking about “Desi and Diseased,” Afshin’s website and Instagram that she uses to raise awareness for South Asians living with chronic conditions.   Check out our socials:  Website: Instagram:  Twitter: Tiktok:  Afshin's socials: Instagram: desi.spoonie TikTok: solo.spoonie  Growing Pains, Copyright, 2018, Alessia Cara
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