EPISODE 34: ILLNESS AS A SPIRITUAL GUIDE
Guest: Emily Whitish
Lauren Selfridge: Welcome Emily, I'm so glad that you're joining me.
Emily Whitish: Thank you Lauren. I'm so excited to be here.
L: Now, this is our first time chatting in person.
L: Known each other for a little while now, but it's nice to be in the same room with you.
E: Yeah, you too.
L: Yeah. And, and as you know, the first question I always ask people is: what is a summary of your health journey?
E: Well, it all started when my immune system went bonkers and I was essentially going to the bathroom 12 times a day.
E: Yeah. And it was gradual at first, um, the symptoms and then….then all of a sudden they were coming on pretty strong and I wasn't quite seeing the right doctors at first I was seeing some but not the right ones. And so I was sick for about nine months before I got a diagnosis. And then, so the diagnosis story itself is….I went to see this gastroenterologist who was not one that I wanted to see, but I couldn't get into see the right ones quick enough.
L: Oh no.
E: I didn't really know anything about her….But, um, I was kind of in panic mode at this point, just getting in with whoever I could and it was my first real experience with seeing a doctor who was incredibly dismissive. Um, she actually put her hand in my face.
E: And yeah, as part of, in our first interview she would ask a question and if I couldn't answer it fast enough, she would put her hand in my face and sort of use some kind of, you know, hurry along kind of statement.
E: It felt like the last place she wanted to be was in that room with me.
L: Yeah. And this is your first official appointment with somebody with somebody that was, that was going to get a diagnosis really. So there was a lot weighing on it and I knew that going in. So you, uh, you have to do a colonoscopy to get the diagnosis of Crohn's disease. So she, I was grateful for this. She hurried that process along. So I did the colonoscopy. A friend of mine took me to the appointment and she brought me home and they had given her the report, the procedure report, and my friend didn't look at it and the doctor didn't come and talk to me afterwards.
E: So my friend brings me home, puts the report on the table and I take a nap because I'd been up all night prepping for the colonoscopy.
E: And I wake up and my friend Tara, she's gone and uh, and I knew she was leaving. It was fine, but I see the report sitting there on the table and so I'm alone and I'm on this report. I see not only these just horrific pictures of the inside of my intestines, it was just like a war scene.
L: Oh my gosh.
E: But I also, you know, right at the top in bold letters, you know, moderate to severe Crohn's disease of the small and large intestines. I knew it was a possibility that I had it and it was the one thing I didn't want.
E: So even now, I still, when I look back on that experience, that's one of the moments that still kind of brings me to tears when I, when I look in on the me sitting there in my living room alone, like getting this information and feeling like my whole world is just crashing.
E: Right, right then and not having somebody next to me to say we're going to get through this.
E: It's going to be okay.
E: And by then I'd already read so many horror stories online about Crohn's disease.
L: So you were kind of aware that of all the diagnoses that could have been, this was the one you really didn't want it to be?
E: Yeah, I was actually, I don't know why I thought this, but I actually thought that like colon cancer would be better.
E: I don't, I don't know why it doesn't make any sense, but I just saw a chronic incurable disease as so much worse then.
E: And, and I had actually, I'd had melanoma before and my experience of cancer was, it was stage one. I got a quick diagnosis, quick treatment and it was over with, you know.
E: And so I really felt like all of my dreams and all this whole life I had created was, was going to have to change now.
E: And that was so terrifying.
L: And that the moment that I feel like so many of us can relate to, which sounds very lonely specifically because he didn't have a friend or buddy anybody there with you.
L: And even though you had a friend that was there ahead of time, just in that moment that you opened it up, there was no one with you.
L: And it's so important that we acknowledged that as I think of it as almost like a sacred moment, even though it can be so hard.
L: It is this very personal, intimate way that we take in information. Everybody does it differently. And so when you look back on that, how did you get through it?
E: How did I get through that moment?
L: That moment, that specific moment.
E: I cried and then I got mad and I think, I don't really remember, but I think I got it from the couch and just went in the kitchen and like made something to eat.
E: Like I just decided, I just, I, I kind of like walked away from it.
E: I was like, I got things to do.
L: Yes, yes!
E: So, um, I, I don't think I held the information for very long before I sort of scurried out of there.
L: Mmhmm. That makes so much sense. I mean, we're both psychotherapists so it makes sense just emotionally we can only handle so much at one moment.
L: And I think taking it in even for a few seconds is a huge accomplishment, you know?
E: Mmhmm, yeah.
L: Now I'm thinking of fast forward to now when you specialize in this work and one of my favorite things that I've seen is one of your social media graphics for your psychotherapy practice that says let's get on with really living even if chronic illness is along for the ride.
L: Which is such a beautiful saying.
L: How did you get from there to here?
E: Well, it actually started….So right after diagnosis I kind of did what I always do. Um, I started just problem solving the whole thing.
E: I just decided that I was going to just figure out the cure.
L: Yeah, right.
E: And I recruited this army of practitioners and healers to find the cure. Right. And so I had, I had my gastroenterologist, I had these specialists, I had natural path. I had a, a homeopathic practitioner. I got into psychotherapy three days a week. I did homeopathy. I did. I went to a Tarot card reader.
E: One point I was consuming, it was either snake or spider venom. I don't remember.
L: Oh my gosh.
E: I just decided I was going to wage a war on Crohn's disease and I went in and saw this natural path here in Seattle. And I sat in our, in our first meeting, um, I was right at not long after diagnosis. I was still pretty sick and very desperate. I remember just sitting there and just crying. And um, this, this doctor. I was telling him my symptoms and all the things that I was doing and, and um, you know, there is no family history and why did this happen and you know, just kind of self loathing there in his office.
E: And, um, he, uh, I realized part way through the conversation that I was asking this man to heal this body that he didn't see as separate from me.
E: And so he starts talking about my childhood and he starts talking about my relationships. It gets into astrology and chakras and all sorts of thing. And I, I was, I was, get confused course. I started getting a little irritated too.
E: I was like, I'm not here for that. I'm here for you to give me some Madison. I'm here for that. And you know, he did some tests, gave me some supplements, some new advice on nutrition. He did those things.
E: Um, but in, in that conversation, what he was alluding to, which I didn't grasp until much later, was that this illness was going to have a lot to teach me and I could heal if I was willing to open up to what it was teaching me. That this is going to be a spiritual practice.
E: This wasn't just going to be just physical. And then at the end of our meeting, he looked me square in the eye and he said, “We are going to get you better, we're going to get you better.”
E: And he was the first and only person that ever said that other than the Tarot card reader, which is later.
L: Another good person to have on your team. “You're going to heal, you're going to heal. Hey!”
E: Um, so yeah, I continued to work with him for a long time, for years actually. And um, I think what happened in that moment for me was there was this recognition that I could heal and that, that healing for me was, it's gonna be something so much bigger than just taking the right medications. Then supplements. And it wasn't just about stress reduction, it just, it wasn't just about the food I was eating it, it was going to be so much more than that. That was also very overwhelming though in the beginning.
L: I bet.
E: Yeah, it was, it was...wow, I've got to heal, I got to do all this medical stuff. And then I've also, I gotta take this spiritual path and I don't know what's on it and I don't, and I don't know if I'm going to like it. And I had this feeling it was going to be really uncomfortable.
L: Yeah. As so much of it can be actually, as you talk about this, I'm thinking: what in this story, how do define healing? What does that mean?
E: Mmhmm. Yeah. So that's changed since, um, since I got sick. Um, when I, you know, at first it was, it was, it was just finding the thing that got rid of the Crohn's or made it go to sleep so that I could live my life. It became more about, um, partnering with Crohn’s, became about working in cooperation with it and then he'll ill healing for me became about getting still enough that I could hear what Crohn’s had to say. It had to be about not waging a war against it because when I was doing that I was in a state of resistance all the time. And I knew I couldn't heal if I was fighting and resisting.
E: I just intuitively knew the body didn't want to be in that state and so it, if I didn't, if I didn't go to battle, there's no war, right?
L: Ooh, wow.
L: Yeah. So you just said like a million things that are giving me chills for a second.
L: So one of the things that you taught me, um, because we've, you reminded me, we've known each other for since before the podcast…
L: When I reached out to you about making one of my specialties, chronic illness, working with my psychotherapy clients and I so admired your practice and we had a great conversation and one of the things that you taught me was you can have a relationship with your chronic illness and specifically you can ask a question of your chronic illness.
L: Like you can ask it. What do you want me to know?
L: So I'm curious, what if you were to ask it today…
L: Yeah, let's say today, what does it want you to know? Like what, what do you find as answers?
E: I wrote it down actually. I wish I had brought it but I didn't it.
E: Um, yeah, I, I actually engaged in this exercise where I, um, I started writing down everything that crowns was teaching me. I just kept papers on the refrigerator.
L: That’s so cool.
E: And it ended up being like four pages long and I only did it, I don't know, a three month period or something when I was at the height of my illness and I was really being challenged by a lot of things. So yeah, I mean, one of the things that always stands out to me is that I ended up having to make phone calls to the insurance company or phone calls to a doctor or follow up on claims or this and that. And there was, part of that was, you know, I even looked at that and thought “Crohn’s is having a voice here, I'm being challenged.”
E: So it's got something to say. And so I would do this thing where I'd say, “Okay, I don't want to make this phone call. It's going to be really uncomfortable. It's, it's annoying. Right? But why is this, why is this a challenge for me right now?” And I'd say, “Well, if I do this, then I'm really practicing being disciplined or diligent about something” and then I go, “Well, that's a really cool skill to have. I want to do that. I wanna get good at that. Okay, thanks Crohn’s.”
E: Yeah, yeah, I'll just do that. And it really flipped the switch for me. It made some of the bigger challenges that much easier. It was, it was like me and Crohn’s. We're just at the table together, just hanging out and learning from each other.
E: Yeah. I would say some of the other things that came up was it, it certainly asked me to slow down.
It asked me to be patient, especially with healing. It challenged most of my relationships. So it helped me to really think about what was important in there for me.
L: Mmm, mmhmm.
E: Um, helped me to get better at nourishing those relationships. I feel like it's taught me to be a much better therapist, you know, I had to, I had to get still with myself and in that stillness where I was maybe for the first time really observing the contents of my mind. I noticed those going on in there and I learned how to be softer, more compassionate with me and I feel like I’m softer and more compassionate with the people I work with too. That might've been maybe the biggest gift of all of it. Yeah.
L: That is so awesome. And I can personally relate to that. The, the softening that comes as a result of the hardship.
L: Because we learned how to manage it in a new way. We learned how to manage life in a new way.
L: And um, I think of it as humbling for sure.
E: Yeah. Absolutely.
L: And a huge, a compassionate builder.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah.
E: And what are your topics that you love discussing as healing relationships? And I wonder if you could share a little bit about that.
E: Yeah. So that relationship with that natural path is one that stands out to me the most, you know, had it not been for his willingness to see in me some of the things I didn't see. I don't know if I'd been, if I had, if I had been courageous enough to allow Crohn’s to have that role in my life.
E: And I felt that from him right away, you know, even in the midst of his poop jokes.
E: And his talks about chakras, I felt that from him.
E: Another situation that stands out for me was when I was in the, in the midst of the hardest part. Um, I was really sick and a friend of mine, Oh, close friend of mine who I've known since third grade, Katherine is her name. She called me and she said, how are you doing? And um, you know, I went into the, like, this is the medicine that I’m on now and this is the doctor I just saw. She said, “No, how are you really doing?”
L: I love friends like that.
E: Like, what is it like, you know, and that was the first time I talked about it with anybody, like how hard the days were. I have Crohn's and a lot of people, um, you can get joint pain. And my joint pain was at an eight almost every day.
E: Yeah. For a long time, I mean it was virtually impossible to get out of bed. I couldn't even roll over in bed. It was. I mean, it just, it just penetrated everything, that pain. So I was talking with her about that and she cried with me and even now this just brings up so much emotion.
L: I can feel it.
E: The way that she sat with me.
E: The way that she listened. Yeah. It was different, that conversation and I don't even know, honestly, I can't even really put to words like what that did or what that felt like to have somebody just step into that emotional space with you and be so willing to just be in there with you and just swim in it, you know? Yeah.
L: That's so beautiful. And just as you tell the story right now, I wasn't there, but as you tell it, I feel almost as if I'm some part of me is healing. Just being told a story of that type of friendship.
L: And the willingness and just her love for you coming through in that story.
E: Yeah. Mmhmm.
L: That's so lovely.
E: Yeah. A lot of what, and I'm sure others can relate to this, a of what you see a lot of what I saw in the midst of all of that was no, of course, a lot of friends and people in my life kind of coming forward and wanting to be a support and often what you're feeling though, when I'm feeling what I was sensitive to was, was their own expectations of themselves about how they show up for me, a little bit of it always felt a little bit insincere. Now I knew they were sincere. I knew that they in their heart wanted to support me.
E: Um, and that felt good and I pulled from that, you know, for sure. But Katherine never did that. I mean, she's, when she would call, it wasn't about her ever. I never felt like it was about her.
L: Like her showing up for you wasn't even about her.
L: Or her view of herself as a person who shows up. She just, they showed up.
E: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, and a lot of people did, you know, I don't want to discount the support I got from my other friends and my family. It's, I did, I feel very, very fortunate.
E: I had several surgeries right after diagnosis and over the course of, about a year after. And um, I don't know how this came to be, but we just developed this habit where my mom would take me to the surgery, bring me home, stay with me for recovery. And all my friends would come over and she'd feed them.
L: Aww! That’s so sweet.
L: Everybody would be around. And it's so interesting. I'm, I'm very introverted. And so the thought of me wanting to be around all these people right after surgery, you kind of blows my mind. But I love it.
E: I, I, I, uh, I just relished that, that, um, that love and that company.
L: Absolutely. It kind of reminds me of when like, I don't know if this happened growing up with the electricity would go out from a storm or something.
L: And you don't have as many resources, but you kind of come together in a different way. And it's kind of cozy and fun.
L: You're not worried about the same things is when you have electricity because you're just trying to get through it.
L: And I think about after a, for me a medical procedure when friends come over, it's kind of like that same feeling of, oh, this is kind of a fun out of the ordinary time.
L: For us to just enjoy each other.
E: Yeah. Yeah.
L: It’s so cool. Even for an introvert.
E: I know, right? Yeah. So when, you know, you asked about, uh, my views on healing, you know, that was such a big part of it was those, those relationships.
E: And my relationship with myself and my, my, it wasn't just the desire to heal, it was a belief that I could. A belief that my body wanted to the that yeah, it seemed really important.
L: Mmmm. How do you make sense of illness and your life and in general?
E: Yeah. I think at first I saw it as a punishment. I blamed myself for having gotten sick and that didn't work real well for me.
E: Uh, like I said it, it really put me in this place of resistance all the time. And I wasn't just resisting illness, I was resisting me, and so I began to see it more as a challenge, as an opportunity, as something that could really transform my life in ways that the ways in ways that I might have wanted, but just didn't know yet. And as soon as I started to think about it as, as an opportunity or a challenge, um, I was a lot kinder to myself in that process because I wasn't so fixated on fixing me, fixing this, seeing it as a problem and trying to fix it. I kind of integrated the illness just into my being.
E: And I began to realize that I needed the illness in order to make some really important changes in my life.
L: Wow. Which types of changes are you thinking?
E: I think the biggest one was I, I needed illness to show me that I had courage. And that I had tenacity.
E: I think it was always there. I didn't know.
L: It kind of lifted, lifted the veil that you really see what was going on in there.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah. And to see how hard I have always been on myself and to give me the opportunity to shift that, to soften that. Like I said.
L: Yes. And I think it, you know, so many of us can be hard on ourselves anyway.
L: And then when you get a diagnosis it's like wow, great excuse to be even harder on ourselves. Right.
L: And, and I, I certainly have had my moments where I feel blamey... where's myself? And that's just, I think of that now as, because it still, I'm not saying like, Oh, I'm over it and it doesn't happen anymore. But when it shows up I'm like, oh, this isn't like a learned pattern. This is something that I've been kind of taught to perpetuate within myself that I just need to be really intentional about not going there for too long.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah.
L: Because it's very convincing. It's like, you know, thinking the illnesses are fault, like you said is so common.
E: Yeah. Mmhmm.
L: Um, and I think there are a lot of messages out there that say that it is. So in order to get through that and not take on that identity as it being a punishment, as it being a blame thing, it takes a lot of work.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah. And I love going to that place with my clients.
E: And they say, you know, when they're talking about the hardship and how unfair it is.
E: How it feels to reframe that and say, you know, this is, had it not been for this illness we made, this may not reveal itself.
E: We may not have seen this, this really unworkable part of your life and how cool that we get to work with that right now and help them to instead of running from it or fighting with it or trying to, to, uh, you know, kind of chase it away...to invite it in and let it have a say.
L: Mmmm. Let it have a place at the table.
E: Mmhmm. It's almost like a consultant.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah.
L: Chronic illness as your consultant. And it's like, here are some things you need to look at.
E: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I, I see it as my spiritual guide. Yeah. Really smart one too.
E: Yeah. I don't have a reason to fight with Crohn's and I will say this, I don't know if this is part of it, but I got well pretty quickly too, um, and I feel...I feel a lot of gratitude because I didn't suffer for very long. Um, I went into remission pretty quickly and I've been in remission ever since. Um, so it's been five years and I've had uh, no flares at all. So in some ways sometimes I think my path may have been even a bit easier.
E: I don't know, but it was also the really hard parts that were the most transformative. So.
L: Totally, yeah. Sometimes I think about my remission as sometimes I wonder if it means that I don't really have as much to offer because as far as be speaking from a chronic illness perspective.
L: Because in some ways I'm like, oh, but things are actually quite manageable now.
L: And then I think about how much more grateful I am for this time than I ever would have been.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah.
L: If it weren't for the relapse periods.
E: Yeah. Yeah. And I still think about my life before Crohn’s and after Crohn’s. I still frame a lot of what I talk about around before I got sick and after I got sick that yeah, that's always been like this marker in my life where there's the shift.
E: And so although I'm in remission, this is my life with Crohn's and I think it's very different than it would be if I had never had it.
L: Absolutely. Actually, if you could go back in time to that night when you were by yourself looking at this piece of paper with a diagnosis.
L: And if you could have been the friends that was sitting with you, what would you said or done?
E: Mmmm. I um, I've heard you ask this question. So I, um, I'm, it's always so curious how people answer that question. And I would have said stop eating gluten right now.
L: First of all.
E: First of all. No, I don't know if I don't, I don't know if I would take that opportunity if I had it.
L: Mmmm. Because you needed that.
E: Yeah. I don't know that I would change any of it. Um, I, I need it. I feel like I, I now know a type of, of suffering, um, that gave me the vision...It gave me the clarity, it took the suffering to see, to clearly see who I was, what my relationship was to myself. Um, I don't think I would take this suffering away.
E: Which I know is kind of part of that question is, is there, you know, would you change the hard parts? No, no way.
L: The answer is no.
E: And I wouldn't change that.
L: I love that.
E: Yeah, it was like at one time seeing myself and the world trying to see myself in the world, like through the murkiness of like a lake, right? It was through the suffering that I could kind of clear the murkiness and I could see the surface, see the clear kind of pure surface of, of myself.
E: Yeah. I don't know how. I don't know how to. That's kind of how it felt. It went from murky to clear.
E: That's all. That's all I know and I, I had to be in the dark parts.
L: Just you...have you seen that analogy, the Lotus and muddy water?
E: Yeah. Yeah. Um, but yeah, that when I first saw that, that really spoke to me just yeah, I know that other guests have talked about it too, or at least one person has, I think this, um, that the symbolism of this beautiful flower can really only grow in the mud and I see my clients that way too.
L: Like it needs that mud to nourish it so that it can grow and get to the surface just like you needed that night alone opening that piece the paper with your diagnosis.
L: As hard as it was. It helped.
E: I kinda needed that fear. I needed the pain and I needed all of it. Yeah. Yeah. Mmhmm.
L: That’s so beautiful. What does it mean to you to live a fulfilling life and has that definition changed over your health journey?
E: Mmhmm. Well, it's like what you read on my website, it's about doing the things that matter and just letting illness come along for the ride. It's about really showing up in the parts of my life that matter to me most, and if illness is coming, okay. Yeah.
L: Yeah. So you're saying essentially that you're still focusing on what you deeply care about as being the priority.
E: Mmhmm, yeah.
L: And including whatever health stuff comes up as you do it. And I think that there's something. There's a couple things there. One is I imagine you can tell me if I'm right, that you're now more in touch with what the things are.
E: Sure, absolutely.
L: Because it's almost like, well, when the chronic illness comes along for the ride, we really have to make sure that we care about that thing that we're our energy on.
E: Yeah, mmhmm. Yeah. And it's about keeping it in focus all the time, you know, even when fear is showing up, even when you know, pain shows up, it's about being intentional and bringing to mind deliberately what really matters in that, in that moment.
E: And I tell my clients this, that moment, it could just be getting the dishes done, but it's about being intentional with that. Yeah.
L: Mmmm. Great reminder for all of us. I like that.
L: Do you have any funny moments from your health journey that you can share?
E: I have so many. Um, when you have Crohn’s disease, boy…
L: Oh my gosh, right?
E: Humor has been a very important part of this process for me. So one thing that they don't tell you about, the doctors don't tell you about is this kind of side effective Crohn's disease that I know I developed and I have a feeling some others have too, but they're not willing to talk about it. Uh, poop envy.
L: I see a hashtag coming up.
E: Um, so there's a story. So I was staying in a hotel with some, I won't say who I'm a because this person probably wouldn't be okay with me sharing this, but I was staying in a hotel. Um, I was pretty sick at the time still and the people I was staying with knew the status of my health and they knew that I was going to need full control of the bathroom. That while I was staying there for that weekend, they weren't kind of, they weren't going to have any say in the bathroom.
E: So I'm so sure enough I get up the next morning and somebody's in the bathroom and I'm, I said, “Okay, I think it's….”
L: I think it’s time!
E: “I think it’s time. “ And this person says “Well, just let me know and just tell me when.” And so I said, “Okay, now.” and I'm running in. As she's running out, her pants aren't even up yet and I'm running in there and she makes this attempt to flush before I really get in there. But I got a glimpse…
L: You got a glimpse.
E: I got a glimpse of what was in the toilet and you know, I hadn't seen a fully formed poop in months and I had almost forgotten what it looked like.
E: It was so envious.
L: I'm like, imagining golden rays. Angels singing.
E: Yeah. I just sat there going…*sigh* one day...one day I hope, I hope I can get to that point.
L: Hashtag, poop goals. Yeah.
E: Poop goals, yeah. Poop envy.
L: Oh my gosh.
E: Yeah, it was, um, it was pretty funny. But yeah, I, uh, I'm trying to think... that's probably, that's probably only story that I can really tell that doesn't just really embarrass anybody. I'm okay embarrassing myself. The others might have people involved.
L: I love that story, I think it's so, you know...and it, it translates to so many illnesses because there are things about having a body and being human that we generally take for granted.
L: And that we don't really think of as being admirable qualities and yet when we don't have access to those things or those functions, the way...the quote unquote, the normal way.
L: There, there can, it can be funny and it can also bring up sadness and longing for a time when that was possible or for it ever being possible. And I think the story is so relevant.
E: So many of us!
E: Not very often you're seeing other people's…
E: You know, what's left in the toilet. I felt terrible for this person.
E: It was just, you know, it was like, “All right, no, really, you got to get out of there.”
L: It’s go time.
E: There was, there was no opportunity for her to you know even kind of…
E: Uh, you know, get the toilet flushed and save herself from any kind of thing about to happen as I ran in there. Yeah.
L: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Well thank you for sharing that. What do you have now that you might not have had without this illness?
E: It's almost too big of a question. I just don't know that I could cover everything. The first thing that popped into my mind is just peace. I think I always used to have this question of “Am I moving in the right direction? Is everything like doing the right things for me?” And I don't have that anymore. I think I just feel a lot of peace and contentment that I am moving in all the right directions and where I'm at now is right where I'm supposed to be, but everything that's happened to me is okay that I, that I can, I can. I really feel like I can handle anything that life can throw me some really big curve balls and I really feel like I could handle it. I don't think I felt that before.
L: And it's what you're talking about is this question of am I doing the right thing based on external circumstances and accomplishments. And it's like now your answer has to do with an internal state.
L: Like you're not referencing. Well, I'm, I hit this milestone, so now I feel like I'm in. I'm on the right path right now.
L: You're saying no, that's just the state that I'm in believing that everything I'm doing is the path.
E: Yeah. Yeah.
L: And I love that you said, I feel like I can handle anything because think that is probably the biggest thing that I've gotten too from this chronic illness.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah.
L: We're pretty resilient.
E: Mmhmm. Yeah.
L: Pretty cool.
E: And I would say you probably always were.
E: Yeah. But it took..maybe it took. Okay. Maybe it took MS to see it.
L: Mmmm. And I hope everyone who heard you say that to me knows that you're also saying it to them.
L: That’s really cool. Finish this sentence. This is not what I ordered….
E: Uhhh. I just want to make a joke of this.
L: You should.
E: I know this is not what I ordered and as long as there's no gluten in it, I'll take it.
L: I’m open as long as there’s no gluten.
E: That's the one limitation that I have to draw. I have to draw a line there Lauren.
L: Thank you so much for joining me.
E: Thank you. It's been pleasure.