Inspired by an article written by today’s guest, Aileen Weintraub, I begin the show reading “When Doctor’s Downplay Women’s Health Concerns” from the NY Times, and then on the live show we listen to Jennifer Brea’s Ted Talk. You podcast folks can check out the <- link to her show or listen to the radio archive.
Jennifer Brea was a PhD student at Harvard when, one night, she found she couldn’t write her own name. Over the following months, while doctors insisted her condition was psychosomatic, Brea became bedridden. She started filming herself and the community that she discovered online, collecting the first footage of what would become a feature documentary about myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), often referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome. The film, Unrest, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, tells Jen’s story as well as the stories of four other patients living with ME. She is the founder of #MEAction, an online organizing platform for ME patients around the world, many of whom cannot leave their homes.
Later, (13 minutes into the show) Aileen Weintraub joins me live, an award-winning author, journalist, and editor. She has written for the Washington Post, Glamour, NBC, and AARP, among others. She has also published several children’s books, including Never Too Young! 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference and We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World. Her forthcoming essay in the New York Times, is about her interfaith marriage and being disowned by her Brooklyn Jewish community. You can find out more about her at http://www.aileenweintraub.com and on Twitter @aileenweintraub.
Her soon to be released book, Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir (March 1, 2022; University of Nebraska Press) explores what it meant to check out of life for so long and how it affected both her mental and physical health, her marriage, and her relationship with her family. At four months pregnant she was walking around New York City with her new husband, when she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her lower belly. An emergency sonogram showed that she had unusually large fibroids growing in her uterus, right alongside the baby. One of them was pressing directly on her cervix, causing early effacement. The prognosis: Go to bed, and don’t get up until the baby starts to crown. She spent the next five months on strict bed rest in an old Hudson Valley farmhouse trying to save the life of her unborn child.
Today on the show, we talk about the memoir, about bedrest, women’s health, talking publicly about your family, losing friends, and writing about inspiring kids and women athletes. You can order the book NOW, even though it officially releases March 1st. She’ll be doing a book signing at Rough Draft in Kingston on March 5th from 11-1pm.
Thanks to Ian Seda from Radio Kingston for engineering today’s show!
Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!
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