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I’ve tried to write this piece a few times before, but haven’t been able to get through it. Perhaps that’s because writing something like this takes time and thought and focus — the type of time and thought and focus that doesn’t usually get prioritized in the days immediately following a major surgery.

Of the 193 countries in the world, 179 of them guarantee some amount of paid sick leave; the United States is among the 14 countries that do not. I work at a company with great benefits by US standards, and I still only get ten days of paid sick leave a year, so I’m usually in a hurry to get back. …

Tips from your friendly chronic illness sufferer

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Photo by Sasha Freemind via Unsplash

I’m not a COVID-19 expert.

But I am someone with a chronic illness — an illness that will never go away, and one which has completely changed the way I live (despite my many attempts to behave as if that weren’t the case). Recently, I’ve noticed similarities between the way I had to adjust and adapt to my condition, and the way we’re all struggling to adapt to this new and uncertain reality.

So I wanted to share some things I’ve learned along the way in the hopes that one or more might be helpful for you, especially when it comes to social distancing and facing an uncertain and unwanted future. …

A Crohn’s Story

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Me yesterday, with a whole bunch of needles, at work!

It’s Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, and I’ve been wanting to write a longer piece for it, but I’ve been too tired to get it together. So in lieu of something more comprehensive, I’m just going to talk about my day yesterday.

I take an expensive medication called Stelara. When medicines are expensive, insurance companies create a bunch of unnecessary hoops you need to jump through in order to get them filled. To get my most recent refill of Stelara, I had to spend over 3 hours on the phone with my insurance, their specialty pharmacy, and my doctor’s office combined. …

My life with Crohn’s Disease

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Me last week, in the hospital while on vacation.

Having a chronic illness sucks. It sucked when I was first diagnosed as a college freshman, and it sucks today as a 34-year-old woman. It sucks every single day and it will never stop sucking, and that’s just the truth.

When I was 18, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, an incurable inflammatory bowel disease that can cause any number of symptoms from cramping to bloating to pain to nausea to fatigue, diarrhea, bloody stool… (the list goes on). It’s not going to kill me, but it’s not going to go away either. For me, it’s like having food poisoning every single day. …


Hannah Chase

Teacher, improviser, feminist, adventurer. I mostly write about chronic illness.

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