196 Pills Per Week
When I got out of college, I was so excited to work. After all, I’d spent the last years devoted to my education, waiting for my chance to be apart of the great American workforce. Like many of my peers, I spent hours researching, writing cover letters, and applying to jobs. Yet, unlike most of them, the thought of how I would reconcile a new job with a chronic illness loomed. It added a new layer to the job search and at times, my illness felt like a disqualifying factor.
Months later, I sat at my desk, IV drugs running through my veins, typing furiously on my computer. I could feel the cold medicine ball pressed up against my bare stomach.
I had to hide my IV inside my shirt so I wasn’t seen as weak or incapable.
My phone rings and it’s time for a team meeting. Shit. My drugs were almost done and I was going to have to unhook the IV in 15 minutes. It wasn’t an option for me to leave the meeting, so I just went and knew that soon my arm would start to ache having not changed out the meds. And boy, did it ache. I sat through the meeting, mind wandering, wondering how people were supposed to work when their treatment was a full-time job on its own.
My days started out with 14 pills, a shot in my stomach, and a 24 oz drink that tastes like dish soap. I would walk to work, sit at my desk, and hook myself up to my first of six drugs. Each compression ball would take an hour to get into my body. I’d work 9-6, try to see friends after, and then go home to do my nightly routine, which consisted of your regular household tasks. Then I’d take another 14 pills, and go to sleep. I did this for six months and managed to still smile, for the most part.
I had no idea how people did this. I couldn’t believe I was one of those people. All I wanted to do was lay in bed. So I quit my first big girl job and got a job at a startup. Granted, at this point, my PICC line had been removed, but I now suddenly had a team around me that understood my disease and allowed me to work from home if I wasn't feeling well. I still remember the first day I worked remotely and my boss called me just to check in and see how I was feeling. I couldn’t believe it. My boss cared about my health enough to call me and check in. It was unbelievable.
There are currently 133 million people in the United States living with a chronic illness.
If you head to Facebook, you can see for yourself, hundreds of people asking the same questions: How do people work full-time with a chronic illness? How can you find remote work opportunities? Are they any companies that are actually understanding of your illness?
Despite living with a chronic illness, I know that I, like the millions of Americans with chronic illness, have the capabilities to become an instrumental part of the workforce, if only we can recognize everyone’s unique abilities and find creative solutions to include them. That’s what drove me to create Chronically Capable, a platform that connects the chronically ill with employers who offer remote work, flexible schedules, and favorable health benefits. The platform is currently in development by a team based in Washington, D.C, with plans to launch a beta version of the platform in 2019. Those interested may sign up to be notified of the launch on our site.
The following events are offered free to our community. We built Chronically Capable to be accessible for everyone, but we know that accessibility is an ongoing process. All events will be virtual and include Live Closed Captions for all attendees.
Interviews are stressful for everyone! We all get the pre-interview jitters and second guess ourselves. Being prepared is key! We hope the below tips will equip you to ace your next interview and can provide you with a fresh sense of hope.
In this 8 week class series, Noa Porten, a meditation and mindfulness teacher in training living with chronic illness, will demystify meditation and mindfulness with accessible practices that can serve as tools for living and working alongside chronic illness.
Chronically Capable's website and digital assets are not only fully compliant with the ADA but are elevated to the worldwide standards of WCAG.
We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Flatiron School to provide opportunities for chronically ill and disabled professionals to build a career in tech.
Chronically Capable is excited to announce our new partnership with IndeCollective: The Modern MBA, for the Modern Independent Worker.
Disability is diverse. Just because someone may not appear to be disabled at first glance does not mean that an individual may be disabled / chronically ill.
Many disability advocates and supporters believe that using person-first language helps people remember they are speaking with a person who has dignity, feelings, and rights.
Club Capable was designed to be a space for discovering and connecting with others in our community. Club Capable is the first community designed for chronically ill and disabled professionals to get advice, seek help navigating a job search, and access exclusive events and resources.