How to Successfully Work From Home With IBD

As an inflammatory bowel disease patient, in some ways, I believe COVID-19 has changed the world for the better. For example, across the globe, people are living like they have a chronic or autoimmune disease by isolating and social distancing. Hoarding hand sanitizer is the norm. But the biggest change I hope will remain if life ever returns to normal is the business world’s acceptance of telecommuting.

As most people adjust to working remotely, I’ve been doing this since 2003. I began freelancing after I was laid off. With my health issues, I would’ve preferred to remain self-employed. However, this was before the Affordable Care Act prevented insurance companies from refusing to cover preexisting conditions. I had no choice but to find a full-time job with benefits just to have health insurance.

I continued to take on small freelance projects on the side until my liver transplant in 2017. Then, for my physical, mental, and emotional well-being, I took the plunge and decided to freelance full-time, or at least find a job that allowed me to work from home.

Telecommuting has advantages for IBD patients. We don’t have to be anxious about the number of bathroom breaks we have during the workday or using a public restroom. If we’re fatigued, we can take a nap without being reprimanded.

But working from home also has challenges. Following are two tips I’ve learned over the years to help IBD patients transition to working remotely.
Tip 1: Set up a home office or workspace.
I thrive working from home because I have a routine. This routine includes “going to the office.” The commute is short, but having a dedicated workspace makes separating my home and work life possible.

When I first started freelancing, my breakfast nook was my office. I had

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