Crohn’s Forced Career Change for Journalist
Claudia was a busy music journalist covering rock bands in California. Life was a thrilling, fast-paced world wind of late nights at rock concerts and constant deadlines writing for her local newspaper. After years of being in the demanding reporting world, Claudia began experiencing extreme weight changes-a 60-lb weight loss within three months to be exact.
“I had a primary care physician that just assumed I was just losing weight, and I was tired. But the one thing I did get out of that situation was a referral to a gastroenterologist,” she says.
Within six months, after several tests, Claudia was diagnosed with Crohn’s.
Claudia has been living with IBD since 1997, and although she says she’s in control of her life now, in the beginning she was faced with worrisome uncertainty about the future of her career.
“When I was first diagnosed I was running around writing stories and because I was covering the music business, that meant a lot of late hours, going out at night, going to concerts, going to bars to see bands,” says Claudia. “You know where that puts you in terms of bathroom access.”
Her diagnosis forced the longtime journalist to completely shift her priorities, starting with her job. Despite her concerns, she eventually opened up to her employer about how her condition was affecting her at work.
“There were instances when I would have to leave mid-shift because I was so sick,” she says. “Once I had a better handle, after a hospitalization, on what was going on, then I felt more comfortable being candid with my employer.”
To her surprise, her employers were so supportive, they helped her find a new position as a health and fitness writer- an ironic move that helped ease her stress.
“I thought that I had lost my life, the life that I had known and liked. And that it was never going to be good again. And of course, I’m here to tell you that it does get better. And things can be good again.”