On Day 2 of ePatient Connections I just can’t help thinking about being a double agent. Because I am one. But not in the cool spy sort of way. I work in the healthcare industry, and also I’m a patient. It’s two worlds that for some unexplainable reason are very separate. I don’t want to wrong my fellow patients fighting the Crohn’s fight by making it seem like I’m working for “the other side.” And yet, I am. I work, directly and indirectly, with some of the people innovating in healthcare: pharma, nonprofits, etc. So many people hate pharma. I understand that, I do, I’m a PR person after all. But because of pharma I can live my life, because of the scientific advancements they’ve made that allow me to have a normal life. And I have loved pharma for that – and always will – no matter who is responsible for my paycheck.
I’d like to say that by day I do PR for an ad agency that specializes in healthcare, and that by night I’m a mom and a wife and a patient. But I’m not. I am all of these things all of the time. Living with an incurable disease makes me better at my job, because it helps me help my colleagues understand what I really truly go through, and what my fellow fighters and survivors go through. And working for a company that understands Crohn’s disease means that I get time off when I need it to get rest when I need it or go to a doctor’s appointment or just plain find that balance that has eluded me in every other industry.
For me, not being a double agent means … well the only way I’d be able to do that would be to stop blogging. Because (thank you, stupid Crohn’s,) I need health insurance, so I can’t exactly quit my job. But not just that – I need my entire life. I need my career, it makes me feel whole. So that won’t happen. I’ll always be a double agent. I’ll always keep working to do all of these things that help fulfill my life.
But wait. Maybe one day I won’t need to be a double agent because maybe one day my two worlds will connect. ePatient makes me feel like perhaps that could happen.