Ready and … Action!

Atlanta-based writer and producer Tina doesn’t want Crohn’s to hold her back from her career in the entertainment industry. The Tippi Team rallies to help her take control.

Ready and … Action!

Atlanta-based writer and producer Tina doesn’t want Crohn’s to hold her back from her career in the entertainment industry. The Tippi Team rallies to help her take control.
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Managing Crohn’s disease is challenging, but it can be even harder when you don’t work a traditional 9-to-5 job. Just ask Tina Shakiyah Powell, a writer and producer living in Atlanta.

The 29-year-old often spends long days on set and can’t always take a break when her symptoms flare. “I just get excruciating pain throughout my entire body,” says Tina. “I have to be on set, but I physically don’t feel like it anymore.”

You want to always say, 'Take care of your body; you come first.' But at the same time, you can't always do that in your work environment.

Conditions aren’t always ideal for people with a gastrointestinal disease, such as Crohn’s. Bathrooms on set are often porta-potties, which can pose a problem for Tina. “That is something I struggle with, being able to be comfortable enough to use the bathroom when I need to go the bathroom, no matter where I’m at,” she says.

Tina's busy schedule leaves her little time to pack her own lunch, so she has to choose from the food provided, which isn’t always catered to her vegetarian lifestyle. “Sometimes I’m just like, ‘I’m going to eat what I want to eat, and pay the consequences later, when I don’t feel good,” she says.

Tina, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s when she was 16, doesn’t often tell others when issues arise on set, because she doesn’t want her coworkers to think she’s unreliable or to feel she’s a “burden” to anyone.

“You want to always say, ‘Take care of your body; you come first,’” she says. “But at the same time, you can’t always do that in your work environment.”

Watch the episode to hear more of Tina’s story and see if the Tippi Team can help her find a balance between caring for herself and pursuing her dream of working in the TV and film industry.

Tips for Tina

The Tippi Team — a gastroenterologist, therapist, chef, and patient advocate — share these tips to help Tina live better with Crohn's disease.