Part of a podcast series

Pill Pop

View all episodes in this series

#5 You Better Work

Listen to #5 You Better Work

Photo of Jacinta Parsons

Jacinta Parsons

Stop us if you’ve heard this one: a chronically ill person walks into work after an extended flare-up. Their coworker asks, grinning, ‘Where have you been?’, to which they reply: ‘I’ve been at home in bed’. The coworker’s eyes grow wide and the grin gets bigger. ‘Oooh!’ they exclaim, ‘I’d just love some time off!’

Jacinta Parsons is a broadcaster, radio maker, writer and public speaker who currently hosts the Afternoons programme on ABC Local Radio Melbourne. In this episode of Pill Pop, she talks to hosts Izzie and Silvi about what it’s like to be working while chronically ill.

Jacinta is an ambassador for the Crohn’s and Colitis Association, and speaks and writes about the impact of living with chronic illness. She has also been an active member of the arts and music community, and is a board member for Melbourne disability theatre company, Rollercoaster.

She has written a book, Unseen – on living with invisible chronic illness – that will be published in September 2020.

Content warning: this episode includes discussions of severe physical and mental illness, hospitals, medical trauma.

Further reading

Get in touch

We want to hear from our listeners! Tweet us your stories of working while chronically ill at @PillPopCast, or send us an email at

In this episode

Hosted, produced and edited by Silvi Vann-Wall and Izzie Austin. Radio maker, writer and Crohn’s ambassador Jacinta Parsons is our guest.

Recorded at Studio 757, Melbourne. This series is produced in partnership with the Wheeler Centre's Signal Boost programme. Mentorship and production support from Bec Fary.

Music: 'Dip Dop' by Barrie Gledden; 'Sad Marimba Planet' and 'More on That Later' by Lee Rosevere. Sound effects sourced from


Download a transcript of this episode here (Adobe PDF format).


Portrait of Silvi Vann-Wall

Silvi Vann-Wall

Silvi Vann-Wall is an audio producer and podcaster, with a strong journalism background. She loves making weird and wonderful audio and is usually found with headphones on. She has lived with a chronic illness for ten years and this informs her current work.

Portrait of Izzie Austin

Izzie Austin

Izzie Austin is a zinester and postgraduate student who grew up in Brisbane with several cats, and now lives in Brunswick with just one cat. They are currently undertaking a PhD in cinema studies and working on Pill Pop – a podcast about chronic illnesses, including their own messed-up pancreas.

Portrait of Jacinta Parsons

Jacinta Parsons

Jacinta Parsons is a broadcaster, writer, speaker and author of memoir Unseen: The secret life of chronic illness. She is an ambassador for the Crohn’s and Colitis Association of Australia. She currently hosts Afternoons on ABC Melbourne, delivering a popular mix of art, culture and ideas.

Pill Pop

An audio road trip for the chronically ill.

Pill Pop is hosted by two chronically ill people – Izzie and Silvi – who take you on a road trip through chronic-illness country. Izzie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a young kid, and Silvi was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as a teenager.

We've lived the majority of our lives with illness, and now it's time to share our stories with people just like us. So hop on in to the back seat of our secondhand ambulance and buckle up for the trip of a lifetime!

At each Pill Pop Pit Stop, we'll interview a guest about their life with chronic illness, covering everything from the funny, the sad and the flat-out gross. Each episode will take you on a journey – from diagnosis, to finding a good doctor, to accepting that your illness is forever.

For anyone who's wondering what it's like to be chronically ill, we use the power of audio to fully immerse each listener in the body of our guests! It's like the episode of The Magic School Bus Ms Frizzle didn't want you to know about.