True Life: I’m deaf

This episode of True Life was about two young people who were born deaf. There was a 16 year old boy, Chris, whose primary type of communication was sign language. He struggled to feel connected to hearing people at school. For this reason he chooses to undergo cochlear implant surgery. Also the episode follows a 21 year old girl named Amanda. Her primary way of communicating was speech and reading lips which was different than Chris’s. Amanda was following her dreams to be a dancer and to join a dance team. She could follow along by feeling the vibrations of the music.

Amanda and Chris’s narratives were both Quest Narratives. They both told a story of their condition as if it were a journey that had taken. Also they both talked about how there were opportunities to improve themselves during their experiences. These both fall under the Quest Narrative category so that is why I classified that way.

In today culture there is a slight stigma with being deaf. People view deaf people as someone who handicapped. Some people judge incorrectly that the deaf have lower than normal intelligence or that they are unable to complete a task because of their impairment.

In this episode Chris seeks help from medical doctors and surgeons to receive a surgical implant so he can hear. Also he sees a speech therapist to help with the way his voice sounds and how to pronounce words correctly.

Chris takes on the sick role more than Amanda does in this episode. He attends different classes at school because of his hearing which gives him different responsibilities. Amanda takes on more normal responsibilities that hearing people have like attending normal college classes and being a part of a normal dance team both which are meant for the hearing.

In Lecture 2 this week we talked about the benefits of illness narratives to patients, family, and healthcare providers. For the sufferer an illness narrative can make sense of the suffering, help adjust to the new disability, and help them to feel empowered. For listeners like family, friends, and doctors the illness narrative can help them to feel less isolated, encourage them to share their own suffering, model on how to live with the illness, and help them to understand what the sufferer is going through.

Leave a Reply