“I have diabetes”

This episode of True Life was a Chaos narrative I think. This is because the condition diabetes is an on going illness that can bring different challenges into the lives of the people who have it. It also does not have a cure so there is no quest to finish, just various treatments to adjust it. The use of the narrative is to describe the lives of three different people with diabetes. One was a girl that was struggling with diabetes during her pregnancy, one was a guy that was struggling with transitioning to college life and still maintaining his condition, and the last was a girl who was struggling financially because of the debt her medical bills were putting her in. The theme related to culture was that in our culture it can take a lot of adjusting of someone’s lifestyle (their diet in particular) to properly maintain their blood sugar and not cause further health problems like seizures, a coma, affecting the growing fetus, or even death of the person. Each person had various experiences with medical professionals. The pregnant girl had to meet with all the doctors for her pregnancy as well as a doctor for her diabetes and a nutritionist to help manage her diet on top of everything. The guy had to meet with his doctor to discuss how he will be able to still experience college and party even though it is not recommended that people with diabetes drink at all. As far as the sick role goes, in their narratives it made me realize that these people do not really get to use the sick role to their advantage as many people with medical conditions do. One girl is forced to move in with her mother because she can not finance her medical bills, her debt, and her apartment even though she is working 80 hours a week. Her mom has zero sympathy for the illness she is suffering from on top of her stressful lifestyle of working two full time jobs and not being able to afford things she needs to survive such as a new insulin pump. After watching this episode, I think that illness narratives can be very useful to both the person with a condition and the people around them so that everyone can understand what it is like for the people. A great example of this is the youtube video “A Day Living with Diabetes” because it allows the young girl’s family/friends as well as complete strangers like me who have no experience with the condition to understand all that has to happen in one typical day for her.

 “A Day Living with Diabetes,” YouTube video, 8:51, posted by “christimclean1313,” July 22, 2010,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVUOIr8Etow

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