The True Life episode I choose to watch was “I Have Diabetes.” This episode followed around three people suffering from diabetes all with different lifestyles. Kristyn is a female who works eighty hours a week trying to get out of debt and be able to buy a new insulin pump. Matt is in his sophomore year of college not letting his diabetes hold him back from the ultimate college experience. Jen is nineteen years old and pregnant risking her babies well being with her poor health habits. I believe that there are many different types of narratives that were documented in this episode.
Matt’s main concern is risking his life experiences in return for good health, similar to chaos narrative. Chaos narrative includes social suffering and frustration. Towards the end of the episode he tries to change his ways and go a night out with his friends and not drink. After falling into peer pressure he begins to drink heavily making up for lost time. I understand that Matt wants to have a normal college experience but he mentioned he drinks 4-5 times a week. It is easy to have an unforgettable college experience without putting your life in danger almost nightly.
Jen loves eating fast food and cannot seem to break this habit. Quest narrative gives you the opportunity to improve yourself, which is crucial for the health of her baby. Once the baby is born she vows to improve her life so she can provide the best life for her son. However, she is greeted at the hospital doors on her way out with McDonald’s chicken nuggets.
Kristyn is dealing with her diabetes to the best of her ability just suffering with financial issues.
I think the illness narrative allows the people suffering from their disease, their families, and their friends to better understand what they are going through and how they can help them. One of the listeners (family members and friends) jobs is to set an example on how to live with the illness. Jen and Matt surrounded themselves with people who encouraged bad eating and drinking habits. The person suffering from the illness is supposed to adjust to their disease and take part in a new lifestyle.
Karim, Taz. “Lecture 4.1 Experiencing Illness”. Michigan State University, 13:50. http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us14/week-4-lecture-1/
Karim, Taz. “Lecture 4.2 Narrative Illnesses”. Michigan State University,8:55 . http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us14/week-4-lecture-2/
MTV. “True Life: I Have Diabetes”. MTV, 40:27. Jan 20, 2012.http://www.mtv.com/shows/truelife/true-life-i-have-diabetes/1677596/playlist/#id=1677596