This True Life Episode follows the daily lives of three young adults suffering from Diabetes. In all three cases, the think the narratives shown should be classified as chaos narratives. This is a disease they will suffer their entire lives, and it effects almost all aspects of their lives: their eating habits, their social life, finances, in Jen’s case, her pregnancy, and in Matt’s case, his college experience.
I think that in these three cases, the illness narrative is used as a way to express their suffering and help make sense of the disease they are forced to live with not only to the public, but to themselves as well. For Kristyn, one of the main problems that she suffers with are the medical costs that insurance doesn’t cover. She has had to move back in with her parents, and works two jobs to help pay off her debt, but the expenses just keep building up. Her mother is very controlling, and does not allow her daughter to exercise her sick role as much as she would like. For Matt, he just wants to be the normal college student, and refuses to accept that living with diabetes means there are restrictions on what he can do. His friends encourage him to play the sick role more, and be more careful about what he puts into his body and how he lives his life in order to avoid having another seizure episode. His experiences with doctors are not very positive either, as they are very worried about this health due to lifestyle that does not coincide well with Type I diabetes. For Jen, her circumstances are a bit different in that she has been recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes, and at the same time finding out that she was pregnant with her first child. Her biggest struggle is that she also refuses to play the sick role and abide my her doctors orders to change her diet and lifestyle to save not only herself, but her unborn child.
Karim, Taz. “4.2 Illness Narratives.” Class Lecture, ANP 204, East Lansing, MI, July 22, 2014.