This episode of True Life shows real people who are living with Neurofibromatosis. I’d say there are two different types of narratives being told among the three persons suffering from Neurofibromatosis (NF). All three people have a mix between a restitution and chaos narrative. Beckha, Amber, and Justin discuss the restitution part of their narrative in that they are all trying to restore their health by removing the tumors associated with NF. They all believe they are going to get better once they have the proper surgical prodecure done, Beckha even risks permanent paralysis in order to remove a tumor on/within her spinal cord. Like the last bullet in lecture explaining the restitution narrative. they truly believe in the Western ideal that there is a cure for every suffering they just have to find it. (Or the right doctor)
All three also have some elements of a chaos narrative. NF can be a degenerative condition if the tumors are in the brain or near the spinal cord, but it can also just be tumors that grow in non life threatening locations. The three people suffering from NF discuss how their own symptoms have had a large effect on their social life and the suffering it has caused. They all related to being teased and stared and pointed at in school and how having a surgery could drastically improve their life in terms of the confidence they would gain and the independence they could achieve.
The three different narratives can be useful to fellow patients who are suffering from NF by showing different coping mechanisms or by bringing more attention and awareness to the illness. For instance Beckha had tumor growths in her brain and in the base of her spine. The spinal tumor affected the function of her legs and she had to use a walker and wheelchair. The tumors in her brain affected hearing and eyesight on her left side. She was deaf and blind in her left eye/ear. In no way was she mentally handicapped or slow in any cognitive function but the way she walked and the way her eye didn’t move (looked like a lazy eye) could give the impression she was mentally impaired. Her story and the others like it can help shape the way we view and label others who aren’t visibly healthy or normal on their outward appearance.