W4 Activity: I Have Diabetes

Illness narratives are a way for patients with certain illnesses to manage their disease and how it effects their daily life.  An illness narrative can help the patient cope with social stigmas related to the illness or even to learn to deal with treatments better. Sharing an illness narrative with other patients can help patients to understand that they are not alone in their illness and that there are ways to live with the illness. Illness narratives can also help family and friends to understand an illness and can help healthcare providers to better understand how treatments are affecting the patient. 

The episode of True Life: I Have Diabetes follows the life of three individuals living with diabetes. The episode follows their quest narrative to live a better life with diabetes. However “better” means something different to each patient with diabetes. One patient is a 19 year old college student who wants to “live the college life” and be able to drink alcohol on a regular basis. Another is a 19 year old pregnant girl struggling to learn how to deal with being diabetic and pregnant at the same time. She wants to live a better life in order to have a healthy baby but is struggling to watch her nutritional intake. The third is a 25 year old girl who is struggling with the financial aspect of diabetes. In order to improve her life she needed to be able to purchase a new insulin pump of which her insurance would only cover half leaving her to pay about $2100 out of pocket. In order to deal with this financial burden she moved back in with her parents to save money. All three patients were following the quest narrative by wanting to improve their their health for one reason or another. This desire to have better health is why I believe this is a quest narrative.

One thought on “W4 Activity: I Have Diabetes

  1. In order to find another illness narrative about diabetes, I google searched “personal story of diabetes” and a blog from the American Heart Association popped up. I decided to read about Janet’s story (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Diabetes/DiabetesToolsResources/Janet—Durham-NC_UCM_315668_Article.jsp ).

    The biggest difference between Janet’s story and the TrueLife stories, seems to be the type of diabetes that is affecting the narrators. The TrueLife patients are very young, leading me to believe that they have Type1 diabetes based off their age diagnosed although my classmate did not specify if they were Insulin dependent or not. In Janet’s story, she is a 52 year old African American female that has a family history of Type 2 diabetes. After being diagnosed, Janet admits to feeling very depressed which she shares in common with the group from TrueLife. She decided that the diabetes would not control her life and that by changing her eating habits she could control her diabetes. In Janet’s case, it seems that her family and culture had the biggest influence on her illness. With a strong family history she was already prone to the disease. Her culture more than likely influenced her diet, leading her to develop the Type 2 diabetes. In the TrueLife episode, socioeconomic factors also seemed to play a large part in their illness, as one of the people were unable to pay for their healthcare.

    Janet- Durham, NC. DiabetesToolsResources. American Heart Association. Accessed June 14th, 2015.

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