How The Illness Experience Challenged Kayla 's Identity

1872 WordsMar 17, 20178 Pages
Introduction: Imagine having a disease, but not know about it for years. This was the case of Kayla, the individual that I interviewed for this research. Kayla has Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) also known as the Armenian disease since 1 in 5 Armenians possess the gene for this disease. Discovered in 1997, FMF is a hereditary inflammatory disorder that produces physical pain in which affect individuals differently (Fisher et al). In Kayla’s case, she gets joint pain and has abdominal inflammation that induces severe pain lasting three to four days. These symptoms are not concurrent with one another, however they both have influence her behavior and choices throughout life. How the illness experience challenged Kayla’s identity:…show more content…
Kayla refers to the sporadic pain as attacks. “I would get attacks every week and it would last 2 to 3 days. It got to the point where my teachers at school and in ballet thought I was faking it. I prayed to God all the time for the pain to go away, but it never happened.” Her illness experience lead to hopeless especially since it made pursuing her passion as a ballerina difficult. Her attacks would leave her bedridden for days in which she lost crucial training time. This hopeless in not understanding the reasons for her pain was also affecting her parents. “My parents took me to nine doctors in a span of 4 years and they couldn’t find out what was wrong with me. I was getting 6 tubes of blood drawn with each visit that came back with no results. I remember that one of doctors even got frustrated with my mom because she was pushing for answers. His response to the situation was to say ‘I don’t know what to tell you lady, your daughter has cancer?’ My parents and I started to lose hope.” Kayla’s illness experience during this phase illustrates chaos narrative because she thought that she would never get better. She had no control over her attacks and had lost hope after seeing nine doctors that could not provide answers. This resulted in emotional battering which refers to the suffering of an individual being rejected socially and by physicians (Whitehead:2006). Kayla’s emotional battering stemmed from being rejected by the doctors who could

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