Illness Experience Illness Narratives

12th and 13th chapter of the book Perspective in Medical Sociology .The paper will look at the themes critically, analytically and sociologically that are found in these two chapters.

Chapter twelve is titled the genesis of chronic illness narrative and starts out with the introduction of a rheumatoid arthritis patient. This disorder was diagnosed eight years back as a result of the patient having intermittent pain and swelling occurring in his joints two years ago. He has suffered a serious heart attack which added to his woes. From the way he speaks it is clear that chronic illnesses like RA result to the assault of ones sense of identity. There are also limitations in the field of medical science when it comes to delivering an explanation that is satisfactory when it comes to physical and social breakdown of such diseases. Experts have admitted that they have had limitations when it comes to the pronunciation of RA as a major medical mystery in time. The article is a bout an elucidation of styles of the modes and thoughts of cognitive organization by three people suffering from RA when it comes to making sense about this illness in their life.

Connection between work and illness

Bill, one of the patient had had a significant portion of his life disrupted. He had been a skilled machine operator but before his symptoms appeared he had been promoted to a supervisor's role. Shortly after assuming his position is when everything went wrong. His feet began swelling and he found it difficult to hold anything. He also suffered a heart attack that made his stay out of work for a month. Tests were conducted by a heart specialist but he was referred to a rheumatologist.

He associated the etiology of the disease as being induced chemically. This is because he was working with so many chemicals like acetone. Whereby, they washed their hands in it, and it was absorbed through the cuts which they had. Most people he was working with complained of their hands puffing up too. His view brings about a very significant connection between illnesses and work. After he was diagnosed with RA doctors disclaimed any interest in the hypothesis that he had about toxicity in his workplace and they went ahead to look at alternative hunches. Bill had mentioned that there was an odd coincidence of symptoms that were similar but he had taken his thinking way beyond a simple correlation that he had observed. Bill was simply invoking, unwittingly a dose response criterion which investigators take into consideration whether the disease risk increases with the exposure degree. And further examines this relation to both host and environment characteristics.

Despite the fact that doctors had no interest in the hypothesis that Bill had there was something that was happening within the factory. They were having puffy hands which were something common for everyone.


He had been questioned by many people on his background and it was found that his mother had arthritis, and his little sister had rheumatism. From a clinical perspective it is acceptable to say that inheritance was a strong case for the acceptance of the explanation in the light of genetic rheumatological circles viral and genetic hypothesis are what are receiving serious and sustained attention. However Bill was not satisfied with this, he suffered a joint trouble during the time of his training in the military service. When he talked about his life in the service he was suggesting that he was strong enough and thus could not be in a position of contacting any inherited weakness. He claimed that any inner predisposition would clearly have been manifested sooner. Secondly, he claimed he had no symptoms during his time in service. Therefore he thought that it was unlikely for the activities in the service to have caused a physical vulnerability. However from the interview Bill was not certain about his health state in the service. When it comes to service like a workplace, it is clear that according to Bill the body is defined through how it relates to the world of social action as opposed to the isolation from it. However, the medical field lacks no sensible meaning when it comes to his perspective. His pragmatism…