My answer to What can we learn from illness narratives?

Answer by Connie b. Dellobuono:

Example of an illness narrative:

An 80 yr old woman could not walk after 18hrs of sitting in her flight from SFO to Manila. She was working as a caregiver for the past 15 years and complained of aches and pains. During the flight, turbulence was high and she felt very nervous. Previous to that day of her trip, she has been lacking in sleep. She is only taking one med, anti-hypertensive med. At times, she would take Aleve , 1 tab, once a month for aches and pains. She cannot walk for longer period of time during the last 1–2 years.


Diagnosis: She had a bacterial infection. The doctor suctioned 3 bottles of yellow pus in her two knees. And was prescribed antibiotics and rested at home after a 2-day stay in the hospital after her flight.


Connie’s comments: When under stress (over work, lack of sleep, anxiety), our nervous system is functioning poorly which also lowers our immune system. An elderly can easily get an infection in public places.

What can we learn from illness narratives?