Friedreich's Ataxia Case Study

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Colm Henry - 14734981 This essay will explore how living with a chronic illness can alter a person’s experience of space and place. The essay will begin by defining chronic illness and will reference some common features that will determine what it is like to be chronically ill. The essay will then explore a sufferer’s experience of ‘place’ and ‘sense of place’ which in turn may lead to him/her feeling isolated within society. Moving on from this, the essay will explore some differences with regard to place and space in both children and in adults. That said, the essay will use a case study to increase the understanding of space and place, with regard to a man, in connection with a chronic illness known as Friedreich 's ataxia. Moving on from…show more content…
FA is a chronic illness which affects balance and co-ordination in its patients which leads to limited mobility (Kaneshiro, 2014). This case study of patient 0 may help construct a better understanding of the experiences endured from a chronic illness victim. A victim is exactly what this man is, he had no control over this illness attacking his body, his FA was inherited to him by his Father, and his body had begun to fail on him from birth. When a person is struck with a chronic illness, all rational thinking begins to decline. This man’s experiences of place and where he felt he belonged in society was nearly none existent. He felt he was a ‘burden on society’ (Sieger, et al., 2012). Loneliness and depression were side effects of his chronic illness which made his everyday life experiences very difficult. Even in the hospital where patient 0 was treated, he felt isolated; this was the space that he should have felt most safe and comfortable. Patient 0 was confined to his bed with little ability to move around, much like the other patients on his ward. This lack of mobility often felt by various forms of chronic illness sufferers can lead to a lack of motivation in recovery (Sieger, et al., 2012). Chronic illness sufferers’ constant struggle to find a place in society where they feel accepted and valuable can be…show more content…
Chronic illness can have a huge effect on both the patient and the family. This effect can be exasperated in married women who have contracted a chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis. This essay will now explore how experiences of space and place have been reconstructed in patients after they have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. According to the MS Society, multiple sclerosis ‘involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system’ (The National MS Society, 2015). Women who suffer from this chronic illness often consider themselves as doubly handicapped and lose confidence according to the same article. They believe that their ability to perform in the home space and workplace has been diminished because of illness. Illness can lead to stress on the family unit and in some cases a permanent breakdown may occur (Thomson, et al., 2002). This can leave married women especially having to ‘reconstruct the home space’ in both the physical surroundings inside their home and also the location of their home (The National MS Society, 2015). The importance to reduce a woman’s dependency on others can leave women feeling more isolated than before. Women may be afraid to ask for help or care as doing this, reaffirms them of their burden within

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