Based on a personal story, I explain three reasons why it is important that caregivers pay attention to the life-story and search for meaning of a person with a chronic disease in the middle of his/her life, during the diagnosis and treatment process. 1) Being chronically ill can disrupt the chronology of a life-story, whereas seeing cause and effect in a life-story can give people a sense of meaning. 2) This sense of meaning can result in an experience of health, despite illness. 3) However, during the diagnosis and treatment process there may be power tension between the caregiver and the care-receiver. Giving attention to these things and what it means to be sick, can overcome this.
Therefore, I also explain the possible contribution of reflexive spaces against power tension and towards the attention of the life-story and search for meaning of a person with a chronic disease in the middle of his/her life.
Lessons for practice
Keywords: Chronic Disease, Care Ethics, Reflexive Spaces, Life Story and Search for Meaning
Citation: Hazenoot-Hoorn, M. (2022). Experiencing ‘Health’ despite ‘Illnesses’. Public Note, 9 (27-31)
"I’m Merijne Hazenoot-Hoorn. I’m 25 years old, married and I live in Arnhem. I have done several studies: Apropaedeutic year ‘Applied Psychology’, bachelor ‘Health and Society’, pre-master ‘Ethics of Care and Policy’ and currently I’m finishing the Master ‘Healthcare Management’. In the future I hope to do a Phd in which I could apply the knowledge of the studies mentioned. For now, I am buzzy starting my own company (‘Significativa’: Latin for ‘meaningful’), in which you can consult me about questions of meaning in the context of healthcare and education. I do research and give advice though storytelling."