Thursday, January 21, 2021

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"Claiming and acclaiming afflictions"

Juan Miguel Leandro L. Quizon's paper, Claiming and Acclaiming Afflictions: Narrative Medicine and the Articulation of Human Ailments, explores the power and usefulness of stories in healthcare. 
Narrative medicine creates a platform for a patient and everyone in the periphery to share in a point of contact to confront our mortality. To talk about the stories, to write and utter these experiences “help us to form clearings — and we are able to come together in the clearing of storytelling, and within the clearing of this human gift of mortality, that is where the freedoms emit” (Charon, 2011). These endeavors create sturdy affiliations and communities so that patients do not have to face their pains alone. What is the ultimate manifestation when readers are “moved” by a story? Action and connection....
The core is relationship-building. 
The process of narrative medicine is complex because it is not just about chronicling the patient’s or the medical health professional’s stories, but at the core of it all is relationship-building. How can patients reveal to medical health professionals or relatives their most vulnerable narratives? A level of trust is, then, imperative.

His conclusion is spot on.

I believe that articulating these experiences of illnesses contribute to that transformation and strengthening of survival and recovery methods. To narrate these medical moments is a way of claiming, reclaiming, and acclaiming health ordeals and ailments. Via creative language, we may start confronting these painful realities through the articulation of experiences....

The article comes out at the perfect time. We're a few weeks away from the second Creative Nonfiction Workshop hosted by the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center of the De La Salle University. 

Many thanks to Prof. Marj Evasco for sharing the link with me. 

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