Learning to fly with broken wings – forcing a reappraisal of time and space

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Abstract

Background:

When living with a chronic disease, the whole human being is affected and his/her experience of health challenged.

Aim:

This study had a dual aim: to obtain a new understanding of experiences of the body among persons suffering from the chronic neurological disease multiple sclerosis (MS) and how they come to terms with such experiences.

Method:

A total of ten interviews were re-analysed using a hermeneutic approach.

Results:

The experiences of the body were revealed as ‘Learning to fly with broken wings’, comprising two themes: ‘Getting to know the foreign body’ and ‘Building a new living space’, both requiring reappraisal of time and space.

Conclusion:

Living with a chronic disease such as MS means learning to fly with broken wings, which involves subordination to the body leading to a higher level of integration in the process of becoming towards health and well-being.

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