Patienthood and Communication is an engagingly personal narrative detailing the author’s experience living with, and adapting to, a degenerative and incurable eye disease (MacTel). Beyond the personal, this poignant story more broadly illustrates the ways in which communication enables individuals to adjust to serious health threats.
Author and subject Peter Kellett highlights his important interactions with health care providers, family members, friends, colleagues, students, and others that provide shape to his journey. Kellett displays a compelling capacity for self-reflection in his descriptions of the life changes his vision loss imposes upon him, among them changes to his identity, in relationships and life plans. Adaptation and flexibility reveal themselves as central tenets of his learning to become a self-empowered patient. Perhaps the most crucial element to his adjustment is, however, positive communication, which is depicted throughout the book as the driving force in Kellett’s journey into patienthood.