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Patienthood and Communication

A Personal Narrative of Eye Disease and Vision Loss


Peter M. Kellett

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.

Acknowledgements – Introduction: Health Communication—An Eye-Patient’s View – Year 1: Mid-May 2011 to Mid-May 2012 – A Double Bulls-Eye – Six Months to Rebalance – First Injection: December 23rd 2011 – Second Injection: January 20th 2012 – Third Injection: February 17th 2012 – Fourth Injection: March 20th 2012 – Fifth Injection: April 20th 2012 – Year 2: Mid-May 2012 to Mid-May 2013 – Sixth Injection: May 25th 2012 – Seventh Injection: July 27th 2012 – Three Month Follow-Up: October 26th 2012 – Six Month Check-Up: April 26th 2013 – Year 3: Mid-May 2013 to Early July 2014 – The Summer of Love – Stability: Living and Working as Well as I Could – Year 4: July 2014–July 2015 – Unanswered Questions—In Search of What, When, and Why? – A New Diagnosis and Learning Self-Advocacy – Disease as Relational and Family Narratives – Getting to the End of a Good Year—Getting to Miami – Year 5: July 2015–July 2016 – Sharing Experiences – Red Dots, Invitations, and the Communication of Care – Social Media, Connectedness, Struggle and Hope – Towards the End of Year Five – Index.