Kronisk sygdom som biografisk hændelse - et studie af bypassopererede kronisk hjertesyge menneskers biografiske arbejde

  • Rasmus Antoft


Chronic illness as biographical occurrence – a study on bypass operated individuals and their biographical work. The primary focus of this article is on bypass operated chronically ill peoples attempt to re-establish their biographical work, their everyday life. The everyday life experiences based on routines and obviousness are subjugated by the chronicle illness influence on the life narrative, its future character and the way in which it affects the shaping of identity, the biographical work. Two different themes are central in individual’s narratives about their everyday life with a chronic heart disease. These themes concern their self-presentation in inter-action with others and their anxiety directed at the future life with the illness, with the anxiety of death. This study shows that every bypass operated and chronically ill participant have experienced difficulties in reshaping their normal biographical work. Their ability to regain social action as part of the biographical work and their shaping of self-identity, has been altered significantly. In various situations this leads to potential stigmatisation, but also to a lack of acceptance in the role-playing of a chronic ill, be that in interaction with strangers or intimate social relations. This causes identity dilemmas, paradoxes in self-presentation and, as a consequence, self-deception in everyday life. The existential problem of anxiety and its subjugating character in the lifeplaning and biographical work is to be explained by the risk of reoccurrence of the heart disease, and by the latency of the possible terminal nature of the disease. The nature of the illness ruptures routines and the predictability of everyday life, thus manifesting itself in key situations of everyday life. In addition to this, the anxiety generates a lack of ability to act actively, that is, the individuals ability actively shape its lifeplaning and its biographical work.