Paper Short Abstract:
This paper examines Filipino ESRD patients' narratives and illustrates the important role of affectivity in mediating between sensations and stories or connecting the sensory and narrative dimensions of suffering.
Paper long abstract:
The illness experience of patients diagnosed with the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have a peculiar nature. The kidneys, the very organs on which their disease is localized, are conspicuously "absent" in their sensory dimension of the illness experiences. A the same time, the disease "manifests" in a wide array of somatic distresses, such as itch and fatigue, affecting all around the body. In the Philippines where I conducted my fieldwork, ESRD patients receive only the insufficient dose of dialysis. Accordingly, they are often in a poor health condition and suffer agonizing bodily distresses. In this paper, I examine Filipino ESRD patients' narratives of suffering and illustrate the significant role of affectivity in mediating between "sensations" and "stories," or connecting the "sensory" and "narrative" dimensions of suffering. I argue that a tendency to separate the lived experience of illness into the somatic and the mental components and still limits ways we conceive the sensory experience and that, in order for us to overcome the Cartesian dualism, it is crucial to consider the sensory experience as the "bodily affection" as well as the affective feeling as the "embodied feeling."
The sensory experience of suffering and healing