Learning to Live with Osteoporosis: A Metaphoric Narrative
A philosophical hermeneutic research approach was chosen to explore the meaning of living with osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease. Osteoporosis creates the possibility of living with disabling physical, emotional, and social conditions for the person diagnosed with this serious health condition. The purpose of this study was to interpret the narratives authored by twelve participants living with osteoporosis. The findings provided in this article offer a perspective of how oneâ€™s shifting sense of self-renewal was expressed through osteoporosis-specific metaphors, which explicated a transformative process of how one learns to live well with osteoporosis. Three metaphors were identified and interpretively named the shattering, the surrendering, and the dance. An analysis, interpretation, and discussion of these narratives was performed. Consideration was given to how an interpretation of these findings, through metaphor, may benefit others living with osteoporosis, and how those diagnosed in the future can benefit from shared understandings and conversations about the meaning of living with osteoporosis. As people endeavored to make meaning of living with their illness, metaphors provided a useful common ground and invitation for discussion, story-telling, and the development of supportive relationships â€“ all implemented as educative methods to positively transition the impacted personsâ€™ physical, emotional, and social traumas toward the possibility of self-renewal.
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