Book chapter: “I’m not sick, I just have pain”: Silence and (Under)Communication of Illness in a Nicaraguan Village.

About the book:

While pain and suffering are universal, the experience,understanding, and expression of them are not.What it means to be a patient is unique to each individual: for example, what one person experiences as bothersome back pain, another might experience as debilitating. But patienthood also depends on one’s culture, both broadly and more narrowly defined (e.g., one’s ethnicity on the one hand and one’s immediate social circle on the other). Illness is a phenomenon constructed – sometimes passively, sometimes actively – according to the core values of the culture(s) of which the patient is a part. The Patient: Global Interdisciplinary Perspectives seeks to raise critical consciousness of issues confronting patients and contribute to a richer understanding of how one’s culture impacts the lived experience of disease. The chapters in this collection provide a snapshot of situations as they exist in a particular cultural and historical moment. Their long-term value lies in providing important historical documentation of where we are as an international community in the first decade of the 21st century. Hopefully, we can use such historical reminders as yardsticks to measure our progress in healthcare accessibility and funding as we reflect on the similarities and differences that exist between people across the globe, and among the particular communities in which they live. Read more

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