chapter  4
Patient narratives
ByMabel Aghadiuno
Pages 40

Listening to patients' stories increases health professionals' understanding. This chapter explores Gregor Samsa's metamorphosis. Job too has a metamorphosis but it is not only physical. It involves his whole being and he questions the meaning of his existence. Gregor never seems to ask deeply the meaning of his suffering–perhaps he cannot articulate the question. Job rages against his pain. Gregor shuts his eyes in death while Job manages to acquire new eyes. From the patient narratives, it is obvious that for each one there was a metamorphosis akin to Gregor's and Job's. The narratives also reveal the need for a sense of purpose in life with underlying themes such as: the feeling of a driving force within; seeing the relationship of illness to spiritual life; an ascetic view of life and death; and 'sort of philosophy' necessary to go on.