“Life in Paradox”: Experiences of Young Adult Stroke Survivors
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This study, rooted on phenomenological approach, explored the experiences of post-stoke young adults. Seven (7) participants were gathered as co-researchers and were selected thoroughly based on the following criteria: 1) They are Filipino who had stroke at the age of 15-35 and 2) They are able and willing to articulate, participate, and share their life experiences.
Further, the experiences of the participants were gathered and enhanced through the following methods: 1) Interview, and 2) Storytelling. Subsequently, three levels of analysis were done ensuing the process developed by Martinez (2013), grounded on interpretative phenomenology. Through the process of reflective analysis, three themes have emerged and are as follows:
(a) “Sometimes, what is forbidden is pleasurable”: Dilemma of Needs and Wants
(b) “I accepted it... my family is still accepting it”: Centrality and Ambiguity of the Family
(c) “I become feeble but stronger”: Resilience in Vulnerability
The themes represent a recurring pattern among the lives of the co-researchers from having the desire to change their old ways and habits but acting otherwise. Further, these patterns are reflected in the positionality of their family as both a burden that reminds them that they have a disease yet serves as the main reason they continue to fight. This also mirrors how they view stroke as something that defeated them but in the process taught them resilience in life. The insight of a “life in paradox”, then serves as the central essence of the study.
Insights from the study suggest that the experience of the co-researchers is more than an individual experience of conflict resolution but a phenomenon of family’s contextualization. Studies that explore compliance among post stroke young adult as well as family involvement in rehabilitation is then suggested.