Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Curriculum, Advocacy, and Policy

First Advisor

Dr. Terry Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Vito Dipinto

Third Advisor

Dr. Shaunti Knauth


This narrative inquiry delves into the lives of six men, including the researcher, who have multiple sclerosis (MS). Through in-depth interviews, the researcher asks participants to describe their life before diagnosis, the diagnosis process, and the construction of a “new normal” after diagnosis. This research provides insights into how participants make sense of the disease, how they cope with the ongoing changes to their bodies, their relationships, their careers, and their perceptions of their masculinity. Analyzing the narratives provides insight into the variability of MS types and symptoms, and various coping mechanisms. It supports the idea that each participant should adjust to the ever-changing nature of their disability. Drawing on the “warrior” metaphor, the researcher conceptualizes life with MS as a battle and expands the metaphor from a physical struggle to a spiritual battle to accommodate the changes the disease wrought