Lia's doctors assumed she would die and allowed the family to take her home. Even though the gap between the rich and poor has continued to periodically increase, the average American is seen as rich and very fortunate when compared to the average person living in central Africa or Latin America. They had been farmers in their native Laos; three of their children died there when they were very young. That is the Hmong belief of what happened; while the American belief is that she has epilepsy and had a seizure at that time. Lia spent her entire life at home, assiduously cared for by her family, and it was this devotion, Ms.
. Much of your identity is influenced by the environment in which you grew up in and by how you were brought up and raised. However, as a result of their anti-communist involvement, many Hmong were put in danger when, eventually, Laotian communist forces won control of the country. To make matters worse, the doctors start to believe that the seizures are causing retardation and that if Nao and Foua would give the child the medicine as directed she would be getting better. She cites examples of successful cross-cultural programs, such as one in which shamans are encouraged to work alongside western health care providers.
They were unhappy with the side effects of the medication and may not have understood the connection between a seizure and its effect on the brain, nor the necessity of giving anticonvulsants. The treaty established a ceasefire in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, I believe has two main topics addressed: the traditions of the Hmong people, and the dangers of being unable to communicate. It is a tale of culture clashes, fear and grief in the face of change, parental love, her doctors' sense of duty, and misperceptions compounded daily until they became colossal misunderstandings. I found myself at times wanting to reach into the pages and throttle the parents for their seemingly willful misinterpretation of the doctors' intent. As a result, both the soul and body are taken to be closely related such that diseases affecting the body then affect the soul, which then means that the soul must then be treated along with the body. The spirit catches you and you fall down.
The first Chapter goes through the traditional birthing methods and traditions of the Hmong people. Foua and Nao Kao knew when a seizure was coming on, because Lia knew. Smearing feces,'' and ''Intense crying again. The Armée Clandestine fought Laotian communist forces who had aligned with the Vietnamese—this struggle is known as the Laotian Civil War, one of the several smaller wars that raged alongside the Vietnam War. At the Yale School of Medicine, for instance, the incoming class is required to read it — a tradition that was begun a dozen years ago, well before Ms.
The main focus of this chapter is comparing the birth of the children in Laos where Nao and Foua were from to the American birthing traditions. By the time she was four, she had changed prescriptions 23 times. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices. The book entitled The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman highlights the plight of a particular Hmong family in California. Perspective plays a large role in the eighth chapter, Foua and Nao Kao, as it shows the view of the doctors, anthropologists, and Hmong people. The author uses in depth descriptions of the medicinal practices and the other eccentricities of the Hmong which is very helpful especially to the readers who have no idea about the Hmong. Sometimes there would just be twitching, staring spells, or hallucinations.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, dare us to ponder what we assume we know about health care and what are the ultimate challenges that influenced the way patients were treated in a hospital. However, from my personal analysis and understating, life is more important than the soul. New York: United States : Farrar Straus and Giroux. Desperate to keep her when they finally got her back, the parents followed the hospital orders but, predictably, the spirit caught Lia again and again. Then, when Lia turned two, a consulting neurologist recommended that she be started on Tegretol, continued on Dilantin, and gradually weaned off Phenobarbital, because it was causing her hyperactivity. She was physically demonstrative and constantly demanded hugs, and she was bold without fear of anyone. The medical establishment will always believe that the life of the patient takes precedence over anything else, while the Hmong will always turn to their cultural concept that the should was all important.
It is believed that dabs are responsible for stealing souls and making its victims sick. Photo Lia Lee in 1988. This chapter at first seems absolutely unnecessary to understanding Lia's condition and how it was treated by American doctors. Add to this the fact that Foua and Nao Kao were illiterate in both English and Hmong, so they often forgot what the doctors told them. Fadiman was also an editor of the celebrated The American Scholar, and she has written two essay collections and a memoir about her father.
Spirit catches you and you fall down. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Due October 26 50 pts a. How might you apply what you. I was not aware that this was, or even could be, an issue in America naïve of me. Anne Fadiman, in the course of her research, went to see the pediatric neurologist who had cared for Lia in this last emergency, which occurred at a different hospital from Merced, where she had received most of her prior care. Peggy Philp, was one of the pediatricians who treated Lia early on. At Mercy Medical Center Merced, the current incarnation of Merced Community Medical Center, Hmong shamans are now allowed to visit patients and practice a limited number of their traditional arts.
They felt the fright had caused the baby's soul to flee her body and become lost to a malignant spirit. From this perspective, the author is able to highlight the need for healthy relationships between different cultures for the wellbeing of dependants such as the sick whereby cultural conflict brought about her vegetative state. The baby appeared to be healthy and was released from the hospital 3 days later. Everyone wanted the best for Lia - especially her devoted parents and the dedicated doctors and staff at the hospital where she was repeatedly treated. Lia was born July 19, 1982. However, once the reader understands how the entire Hmong culture in Laos was decimated, he can begin to see how it would affect the attitudes and resentment of the Lees.
The immediate cause was pneumonia, Ms. Since birth, you were taught by your parents and community a standard in which ways to behave, in which ways to interact with others respectively, in which is right from wrong, the list goes on. The unfortunate aspect of this situation is that Lia almost seems like a guinea pig upon home the American medical system was trying to find its way through medical and cultural problems while the Hmong were just trying to be respected and taken seriously. Because the Hmong only came to the United States for safety reasons, the older generations in particular showed little interest in assimilating into American culture, exacerbating the already tense relations between the Hmong and their new compatriots. These sources, along with various anthropological Ph. She would do well in this world and the next. The Hmong saw assimilation as an insult and a threat to their culture.