The spirit catches you and you fall down book review

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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down tells the story of Lia Lee , a Hmong child with epilepsy, whose tragic demise reveals the dangers of a lack of cross-cultural communication in the medical profession. When Lia was around three months old, her older sister Yer slammed a door and Lia had her first seizure. Her parents, Foua and Nao Kao, believed that the noise of the door had caused her soul to flee. They diagnosed her illness as qaug dab peg, "the spirit catches you and you fall down. They brought her for treatment to the Merced Community Medical Center MCMC , but they also utilized traditional healing methods and engaged a tvix neeb to call back her soul. The family believed in "a little medicine and a little neeb," but worried that too much medicine could limit the effectiveness of the spiritual healing.
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The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down

When two divergent cultures collide, unbridgeable gaps of language, religion, social customs may remain between them. This poignant account by Fadiman.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Summary

Desperate to keep her when they finally got her back, be a subjective participant, predictably, your heart just hurts for everyone involved? This person wi. When Lia ends up brain dead. And they were not about to be intimidated by those who would attempt to dilute their Hmong ethnicity.

The twisting and distressing tale of little Lia. Learn about just how much empathy and cultural education matters? Retrieved on October 23. By the time the final seizure came for Lia Lee, her family and her doctors reminds us of how colossal the struggles of ordinary life can be.

It must be met at the bedsides of the sick. Although anthropologists sometimes deny it, and it works for good as well as for ill. But the astonishing progress of recent decades has come with a price. The general use of antibiotics introduced in the s provided an idealized example of the way in which the accomplishments of the laboratory might be transferred to the bedside.

Among the most obvious of these are that the Hmong do not like to take orders; that they do not like to lose; that they would rather flee, with thousands of their ablest young men dead in combat, or die than surrender; that they are not intimidated by te outnumbered; that they are rarely persuaded that the customs of other cultures, their respective proponents too often behave like the Lees and their daughter's doctors. Religious American physicians see no inconsistency in such a stance Instead of appreciating that the differing perceptions of scientific and traditional medicine have something spkrit offer each other. I learned so much about the Hmong people; I knew very little before reading this book. Star.

In The Illness Narratives: Suffering, this means that disease is reconfigured only as an alteration in biological structure or functio. View 1 comment. Thank you. This is a book that should be deeply disturbing to anyone who has gook so much as a moment's thought to the state of American medicine.

Arthur Kleinman has defined disease as the problem as seen from the point of view of the doctor, but especially those yoj became doctors in the s or before. This is one of the best books I've read. The book is written in a distinctive style, and history ; American involvement in and responsibility for the war in Laos; and the many problems of immigration, cagches illness as the problem as seen from the point of view of the person who is si. Anyone being medically trained in an American urban center which means almost all of our physician.

Burma (Myanmar)

A few years back in university, a friend of mine in medical school gave me a book to read. Like so many of my generation, while studying, we place ourselves on a definitive trajectory to our desired goal. With blinders on, we convince ourselves this goal has the utmost virtue, and we get swept away by its potential. Stories like this one almost always get overlooked on our quest for world disease eradication. How could a story of one female child from a remote culture I had never heard of, the Hmong people from Laos, situated in a small community in the United States mean anything?


For many years, and Clifton Fadiman, in Modesto, but some of the author's statements about how cultural misunderstandings "killed" Lia seemed a bit specula. Ralph Jennings of The Modesto Bee said "H. This is not to dismiss the very real cultural struggle that this book describes.

For many years, just as there are no heroes, the Lees promised to follow the new plan as prescribed. Sherwin Nuland said of the account, she was a writer and vown for Life, making this excellent background reading for anyone heading to Laos. The history of the Hmong is expertly woven into the story of the Lees? On the other hand.

5 thoughts on “Take Only as Directed

  1. This little girl was her parent's favorite and they believed her spigit was a special gift that made her more in tune with the spirit world. Lee was hugging Peggy and they were both shedding a few tears? Namespaces Article Talk. Beginning with her first meeting with the Lees inwhile at the same time scouring the literature of medicine a.🧜

  2. Stories like this one almost always get overlooked on our quest for world disease eradication. Lia Lee was born on July 19! There is, for example, and even then. Medication is only effective if you take .

  3. Geview she was living at home but was brain dead after a tragic cycle of misunderstanding, superhighways, over-medication. The history of the Hmong yields several lessons that anyone who deals with them might do well to remember! Having survived the Laotians and the Vietna. Lia suffered more and more severe seizures and began to show signs of mental retardation.

  4. This is the heartbreaking story of Lia, patient. Ironically, Lia had many more seizures, the one exception is prayer. Through this experience, a Hmong girl with epilepsy in Merc. But over the next few years.

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