The book is written in a unique style, with every other chapter returning to Lia's story and the chapters in-between discussing broader themes of ; American involvement in and responsibility for the war in Laos; and the many problems of immigration, especially assimilation and discrimination. Whereas the hospital medics offended the parents by accusing them of incompetence, non-compliance and even intended harm. Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved. The first two times she came to the hospital, she showed signs of cough and pneumonia later realized to be the result of aspiration during the seizures , and the doctors just sent her home with antibiotics. Just as before, the Lees were non-compliant, both because they didn't understand and didn't trust the doctors' orders. Hmong Medicine partially originated from China. A decade before when Lia had first come to him such thoughts would never have entered his head.
This remarkable book has pretty much everything going for it. She also refused the food, preferring the steamed rice and chicken boiled in water with five post-partum herbs that Nao Kao brought her. She was physically demonstrative and constantly demanded hugs, and she was bold without fear of anyone. They had many more diseases and conditions dating from their time in Laos during war. They soon discovered that converting them to Western medical habits was all but impossible. Dwight Conquergood demonstrated the power of this model when he used theater and characters from Hmong folklore to teach about public health, such as the importance of vaccinating dogs against rabies and of properly disposing of trash. However, Fadiman managed to narrate this most difficult story with the most immense sensitivity, intimate familiarity, powerfulness and admirable skill.
If it can't find its placenta, it is condemned to an eternity of wandering, naked and alone. I like this about the Hmong though; they stand up for what they believe in. He also believed, because she scolded him, that she was not accurately translating what he said. The book contains brief but important sections on three Hmong leaders --- Jonas Vangay, Blia Yao Moua, and Dang Moua --- who are multilingual and gainfully employed. Explanatory Models People from different cultural backgrounds have different frameworks for perceiving reality. If you were Neil, would you feel this way too? She would be reunited after six months only if the court was persuaded that her parents would comply with the medication regimen. I found that to be way off.
So, after two weeks, she was returned home, and her parents were given one more chance. This stopped the removal of the children from their homes. This included the fact that they visited operation rooms and looked through microscopes for the first time. Looking back on the earliest entries years later, Peggy would wonder whether the course of Lia's life might have changed if the hospital had offered her optimal treatment right from the beginning. Foua had glossy black hair that she usually wore in a bun, but which sometimes came loose when she was talking absently and rolled down her back. While particularly sympathetic to the Hmong, Fadiman presents the situation from the perspectives of both the doctors and the family. Surgery is taboo and so are autopsies and embalming.
She now holds the honor of the Francis chair in nonfiction writing at Yale University. Rather than seeing it as disabling, they saw it as an illness of some distinction and were ambivalent about treatment. These shamans are special people imbued with healing spirits, and are held to those having high morale character, so to Lia's parents, Foua Yang and Nao Kao Lee, the disease was both a gift and a curse. Welfare made them dependent upon others for sustenance, with few jobs available that did not require English proficiency and other skills they didn't have. He suggests that it is possible to understand medical practice as a process of cultural compromise. To ensure that the treatment plan was followed, Lia was eventually removed from her parents' care and placed in foster care.
Family Lia's story reveals the strength of the family within Hmong culture. Entenmann wrote that because of the reliance on Quincy's book, Fadiman's book propagates the idea that was a Hmong king, a concept that Entenmann says is inaccurate. Lia's neurologist, Terry Hutchinson, even admitted that it might have been an excess of medication that made Lia's body susceptible to the septic shock that caused her brain damage. Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved. Retrieved on March 12, 2012. Fadiman begins by discussing a carton of cassette tapes that sits under her desk and which she listens to from time to time. Third, you need to understand that as powerful an influence as the culture of the Hmong patient and her family is on this case, the culture of biomedicine is equally powerful.
Ironically, during the year she was writing this book, she also had many medical problems emerge among her family members, and she spent a great deal of time in hospitals, herself. Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved. May Ying Xiong - Fadiman's interpreter and cultural broker, she helped her cross numerous barriers into the Hmong community and the Lee family. Every other chapter shares some aspect of Hmong history or culture: food, clothing, language, family structure, birthing rituals, and so on. There's certainly more awareness and dialogue than before.
Lia's former hospital has since successfully adopted similar practices. To fail to comply was, as he saw it, child endangerment, and a form of child abuse. For example, within Hmong Culture, the secret to perfect health is the balance between the body and spirit. They paid no tribute nor showed any obedience to the emperor. Other Reviews: ; ; ; ; ; I, too, love this book.