In her first four months at home, Lia had only one seizure. Chapter 4 - Do Doctors Eat Brains? Ironically, the same determination that led to medical noncompliance was considered an admirable trait in Laos during the war. She alone among Lia's caregivers thought to ask Foua and Nao Kao about their beliefs about Lia's epilepsy and to learn about their customs. He passed the entrance exam for officer training school because the captain overseeing the exam gave him the answers, adding to his reputation as someone who wouldn't be held back by rules. It turned out she had septic shock, a condition that left her brain-dead. Things go from bad to worse.
The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices. By the time she returns home, she's having major seizures on a regular basis and her development is noticeably slowed. Such illnesses require spiritual healing, which can be rendered less effective by medication. By 1970, over a third of the Hmong in Laos had become internally displaced refugees. This may not have solved all of the cultural differences but at least there may have been an even flow and exchange of information and feedback between both parties involved. Many of their American neighbors, unaware of their involvement in the war, resented their high reliance on welfare. So I give them suboptimal care.
But the parents' and hospital staff's inability to communicate with one anoth When Lia Lee, the 13th child in a family of Hmong refugees who had settled in Merced, was three months old, she was diagnosed with severe epilepsy. 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. The book throws an insight into the lives of the Hmong family who come from Laos to America and are confronted with not only linguistic barriers but huge diversity in culture and traditions. However, the problem was not even correctly diagnosed until a few months after Lia's first visit, due to a lack of interpreters. Ninety percent of all villages in northern Laos were affected, with inhabitants losing their lives, being displaced, or both. In California they barely understood the language, much less Western culture or medicinal practices.
Children are cherished and ancestors revered; one of the hardest parts about fleeing Laos leaving older family members alone to die. The first Chapter goes through the traditional birthing methods and traditions of the Hmong people. Many Hmong saw cars, bicycles, radios, clocks, cigarettes, and other modern items for the first time when they were temporarily relocated. The placenta has to be strategically buried in a specific spot under the homes dirt floor or when the person dies its soul has to travel back to the placenta. All the territory he covered would belong to his tribe. If she did not become a Tvix neeb,. They quickly learned to launch rockets, fly bombers, operate radio transmitters, and shoot rifles.
Having thus witnessed the United States break its promises, it is no wonder that the Lees did not completely trust their American doctors. This arduous adaptation rested upon a belief in abundance -that there would always be another mountain to migrate to. Despite the great sacrifices they made to fight for the United States - between ten and fifth percent of all Hmong in Laos lost their lives, and many more were forced to leave their homes - only a small percentage were airlifted to safety, the rest left to risk their lives walking through enemy territory. She has a great mischievous streak which troubles her father, James Piper, immensely. Following the case of Lia a Hmong child with a progressive and unpredictable form of epilepsy , Fadiman maps out the controversies raised by the collision between Western medicine and holistic healing traditions of Hmong immigrants.
For those like him, he is a hero that no others can exceed. At the same time, the war altered Hmong culture completely. First, they sacrificed a cow to celebrate her return home and to bolster her health. Luckily, however, Professor Yanmei was able to show me this amazing book! As a result of her brain death, the two cultures continue to be in conflict due to the differences that could not be set aside, and these continue to split the need to look after dependants. In a final insult, the doctors recommended Lia be removed from her parents' home and placed in foster care because her parents were unable to read the English directions on her prescription bottles and Lia was not taking her anti-seizure medication according to the prescribed schedule. Nao Kao doesn't care much about modern medicine though, instead bringing Foua traditional Hmong dishes given to women after childbirth. She massaged Lia with a spoon and sucked the pressure out of her body by pressing a small heated cup against her skin, creating a vacuum as the air inside the cup cooled.
We see how what appear to be straightforward events can be given very different meanings. Two months later, she had another grand mal seizure, which would not stop. Others were coerced or recruited by force. Her family continued to love and care for her, and each year a tvix neeb held a ceremony to ease her suffering. To sacrifice a cow is a much bigger event. In the dry season, they cut the underbrush and felled the trees, then ignited the vegetation with torches.
Since a field could only be tilled for a few years at a time, every few years they would adopt new fields slightly farther away, until eventually they moved the village. For such reasons, the American culture is perceived to be none-wholesome as it only treats the body and not the soul along with it, as seen in her parents expressing how they think the medication provided to Lia is hurting her Fadiman 2012, p. 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. One of their babies, born in America, was diagnosed with epilepsy at 3 months of age. They could have incorporated into their hospital food menus and diets specific Hmong foods and teas customary to the Hmong culture.