The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down By Anne Fadiman

1253 Words6 Pages
Unfortunately, the world we live is a far cry from perfect. We have all types of barriers and roadblocks that we must face and attempt to overcome on a daily basis. When dealing with healthcare, these barriers and roadblocks can be much scarier – and in some cases even deadly. These barriers are not limited to only language, but also to differences in cultures as well. The book entitled The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman highlights the plight of a particular Hmong family in California. The Lee family faced many hardships when they came to America. They were normally mountain people who kept to themselves and did their “own thing” without any interference or input from the people who lived near them. Now they were thrust into an American city in California, with no way to support themselves without government assistance. When Foua went into labor with her daughter Lia, she had a seemingly positive experience with the delivery. She did not understand a word that anyone said to her during her entire hospital stay, but she thought it was nice that so many people wanted to help her with the birth of her child, because, in her native Chinese culture, a mother usually gave birth to her children alone (Fadiman 8). She did think that it was strange that they gave her ice water to drink because many Hmong believe that cold food makes the blood congeal instead of cleansing the body by flowing freely after birth (9). As Foua left the hospital she signed the
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