The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down A Hmong Child Reflection Paper

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Growing up in a developing country in Africa (Tanzania), I witnessed school children suffering from a seizure. When they had a seizure attack, they would suddenly fall down and violently shack their whole body especially their feet and hands while their head turned to one side with foaming on the mouth and eyes turned back. It was very frightening to see and experience this. After about two to three minutes, the seizure stops, and they become awake but fragile for a moment. In an hour or so they continued with their normal class activities without any treatment what so ever. As a child, I didn’t know what it was and what caused them to fall. I later learned that the local people believed that the forming on the mouth should not be wiped …show more content…

51). In reading Anna Fadiman book, we find that language, culture and belief barriers can cause a delay in giving proper treatment to patients. Cultural and geographical borders within any society are believed to create boundaries that limit similarities between those on opposite sides. Anna Fadiman book focusses on this Lee family who gave birth to their fourteenth child named Lia who suffered from seizure soon after birth. The family was finding it difficult to believe that their child was sick. Their American doctor’s name Dan was very involved in their family as the primary doctor even though the family did not give him full cooperation in helping treating their daughter. As it is noted in Anne Fadiman’s book, “Dan had no way of knowing that Foua and Nao Kao had already diagnosed their daughter's problem as the illness where the spirit catches you, and you fall down. Foua and Nao Kao had no way of knowing that Dan had diagnosed it as epilepsy, the most common of all neurological disorders. Each had accurately noted the same symptoms, but Dan would have been surprised to hear that they were caused by soul loss, and Lia's parents would have been surprised to hear that they were caused by an electrochemical storm inside their daughter's head that had been stirred up by the misfiring of aberrant brain cells”(Anne Fadiman, p. 28). Lee’s

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