At the beginning of Chapter 15, we learn that Lia is now seven – taking the first 14 chapters into consideration, that’s rather shocking. Although she’s in a vegetative state, she’s still alive. Neil and Peggy ensured that the Lee’s had the food necessary to keep Lia’s health as good as it could be, however, Medi-Cal wouldn’t pay for the special bed. The Lee’s blamed the doctors and MCMC for Lia’s vegetative state because they gave her too much medicine and did invasive procedures. Additionally, they partially blamed Neil and Peggy for leaving when they did. As months went on, her brain damage got rid of her epilepsy and she became a healthy weight. The Lee’s were praised for their “immaculate” care of Lia despite the incredible circumstances in which they found themselves. We also met Martin, the nurse that makes home visits. Despite his obvious efforts towards cultural competency, he still wasn’t able to forge a strong relationship with the Lees during his first visit.
Chapter 16 goes into the Hmong transition to living in their current community. As they came to their community, rather than approaching these refugees with empathy, they were often met with bigotry and ethnocentrism. Additionally, since many received government assiatance, they were blamed for the dwindling economy. The chapter goes onto provide a brief history of how the Hmong came to be so concentrated in Merced. One reason was Dang Moua or a man who was able to climb the mythical ladder to achieving the American Dream.
These chapters fit really nicely with our textbook readings on immigration and health. Specifically, I’m thinking about the Hmong community and acculturation. In the United States, we value assimilation rather than other systems of integration. Because of this, the doctors didn’t think to adjust their methodology. Because of this, they didn’t even try to recognize the Lee’s as good parents until she was seven. With this, I’m wondering if we truly have a