A disease narrative is a descriiption of how an individual, the family, and the affected person’s culture responds to a specific disease or disorder. Illness
narratives that describe an illness and its effect on the patient’s life are told as an autobiographical or biographical account. They provide insight into how
patients and clinicians understand the why and how of illness causation and treatment, including how illness processes are linked to the broader social and
structural contexts of patients, their communities, and their clinicians.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures  is an example of an illness narrative
that illuminates cultural, economic, and ethical meanings in a patient’s illness. The Spirit describes the beliefs and practices of the Lee family, Hmong
immigrants living in Central California, and those of the health care and social service workers, who were, from their experience and cultural positions,
attempting to provide excellent care for Lia, the young daughter who has epilepsy. The story gives us profound insight into how, despite a medical team’s
best efforts, inadequate care can arise from miscommunication, failure among clinicians to reflect on their own cultural and economic positions, rigid
institutional policies and procedures, and systemic inequities.
After you identify the individual, you can simply ask the individual to describe their experience and the family’s response to that specific disease. Write an
essay of the individual’s experience and the family’s response. The essay should be at least 2 full pages – not a page and a half.