Thursday, April 17, 2008

From The Book of Stupid Things People Do

A Story I Wrote a While Ago

Wonderful Husband and I have been feeling our age lately so we have taken time to be together more and do some silly things that we haven't thought of doing in a long while. We got the idea because one of our friends and her husband started taking square dancing lessons (or as she calls it American Folk Dancing) and another of our friends is blowing glass beads. Because both of these endeavors entail lots of breath control we decided that we could take the "road less traveled" and have little excursions in our car. (Not sex, as we are at an age when creature comforts really do count.)

One of our adventures is on Saturdays, when construction has stopped, we go around the barracades on a local street and drive on the unpainted section of this street that is under construction. We have giggled and grinned about how daring we are and wondered why the road has not opened as yet because it is certainly driveable.

Well, Monday night we found another road, much closer to home, that had barracades up and we thought we would see what was happening. So we drove around the barracades in the dark and headed toward the railroad track, when boom, boom, boom. Our tires and shocks felt like we had run over a chasm where the tracks should be. The tracks were still there but they were now 12 inches tall and there was a concrete abutment where the road should be.

As Husband floored the van to get out of what he perceived to be the sink hole from hell, we heard, and felt, the rims hit the tracks and we both knew we were in trouble. It appears that when a van traveling 25 mph hits 12 inch railroad tracks that the minimum damage to the vehicle is two blown out front tires and a dented oil pan. And, although the car used to pull a little to the left it now only pulls a little to the right and we believe that this is correctable.

We drove as fast as we could up the hill to get on even ground before the tires went completely flat. We tried to control our breathing but hyperventilation had already set in so we could hardly hear the air woosh out of the two front tires as they slowly sank into the gravel.

Of course it could have been worse; we might not have paid the AAA account and had to pay out of pocket to be towed, we could have bent the rims more than we did, the Big B Tire guy could have charged us more than $60.00 to replace the tires, and the towing guy could have gotten lost twice instead of just the one time when he came to tow us. We could have been sucked into a sink hole and drowned and the list could just go on and on. As it was, we just walked up our 7 degree grade hill and drove the car back to the van. We were cold for the two hours it took for the tow guy to find us but I personally have never been more grateful for the warmth of the slow burn that always comes when interacting with a mucho macho tow guy on a dark and stormy night.

Now here is my suggestion to those of you who might be feeling your age and want a little excitement in life, As "elder outlaws" do not break the cardinal rule of chance taking...when you are feeling old-go square not break traffic laws or endanger yourself by trying to do the advanced position in the yoga class!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Indian Health Services A Watchdog Website

Memories of Indian Health Services
And A Website to Keep an Eye on Indian Health Issues

Musings: following the birth of my third child at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, I contracted a yeast infection. This is a common problem experienced by many post-partum women and although it is not life threatening it can be uncomfortable. When I saw the doctor at PIMC he wrote a script for suppositories and I promptly sat myself down outside of the pharmacy to await the filling of the prescription.

After the usual wait, I was called to the window of the pharmacy where a well dressed man in military uniform (Back in the day, the docs and pharmacists wore their military garb as a matter of course. It was only later that Indian hospitals and clinics encouraged military health care providers to wear civvies.) greeted me with the prescribed box of suppositories in his hand and a disinterested look on his face. He explained in a fairly loud voice that the medicine was for a, “VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION”, and that the medicine should be inserted into the “VAGINA” twice a day. But, and this is the most important thing he told me that day, “Before inserting the suppository, you must first take off the foil packaging!”

I was stunned but after a life time of being rebuffed because I happened to be an Indian making use of Indian health services, I quickly replied, “So that explains why it didn’t work last time!!" Bad Indian woman. NOT!!!!!

The website I have highlighted is one where you can see what is happening in Indian Country and the impact the US congress, and the President, has on the health of Indian people. Step one: click on ; step two, click on left hand side border where it reads NATIVE AMERICANS (the border is blue); step three, read and inform yourself. Remember many American Indians work at full time jobs, pay taxes, and raise kids and still do not have access to health insurance or are underinsured to the point where they cannot access adequate health care.

And in parting dear ones, always remember to take the foil off…