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 http://action.fcnl.org/addressbook/ ; 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…

1 comment:

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