Sand Burrs - He was
paralyzed with the pain.
Health care for the tribe
still only consisted of the clinic in a building that was so old it could
have probably been registered on the historical preservation list. There
were only certain days it was open and everyone had to crowd into the
small space of the waiting room. No such thing as scheduled appointment
happened and a visit could last, literally, all day.
The tribe was beginning to
set up clinics separately so patients could receive minor treatment,
shots, or help with some other small malady. Other doctors came from
medical schools and Velma at 94 can’t remember from where they came.
There was a festive mood
around the Tribal Affairs building in the old gymnasium where the clinic
was being held that day. Young mothers were there with their children and
enjoying visiting with each other. The spaciousness of the room and easy
access to outdoors give a more pleasant surrounding for health care. Even
the youthful doctors seemed to be enjoying these obviously new conditions.
A table was ready with
treats and drinks. The children sampled tidbits of one or another of the
sweets or whatever was there. No nurses were in attendance, so the
mother’s themselves, helped when needed. Wide and tall windows on the
north side allowed them to easily watch the children who had chosen to
Suddenly a shriek,
plaintive and shrill came from where the children were playing. It was so
demanding everyone turned to look for the child’s mother. She must have
taken a moment to go to the bathroom, when her child, who was little more
than two years old, wandered into a bed of sand burrs. He was paralyzed
with the pain on the bottom of his feet. One foot was suspended in the air
and he wouldn’t take another step. A mother who had volunteered rushed to
the child’s aid while a doctor ran out behind her. She picked the little
one up and pulled the stickers from the child’s feet while he made not one
peep in protest.
The mother was heard to
say, “Surgery doctor?”
The doctor was grinning
widely and probably feeling like quite the hero for saving the child from
a most miserable circumstance.
Sometimes later, the
counsel began to make plans for building a new Clinic which was
wonderfully modern when completed and had more than one doctor. That was
approximately forty years ago.