It ain't easy being indian


Me calling Rezberry clinics urgent care: "Help! I need my head examined!"(If only I had an Indian head nickel for how many times people have suggested I do so!)

After a full, fun summer I was ready to settle down into calm autumn and begin burrowing a comfortable rut to occupy. But alas, t’was not to be! I had scheduled my wisdom teeth surgery for September because I thought there would be plenty of time to heal.

Instead I got ‘dry socket’ where my wisdom teeth used to reside. And if you don’t know what that is, you don’t know pain. Unholy, excruciating, horrendous pain that mocked the medicine I was taking to abate it.

Then, to add insult to injury, a real injury. I slipped on ice that covered the ramp in the front of my house and hit the back of my head on the cement part, while wearing my new, old lady Minnetonka moccasins from Goodwill. For a week everything above my chins was hurting so much that I could not distinguish one pain from the other. So there went my plan to dismiss all drama in favor of monotony.

Sometime later, I was whining to a friend about my boo-boos when I comprehended how many times I have fallen outside my house. He said I should get a safety helmet and knee and elbow pads. And this is moi, Mz Wild who used to jump giant snow banks with a single leap in peep-toe stilettos! Hai!!! Well I’m glad I didn’t get knocked out; it’s a good thing I only hit my head. Doctor said I have whiplash and gave me a referral for physical therapy.

Whilst I was enduring all that pain I was also unable to eat because my jaw was so sore I could not chew. The after surgery instructions advised to consume only soft foods for a while, like eggs and pasta. I bought soups too, but even that was a challenge. Oh miserable me!!! I began to dream about the yummy dinners from this summer past; like the time my coworker Rachel had an extra invite to a wine & chocolate tasting at the Risky Raccoon Kasino. The words were barely out of her mouth when I tucked her under my arm and ran to the event.

 We entered a wonderland of fine wine, foods and chocolate galore, including a chocolate fountain which heretofore I had only seen in pictures. The fountain was in the middle of the room and the guests were buzzing around it like flies. I went and elbowed people out of my way so I could get my share of the goodies; actually I took a bit more for later at home. I didn’t even get to eat the chocolate I scrounged for, because my dog Mitzi totally rolled me and gobbled them up before I even missed them. Her breath was particularly sweet that morning. She’s lucky she’s so adorable, or I woulda……!

The fact that I was literally unable to eat made me obsess about food even more. Plus, I was mad that I couldn’t crunch up all the good fresh produce that was available. It was torture I tell you! I listed all the foodstuffs I was missing out on and in doing so I recalled Jack Weatherford, author of the book "Indian Givers" published in 1988. He researched and wrote that 3/5ths of the world’s food crops are north and south American Indian in origin, I hadn’t known that.

Did The Man ever consider teaching that in school? Hah? Hah? No! I had to go to college before I ever learned about it. Sure I knew about the three sisters; corn, squash and beans, but not about potatoes, chili peppers, tomatoes and on and on. I advise ya’ll to pick up that book and read it, I was astonished how the entire global population was affected and the way our ‘new’ foods changed the world.

Yanno what’s really ironic? The very food that we Indians had been harvesting and eating forever is the same food that ‘enlightened’ dietitians are now recommending to the general public. Gasp! You mean to say that Twinkie’s and processed cheese and meat products are not so good for one’s health? Really?! Keep yer old commods, I have a signed document that says I can hunt, fish and gather.

Here I go ranting again, but I deeply appreciate the gifts our ancestors left to us. I overheard a guy say that when he walks outside it is his grocery store, I like that. I also believe that going back to our own culture’s nutritious menu we can beat the high rate of heart disease and diabetes in Indian Country.

With that said, I wish you all good health and willpower. Just so yooz know, I am walking the walk.