It Ain’t Easy Being Indian – January 2019

photo of ricey wild

By Ricey Wild

I bid 2018 no fond goodbyes, not one shred of wistful memories or lump in my throat of Auld Lang Syne. In fact, I tell last year to just piss off and that despite its massive effort to take me out, it failed. Pfft! Begone, begone I say.

What happened to Mz Wild that was so awful that she is so emphatically bitter and disgusted by 2018? It was a series of smaller things and others – like McAffee, the anti-virus company that stole money from my SS account. How ironic is that? The very people who were supposed to protect me were the ones who ripped me off! SN/AP!!! Grrrr!!! I already live under the poverty level so that really hurt.

The top of the calendar wasn’t too bad beginning the year, but the bottom was absolutely miserable. I wrote about falling and fracturing my left arm in two places and my big black eye. Gads, it was hard to function because I’ve had four surgeries in my right arm and it doesn’t work well at all. I did have a lot of help from a friend and I deeply thank her for going out of her way to help this decrepit ole woman. Bless you!

But, frustrated at the setback, Fate had something more in store for me. For three days I lay in bed alternately feverish and having chills. I finally took my temperature and it was 104.4. No wonder I felt like I lay a’dying! I called 911 and the paramedics had to come inside my house to help me out. By the time I got to the ER my temperature was down to 103.3 and I was admitted. Before that I asked for some ice water but no one would give me any until the doctor said it was okay.

I have never wanted or needed water more in my life. I began wheedling for some ice chips, c’mon! Ice chips! The Doctor surely would not deny me an ice chip! For the rest of the five days I spent there, I cradled my water container and insisted it stay cold, fresh and icy. If you still wonder why there are courageous Water Protectors who took it upon themselves to preserve and protect our waters, I suggest you try and go without it and see how far you get. I have new appreciation for the actions they take to help everyone. We ALL need water to live is what it comes down to and letting corporations, who are NOT people, pollute and steal what is a human right is criminal.

I don’t like the hospital I was in because the funds to build it were stolen, by the city, from the only business on the reservation. There used to be ‘The Indian Hospital’ that employed Band members and I know many rez-idents who were born there. I also carried the resentment that Native people are and have been badly treated there, including my Gramma Rose and myself, but I figured since I was dying, let it be on them. I giggled about that in my semi-conscious state.

They put me in an end room and proceeded to flush me with antibiotics for the UTI, kidney infection and sepsis that resulted. I had two IVs in my arms and I was constantly woken up for blood work, medications and all the other annoyances that hospitals provide, for a profit. Well, the antibiotics also killed all the good bacteria in my guts and had the predictable result that ended up with me wearing a diaper. I helpfully provided this interesting information to my doctor but he ignored it. I’m now drinking kombucha and eating yogurt regularly to try and balance my offended innards.

My stomach was still sensitive when I barfed all over my keyboard trying to write my column for this month. I tried cleaning it, taking the keys out to no avail. Clearly, 2018 was having the last laugh. I then had to bundle up and go to the local Wal-Fart to purchase a new one, that I was thankfully able to just afford.

There is a birch tree out in my yard that looked just pitiful; just a whitish stick stuck in the ground. Then a big snowstorm came through Rezberry and left behind a winter wonderland. The sad, skinny stick in now glorious, picked out in frozen crystals making it an entirely new entity. I kept looking at it for a metaphor and came up with this: in 2019 the same tree will be tricked out in summer glory. All I have to do is hunker down and appreciate the rest of the season.

I pray you all well and healthy this New Year. Love n Hugs!